Pennsylvania Gambling Revenue Declines For Fourth Consecutive Month

[toc]Live casinos in Pennsylvania have been struggling on multiple fronts for the past few months. The latest bad news comes in the form of January revenue reports from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Overall casino gaming revenue was down 1.2 percent from January 2016. This is the fourth consecutive month Pennsylvania has seen gaming revenue decrease year-over-year.

$252.9 million in January gaming revenue

The 12 casinos in the Keystone state brought in $252.9 million in revenue lat month compared to just over $255 million this time last year. The number is down and part of a larger, more concerning trend across the past several months. Statistically speaking though, year-over-year performance can be more accurately described as flat.

Most properties saw overall decreases in revenue with just a couple of noteworthy exceptions. Parx Casino saw an uptick of 6.7 percent over 2016 with $46.5 million in revenue. It was the top performer, as expected.

Sands Bethlehem remains one of top revenue generators in the state. The second-place casino did see revenues drop year-over-year from $44.4 million to $2.1 million, a decline of 5.25 percent.

The biggest revenue drop belongs to Harrah’s Philadelphia. The casino dipped from $22.1 million in 2016 to $20.4 million this year.

Table games up, slot machines down

If there is a silver lining to the latest report, it is the strong performance of table games. Parx Casino saw huge year-over-year gains, growing from almost $12.7 million to $16.2 million. This is a jump of nearly 28 percent.

Hollywood Casino and Mohegan Sun Pocono also made big strides in this category. One notable exception to the trend is Sands Bethlehem. The casino had the biggest table games dip of all, dropping from $21 million to nearly $18.3 million last month. Even with the dip, Sands was still the top table games earner of the month.

Overall, the casinos earned $72.6 million from table games in January. This is a 2.13 percent bump from 2016.

Slot machines saw a 2.4 percent dip overall last month. Some of the smaller casinos, like Valley Forge and Lady Luck, saw noticeable gains in the category, but most either held steady or declined.

Harrah’s Philadelphia dipped over 10.7 percent from $17.1 million to $15.3 million. Mohegan Sun also declined 8.75 percent.

Parx Casino was the top performer in this category and still managed to bring in $30.3 million (a decline of two percent from 2016). Parx, Sands Bethlehem, and Rivers all saw steady revenues and retained positions as the top three performers.

Solutions for the downward trend?

These numbers and the continuing year-over-year declines for the Pennsylvania casino industry will almost certainly come up if a new bill in the state House of Representatives proposing online gaming is ever debated.

The new bill, HB 392, is a gaming bill with a broad scope which includes online gaming, daily fantasy sports, and a solution to the still unresolved casino taxation issue in the state.