Maryland’s bet on casino gambling is paying off, even if it appears to be hurting the state’s lottery sales.
In the fiscal year that ended June 30, traditional lottery revenues in Maryland fell for the first time in 16 years, by 1.9 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. But casino revenues more than tripled, creating a record windfall.
The state netted nearly $830 million in gambling taxes, an increase of more than 27 percent from the previous fiscal year. The lottery contributed $545 million to the general fund, while the state’s casinos sent $284 million to the Education Trust Fund.
More than three-quarters of the casino tax revenue came from Maryland Live, which opened in June 2012 at the Arundel Mills mall.
Stephen L. Martino, director of the Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, has hired a research firm to prove — or disprove — the hypothesis “that when you open the third-largest [commercial] casino in the United States squarely between your two most heavily populated metropolitan areas, there’s going to be some movement in discretionary gaming dollars from the lottery to the casino.”