Declining revenue from slot machines in Pennsylvania is starting to look like a trend, after state regulators released numbers for November.
The top-line look at slots in PA
Gross revenue for Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos for slots in November checked in at $179.4 million, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
That’s obviously a lot of money. But when compared with November of 2015, it’s significantly less. Year over year, revenue was down four percent; last year, slots generated $187.5 million. There were nearly 200 more slot machines in operation at PA casinos this year than there were for the same period last year.
Slots generated tax revenue of $95.6 million.
Winners and loses in PA slots
The story was mostly the same for almost all PA casinos — year-over-year decreases at 11 of the 12 facilities.
The only casino to avoid a down month? Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino experienced an increase of 6.2 percent YoY (up to $14.1 million). It’s the second straight month that SugarHouse bucked the declining slot revenue trend.
It was a different picture everywhere else. Another Philadelphia-area casino — Harrah’s — was down a concerning 12 percent YoY. That’s even worse than October’s nine-percent dip.
The state’s biggest casinos — Philly’s Parx Casino and Sands Bethlehem — saw dips of just about one percent.
A trend for PA slots, or not?
Numbers being down for two straight months has to be a concerning sign for the state’s casino industry, although it’s too small of a sample size to draw definitive conclusions.
The decrease in slot revenue cannot be explained away by the calendar; November had the same number of weekends in both 2015 and 2016.
On top of the declining slots revenue, another Philadelphia casino is on the horizon, one which may simply cannibalize some of the revenue of other eastern PA casinos.
Are November and October just a blip on the radar, or part of a contraction (or plateauing) of gaming revenue in the state? We’ll find out in the coming months.