The Delaware casino that is land-based has been hit hard by increased competition from brand new areas in neighboring states, as the newer 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 across the state line means crisis for the home while the state’s two other racinos.
The sector, which comprises Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park, peaked in 2006, the Pennsylvania began issuing its first casino licenses, when slot revenues hit more than $650 million year. By 2016, slots and table revenues combined had plunged to $398 million.
Meanwhile, outfall from the brand new MGM nationwide Harbor, which started in Maryland year that is late last 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 advertising drives, drawing even more customers away from Delaware’s ailing properties.
The three racinos cannot compete because they pay higher state taxes than their counterparts across the border, and they’re begging legislators for help.