Delaware Brick-and-Mortar Casino Sector Advisory Board Holds State's Fate, While Keeping Cards Close

The Delaware casino that is land-based has been struck hard by increased competition from new markets 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 just publicly traded racino, but high domestic taxes and increased competition over the state line means crisis for the house as well as 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 very 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 brand new MGM National Harbor, which exposed in Maryland late final 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...