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The Dripby Mark Reutter8:00 pmApr 6, 20150

Horseshoe revenues stay the course

March revenues are the highest monthly total for the casino, but are below the daily take in February. Property tax relief from casino fades further.

Above: Grand opening of Horseshoe Casino last August.

Slot machines again were the driver of March’s $24.7 million in gross revenues at the Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, according to data released today by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.

While last month boasted the highest monthly take for the gaming facility, revenues in March were actually below the daily take in February (a month with three fewer days).

On a daily basis, slots yielded $460,693 in revenues in March and $468,172 in February, which so far represents the best month of the underperforming casino.

Even though Horseshoe recently won permission to cut the number of slot machines and increase gaming tables from 159 to 189, poker and other games have not shown any spike in activity.

Daily table games revenue was $336,083 in March – slightly below the $352,877 figure in February – despite Horseshoe serving as host to the traveling World Series of Poker circuit last month.

Casino and Property Taxes

The March revenues will yield $785,482 in local impact grants for South Baltimore communities.

Much of that money, however, has been earmarked by the Rawlings-Blake administration to pay back Caesars Entertainment for street and steam-line infrastructure improvements around the casino as well as for heightened police protection.

Last month, the city’s budget director disclosed that Horseshoe will pay only $4 million in ground-lease taxes in fiscal 2015 (with another $4 million due early in fiscal 2016).

Such revenues are far below the $14 million in ground lease revenues that the city expected in the first year from the casino when Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was touting the facility as a means to bankroll her property tax rate reduction.

(From the mayor’s 2011 election campaign pledge: “Dedicating 90% proceeds from the city’s future slots location [ground lease revenues] to property tax relief for homeowners.”)

According to budget director Andrew Kleine, the property tax reduction for fiscal 2016 will have to be funded from other city resources.

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