Chamber Lobbyist, Greenwill Consulting Group, notes from August 24,2017 Gaming Commission Meeting.
Note the question from Commissioner Robertson to Rocky Gap regarding MBE goals/participation. There was a follow up conversation with some folks with concerns that Maryland Live’s construction numbers aren’t meeting MBE goals.
- June revenues were up 6%
- July, revenues were down 2%, citing a rough month for tables and $50k and $30k losses to customers
- Dynasty games installed
- Green Turtle Express remodeled and ready mid/late September
- Promoting a cruise giveaway and hosting Maryland Lives for Responsible Gambling meeting
- June, revenues were up
- July, down 1/2% – citing lost a Friday, gained a Monday from the holiday, <7% hold, disruption on the slots floor (revolving 344 games in 3 weeks) during the busiest tourism season
- Promoting “Test Drive Thursdays” to promote new games
- Complaints they lost their electronic table games (no live table games yet)
- August is looking good
- Promotions: Beach House Give-Aways
- Not a lot of movement w/construction building, grading work being done so walls can go up
- Still hoping for table games by NYE
Kim Robertson asked “what’s the hold up?”
Bobbi said the sale process held it up, the new ownership wanted their own interior design realized. Also, building permits and MBE goals were rationale.
- April-July revenues down 22% consistently
- Slots impacted much less than table games
- Trending better in August than previous months
- 4th of July promotions (vehicles)
- Shaquille O’Neal shoot-out with David Cordish – customers assigned teams
- Community: Executive Chef and donations to the Capital Area Food Bank to summer camp kids and healthy eating, sponsor Vietfest, and Anne Arundel County Marine Corps 5k
- Constructing the 17th floor of the Maryland Live Hotel Tower
There will be a July press event in the hotel lobby area, then an additional event in early October.
Commissioner K. Robertson asked how many floors were left. Travis answered there were 17 total floors, leaving just the rest of the 17th floor and the roof
The Commissioners will be provided an update in the 4th quarter, expecting a May 1st opening date
- Renovating the off-site hotel, Maryland Live Lofts, to give it the “casino-finishing touch”
- Commissioner Robertson asked Travis about his thoughts on the decline of the table games decline, citing the $1M decline
He answered that they have had “hold issues” with unfavorable hold comparisons. He is hopeful that the good amount of table games will generate (10 extra games). They also said they were tweaking their programming for table games and cited “seasonality of marketing” as an impact to revenue.
- Comm. Stakem asked if voluntary exclusions were difficult
Travis answered employees are trained
- Comm Stakem asked if patron filed the complaints for the repeat violation
Travis answered that they have come down hard on employees and that it could be staff turnover
- June – revenue up 8%
- July up 3/10%, citing table games increase and losing the Friday and gaining a Monday
- Record hotel occupancy in July
- VLTs transition was smooth, hired vendor Full Circle
- Community: Rocky Gap Cares – events for the community, transitioning to quarterly large check efforts, United Way Stuff the Bus, Homeless Resources Fair, and Breast Cancer Awareness events. Also discussed Allegany County scholarship program, awarding 2k scholarships to Frostburg and Allegany Colllege recipients in partnership with County Economic Development. Partnering with the new Allegany County Tourism Director.
- Question from Commissioner Robertson regarding the casino’s MBE goals and meeting the requirements.
Skylar answered that they are increasing their goal numbers, citing Greenwill Consulting partnership outreach events
- July revenues down 8% (23M), citing absorbing competition
- Cited 4th of July flag donations
- Promotions: Fill Your Pocket promotion, Plaza Turn Purple (Ravens promotion)
- Converting Jack Binion’s Steakhouse to a Gordon Ramsey Steak restaurant (the first on the East Coast)
- Commissioner Stakem asked same question about complaints re: amounts paid
Erin answered she would research and provide an answer, citing a robust corporate audit program.
- Commissioner Robertson stated she saw “excessive violations in relation to the other casinos”, and she wanted to know if there was “some kind of issue” with the “training of employees”. She quoted “sloppiness” and said she was “very disappointed” in particular with customers being paid the wrong amount. She stated she wanted to see “significant changes”.
Erin answered that addressing this was her primary concern and that they had “turned over the leadership in the [finance area/cash handling] position.” She discussed that corporate team was brought on site to clean it up on site.
Comm. Robertson asked if there was an “internal audit in place” and if corporate’s policies and procedures were being followed.
Erin answered that the corporate team had helped, providing reports to run, and put best practices in place.
- Commissioner Hash asked if corporate was asked to come in. Erin answered they were invited and also came per their own procedures.
- Commissioner McGraw mentioned the Orioles promotion and the Maryland Live billboards around the casino.
- 1M guests in June/July, casino revenue is doing well
- Increased promotions, increased activities – Lucky Lion promotion growing, 350k Choose Your Ride, 150k Black Jack promotion, Jackpot Celebration, Tailgate Giveaway, Big Draw Promotion ($1M Giveaway)
- Community: volunteer hours (3k employee hours), stood up their Corporate Social Responsibility Council, gave money to FAME, FOP, Habitat for Humanity, and PG Professional Firefighters Association. Sponsored the Joint Base Andrews Air Show. October is Impact Month. Redskin Stadium school supply giveaway.
- Stakem asked about cash payouts rather than issuing a check.
Mike answered that some customers request large payouts but regulations say to pay out with checks.