The Delaware casino that is land-based happens to be struck hard by increased competition from brand new areas in neighboring states, as the more recent and shinier casinos of Pennsylvania and Maryland outperform its three struggling, and highly taxed, racinos.
Dover Downs is Delaware’s biggest and only publicly traded racino, but high domestic taxes and increased competition throughout the state line means crisis for the house and the state’s two other racinos.
The sector, which comprises Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park, peaked in 2006, the 12 months Pennsylvania started issuing its first casino licenses, when slot revenues hit more than $650 million. By 2016, slots and table revenues combined had plunged to $398 million.
Meanwhile, outfall from the new MGM nationwide Harbor, which exposed in Maryland late last year, stands poised to be the final nail in the coffin. That property caused other casinos in Maryland and West Virginia to ramp up their own marketing drives, drawing even more customers away from Delaware’s ailing properties.
The three racinos cannot compete simply because they spend higher state taxes than their counterparts across the edge, and they’re begging legislators for help.
Taxed Out of the Market
This week, the Delaware’s Video Lottery Advisory Council (VLAC) met to discuss the status of Diamond State’s three casinos. The council is