Why A Casino Just Spent Over $300k For An Employee Costco Shopping Spree

"Supermarket Sweep" may be on permanent hiatus (via TV Series Finale), but you wouldn't know it from what went down at a Costco in Hanover, Maryland on June 27. That's when 100 randomly selected employees of Live! Maryland Casino were given 15 minutes to fill their respective carts – which were supplied by the casino but looked to be as generous as your average Costco shopping cart - with almost anything in the store that their hearts desired at no charge. The casino was footing the bill, per Casino.org.

In 15 minutes, those 100 employees managed to score more than $336,000 worth of stuff, from prime rib to robot vacuums, from Kitchen Aid stand-mixers to a kitchen sink. And yes, someone literally went home with a kitchen sink, according to WTOP, a local news outlet. According to David Cordish, the chairman and CEO of the casino's immediate parent company, The Cordish Companies - which owns a number of Maryland-based casinos and other businesses - the take-home cash value averaged about $3,400 per person.

It's unclear whether the Casino paid the sales tax or whether the employees will have to declare their respective hauls as income for tax purposes come next April, but even assuming the worst-case scenario, which is that the employees will have to go out of pocket, it's still a win. The question is, why would a casino spend over $300K for an employee Costco shopping spree? 

We have to celebrate with our team members, guys!-- the Casino's president

As it turns out, the 100-person Costco shopping spree for employees of Live! Casino Maryland was a way for the casino's owner, The Cordish Companies, to show its gratitude toward employees in connection with the casino's 10th anniversary, per WMAR2 News. "We've had 10 amazing years, and it's been with you side by side creating one of the best experiences in the casino entertainment industry because of folks like you," Cordish's president, Rob Norton, said. Apparently, Live! Casino Maryland is Cordish's flagship property, per Casino.org. As Cordish's CEO said in a press release, "Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland represents the best of our Live! brand and is truly a labor of love for me and my family."

In fact, all throughout the month of June, the Cordish has been celebrating the decade of demonstrated staying power of the casino, which has about 1,900 employees. And while the Costco shopping spree was a generous gesture, it doesn't even come close to being the largest in terms of monetary value. The company promised to make a $1 million donation to a local community college's hospitality scholarship program, which will vest over the next 10 years, according to Casino.org