Success story in the Free State; Stalking horses in Nebraska

By David McKee ~ August 6th, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

Horseshoe Baltimore

Correction: According to Caesars Entertainment — and contrary to the Washington Post — Horseshoe Baltimore is not being renamed “The Legend.” That is a misconstrual of an ad slogan: “The Legend is coming!”

There’s no need to worry about saturation in Maryland, where casino revenue rose another 10% last month. Rocky Gap Casino Resort, out in the western part of the state, shot 20% upward ($204/slot per day). By contrast, Hollywood Perryville was flat ($178/slot per day), thoroughly aced by Maryland Live! (up 11%) and its 81% market share($280/slot per day). Even little Ocean Downs did better ($241/slot per day), registering a 5% gain.

In the most interesting development, Horseshoe Baltimore (above) is undergoing a name change to “The Legend.” I’m not sure what gives with that but I thought the whole point of going nationwide with the Horseshoe brand was its considerable equity. The Caesars Entertainment property won’t be the behemoth that Maryland Live! is, having 89 fewer table games and 1,722 fewer slots (Maryland Live! has 189 and 4,222, respectively.)

* Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale (below) has approved a ballot question on “historical racing” games. However, opposition group Gambling with the Good Life wants the Cornhusker State’s supreme johngalecourt to strike it from the election. Their argument seems to have merit, in that they argue it is really two ballot questions bundled into one. Voters are asked not only to approve racinos but, in the same pull of the lever, “direct tax revenue from both live and replayed horse racing for education, property tax relief and to assist compulsive gamblers.” (There’s an unspoken irony in approved expanded gambling in order to help gambling addicts.)

Both sides in this fight have ulterior agendas. Gambling with the Good Life is, as the name suggests, one of those holier-than-thou groups of prudes, while racino conversion is being promoted as a prop for the state’s horseracing industry. To paraphrase one lawmaker, don’t bring me a VLT and tell me it’s a horse.

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