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MGM National Harbor opens outdoor patio for gaming and smoking

Posted: May 11, 2021, 12: 11 hrs.

Last updated: May 11, 2021 , 11: 04 hrs.

Devin O'Connor

MGM National Harbor is ready for the warm summer months, and for guests who prefer to smoke a cigarette while gambling on a slot machine.

MGM National Harbor gaming patio Maryland
A slot player gambles in the new outdoor gaming area at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Maryland is one of nine states that do not allow smoking in indoor casinos. (Image: WTOP )

The $1.4 integrated casino resort on the outskirts of DC recently announced the opening of its Outdoor Gaming Terrace. The patio features 41 slot machines, including some of the most popular games, MGM says. A few notable ones include dancing reels, buffalo and 88 Fortune.

The covered terrace is located on the north side of the building near the hotel tower.

This [outdoor gaming] concept was being developed before COVID, "said Alex Alverado, vice president of casinos at MGM National Harbor WTOP this week. "But I think COVID allowed us to reprioritize, and it seemed like a more prudent thing to do at the time."

Maryland is one of only nine states that ban smoking in indoor casinos. Although the slot machines are located outdoors, MGM Outdoor Gaming Terrace still exercises social distance by placing the gaming terminals to ensure adequate space between players.

MGM National Harbor's main competitor - live! Casino Hotel Maryland - opened its outdoor gaming facility in February 2018. The Anne Arundel outdoor casino is much larger, with over 150 slots, 12 live dealer table games, and 28 electronic table items.

Live coverage! Gains

MGM National Harbor's outdoor casino may be the answer as Live! continues to gain market share in Maryland.

In 2019, before the pandemic, MGM National Harbor reported annual gross gaming revenues of about $ 707 million. Live coverage! was a distant second to five other commercial casinos in the state for 601 million.

In 2020, however, Live! pandemic closed the gap. National Harbor's GGR was $483. 6 million, while Live ! $ won 437. 8 million.

Difference between game numbers still narrow. In March 2021, MGM won $ 66. 5 million from players and live! generated GGR of $ 61.1 million. Last month, MGM collected a commission of $ 62. 3 million while Live! won $ 58.2 million.

Preparation for sports betting

Sports betting is coming soon to Maryland. Voters last fall approved a referendum to amend the state constitution to include expanded gambling. The General Assembly signed House Bill 940 last month. It is expected that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will sign the measure.

Each of the state's six casinos will be able to apply for and acquire Retail and Mobile Sports Betting Licenses. MGM National Harbour is in the process of converting the space previously used by the casino resort's food and beverage area into a betting parlor.

MGM National Once licensed, Harbor will apply for both retail and online privileges. BetMGM, the interactive gaming platform owned by MGM Resorts, which operates MGM National Harbor, is expected to be introduced to Maryland's growing gaming industry.

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