As summer approaches, and indoor temperatures rise, casino guests just want some fresh air or to have a smoke without missing the action. It was the perfect time for MGM National Harbor in Maryland to announce its new Outdoor Gaming Terrace. The area is fully equipped with slot machines, neatly and safely placed on the terrace. Some of the games included and that can be enjoyed outdoors are 88 Fortunes, Buffalos and Dancing Drums. The terrace is located comfortably near the hotel tower on the north side of the property. It is also covered to ensure that it can still be enjoyed if there happens to be some summer rain. It has been in development for quite some time and has finally been revealed and open for use by the casino’s patrons.
Alex Alverado, MGM National Harbor’s VP of casino operations said that the Outdoor Gaming Terrace has been in development before 2020. The events of last year allowed the casino to reprioritize and bring an amenity to patrons that is in high demand. According to gaming laws in Maryland, the casino is one of nine states that does not allow indoor smoking and the outside terrace gives the casino’s patrons a bit more freedom and helps them feel more comfortable while enjoying some of their favourite slot machine games.
Furthermore, the concept has been in development as a response to one of the casino’s competitors that has been gaining market share over the past few years. Live! Casino Hotel Maryland opened its doors on an outdoor gaming area in February 2018. It is called the Anne Arundel outdoor casino and is much larger than MGM National Harbor’s outdoor gaming area. The area also has more games to offer its patrons such as live dealer games and over 150 slot machines.
The outdoor gaming experience at Live! Casino seemed to be a big hit and is one of the reasons that allowed the gaming property to gain market share in the state, inching closer to the top spot. Gross gaming revenue reported by MGM National Harbor in 2019, totalled 707 million USD. The same year, gross gaming revenue from Live! Casino came in at 601 million USD, taking second place, but with quite a gap between the two. The gap became smaller in the following year.
When the figures for gross gaming revenue was revealed in 2020, MGM National Harbor reported a total of 483.6 million USD with Live! Casino on its heels brought in 437.8 million USD. Edging closer to the market leader in only a year. The competition between the two casinos has intensified in the new year. According to reports, MGM National Harbor generated 66.5 million USD in gross gaming revenue in March 2021 and Live! Casino pulled even closer with gross gaming revenue coming in at 61.1 million USD. The results from April 2021, saw both properties dipping in gross gaming revenue while still maintaining the previous month’s gap. MGM National Harbor won 62.3 million USD and Live! Casino brought in 58.2 million USD.
While the competition is furious when it comes to traditional casino gaming, Maryland is expected to grow the gaming market even more and soon. The sports betting market is on its way to the state after voters decided to authorize the expansion of gambling in the state to include sports wagering in November 2020. The only thing that needs to happen now is for Governor Larry Hogan to sign House Bill 940 for the sports betting market to launch.
The bill outlines a market where Maryland’s six casinos will be allowed to apply for and receive mobile and retail sports wagering licenses. Currently, MGM National Harbor is working toward preparing the gaming property for this expansion. A sportsbook lounge is under construction and will be located in the area where the casino resort’s food court used to be. Reports state that the casino will be applying for both mobile and retails sports betting licenses once the green light is given. BetMGM, MGM Resorts interactive gaming app and betting platform, is expected to be the sports betting operator at National Harbor once the market has launched.