The Maryland Live! Casino from the Cordish Cos opened its doors to the public in 2012 and was the number one casino in Maryland for a number of years. However with the opening of the Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in 2014, competition increased for Maryland Live! and when MGM’s National Harbor Casino opened in 2016 – Maryland Live knew that it had to do something different in order to compete with the two facilities and fight for market share.
Strategic Makeover
That is exactly what the Cordish is doing by proceeding with a massive investment of over $200 million to develop a luxury hotel at the side of the casino and also go through a rebranding phase that looks to infuse new life into the casino and bring in new customers. The new facility will be known as the Live Casino & Hotel and the hotel which is currently in its construction phase will have over 300 rooms.
Cordish has plans to open a number of Live hotels in different markets across the country and believes the new hotel in Maryland will attract a large number of tourists from out of state and within. The company put together a marketing plan that looked to attract patrons to the property and then keep them on the property and the new 17 storey hotel will give them the opportunity to do exactly that. Apart from the new hotel, there will also be a number of new restaurants, a luxury spa and a theatre which can set up to 1500.
Live Fights For Market Share
The plans to invest heavily into the Maryland facility was always on the cards as market analysts predicted that the Horseshoe casino and the MGM facility will eat into the revenues of Maryland Live. The MGM National Harbor casino is around 35 miles away and the Horseshoe casino is only 10 miles away from the Live Casino & Hotel. The close proximity of these two facilities appears to have had its impact on gaming revenues.
Based on data released by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency, Live Casino revenue has been falling steadily this year. In Jan 2017, revenue declined by 15.6 percent, declined by 14.3 percent in Feb, March saw revenues drop by 14.6 percent and April saw revenues drop by 21.6 percent. The Live Casino brought in $45.9 million in revenue during the month of May which was a decline of 22.3 percent, its biggest decline for this year. The Horseshoe casino has also faced competition from the MGM facility and brought in $23.5 million revenue in May which was a decline of 18.1 percent.
MGM Holds The Upper Hand
The MGM National Harbor facility which was built at an estimated $1.4 billion across the Potomac River from Virginia has done well and recorded revenues of $50.5 million in May 2017. Gaming USA Corp president Alan Woinski believes that MGM National Harbor could continue to hold the upper hand especially during the summer as the facility is expected to attract more tourists due to its proximity to popular tourist sites in Washington.
However Woinski believes that the gaming market in Maryland is big enough to accommodate the six casino operators in the state. He believes that customers will develop the habit of frequenting a number of properties and not be loyal to just one – thereby spreading their business. Maryland’s casinos generated more than $510 million in taxes for the government and plays a significant role in the state’s economy.
5th Anniversary Celebrations
To celebrate its 5th anniversary in June, the Live Casino will be giving out five Tesla cars this month. The casino has given away free gifts and perks throughout the last five years in an attempt to capture more market shares and build customer loyalty. The hotel is expected to be opened to the public sometime in 2018, if everything goes as per plan. One of the perks that the Live Casino will offer its loyal customers will be free nights at the hotel.
In a statement, Robert Norton, president of Cordish Global Gaming Group said “You see our monthly revenues; you can attribute nearly all of it to our loyalty base. We follow the Pareto Principle very much in the gaming business. It follows the 80-20 rule – 80 percent of your revenue comes from 20 percent of your best customers.”

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