October 16, 2020

Live! Casino & Hotel awards $19.2 million in local grants for fiscal 2021

Live! Casino & Hotel's annual grants to Anne Arundel County organizations will total more than $19 million this year, casino and county officials announced Thursday.

In all, Live! will contribute $19.2 million in grants to 32 programs and initiatives in fiscal 2021, ranging from enhancements to county police and fire department equipment to pedestrian improvements and extracurricular activities for youth. Some of this year's grants will also go to Covid-19 relief efforts.

The grants are required under the state law authorizing casinos, which directs Live to set aside 4.51% of its revenue from slot machines for the awards. Anne Arundel's Local Development Council reviews grant applications and makes recommendations on how to allocate the funds, which are available to county agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and community groups working within a 3-mile radius of the casino.

The money will be distributed through Anne Arundel County's fiscal 2021 budget and managed by Arundel Community Development Services Inc.

Local groups had feared that the grants would take a significant hit this fiscal year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which shut down Maryland's casinos from mid-March to mid-June. Casinos have since reopened at 50% capacity.

Revenues for the state's casino industry fell by 27.3% last fiscal year, driven by the pandemic closures. Live's fiscal 2020 revenues totaled $449.5 million, a 23.7% decrease over the year before.

But for Anne Arundel County, the annual impact grants rose slightly, compared to the $18.8 million awarded in fiscal 2020.

Some of the money will head to organizations like the Christian Assistance Program, which has seen the volume of families using its food pantry grow since the start of the pandemic. The organization also benefited earlier this year from a cut of $750,000 in unspent funds that the Local Development Council and county government were able to reallocate from fiscal 2020 to support emergency rent and utility payments as well as food assistance for residents destabilized by the crisis.

Counting the latest awards, the local impact and community grants add up to nearly $150 million in the eight years since Live! Casino opened. The Cordish Cos., the casino's developer, opened an adjacent hotel in 2018, followed by the Live! Event Center, a 4,000-seat venue that debuted in early 2020.

Local impact and community grants for fiscal year 2021:

Anne Arundel County Fire Department: $4.2 million

Severn Center Regional Boys & Girls Club, Senior Center and Community Space: $3.75 million

Anne Arundel County Police Department: $3.4 million

Anne Arundel County Recreation & Parks: $2.6 million

Anne Arundel Community College: $1.7 million

BWI Community Development Foundation (County Connector shuttle): $659,000

Anne Arundel County Library System: $550,000

Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works: $500,000

BWI Community Development Foundation (roadside beautification): $440,000

Spring Meadows Condominium Association: $300,000

Anne Arundel County Workforce Development Corp.: $270,000

Provinces Civic Association: $98,750

Watershed Stewards Academy: $87,770

Associated Catholic Charities (Sarah's House): $80,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County: $50,000

Anne Arundel County Department of Transportation: $40,000

HOPE for All: $39,891

Kingdom Kare after-school mentoring: $35,000

Sandridge Homeowners Association: $34,400

United Way: $30,209

Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution: $30,000

National Cryptologic Museum Foundation: $30,000

Villages of Dorchester: $30,000

Assistance League of the Chesapeake: $25,000

Partners In Care, Inc.: $25,000

Rob's Barbershop Community Foundation: $25,000

The Complete Player Charity: $25,000

Arc of the Central Chesapeake: $20,000

Christian Assistance Program: $20,000

Start the Adventure in Reading: $16,000

Annapolis Maritime Museum: $15,000

National Electronics Museum: $12,500

Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating: $12,000

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