Sometime this summer, Live Casino & Hotel will clear dozens of video poker machines from a section of its vast gambling floor so it can demolish a nearby wall.
The opening will provide access to a $200 million, 310-room hotel now under construction — a shiny, towering perk that the Anne Arundel County casino considers critical to luring the lavish-spending customers who account for most of its revenue. and formerly called Maryland Live, marks its fifth anniversary on Tuesday in a state of transition, fighting to keep customers against big-brand competition.
Like gambling halls in other expanding markets, Live always figured it couldn't stand pat.
Two large rivals — the 6-month-old MGM National Harbor and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, which opened in 2014 — have emerged since Live opened adjacent to Arundel Mills mall on June 6, 2012.
As expected, the competition cost Live chunks of its market share.
Its May revenue of $45.9 million was 22.3 percent below that of May 2016, when the state had five casinos instead of the current six, according to figures released Monday by the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency.
Live's revenue fell 21.6 percent in April, 14.6 percent in March, 14.3 percent in February and 15.6 percent in January.
Horseshoe's May revenue of $23.5 million was down 18.1 percent, while MGM reported monthly revenue of $50.5 million.
In December 2013, a state consultant predicted that MGM — if it were awarded the site license in Prince George's County — would take 23 percent of Live's revenue.
While the $1.4 billion MGM — directly across the Potomac River from Virginia — has had a sizable impact, analysts said it hasn't been as dire for Live as predicted."I think both MGM and Live can both settle in with their own niche customer," said Alan Woinski, president of Gaming USA Corp., which publishes industry newsletters.
"MGM is the more high-end, tourist and table game player while Live has the location and enough traffic near them to remain strong." Just five months after it opened, MGM National Harbor emerged for the second straight month in April as Maryland's top revenue-producing casino, according to figures released Friday by the state.
MGM, which topped $50 million in monthly revenue for the first time in March, generated $49.9 million...