[toc]It was been a tumultuous year for many facets of the Pennsylvania casino industry in 2016. One area that held steady year-over-year was slots revenue, though.
A recent report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reveals revenue for slots play came in at $2,360,184,122. It is a .23 percent decline over 2015 slots revenue.
Individual PA casino performances
The steady performance of slots was not just an aggregate occurrence. None of the 12 individual casinos in Pennsylvania saw a dip larger than six percent.
Five of the properties saw an increase in revenue. Even the increases were tempered though. The property with the largest increase was Sugarhouse Casino, which saw growth of 3.97 percent from $174 million in 2015 to $181 million last year.
The best performer of the bunch was Parx Casino. The property was the only one to take in more than $350 million for the year. Parx earned $389 million on slots, up from $379 million in 2015. The only other performer over $300 million was Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, which took in $305 million.
If there was a loser in the bunch, that would be Harrah’s Philadelphia. The Caesars Entertainment-owned property saw slots revenue drop by 5.28 percent from $218 million to $206 million.
The drop resulted in both Mohegan Sun Pocono and Hollywood Casino at Penn National surpassed the casino in earnings.
December slots revenue declined
The Gaming Control Board report also had numbers from December of 2016. The year may have netted out close to even, but the December revenue was down by 6.17 percent. The slots revenue in December of 2015 was $197.5 million. Last month’s revenue came in at just over $185 million.
Multiple properties saw steep 10-20 percent declines during the Christmas month, including Harrah’s Philadelphia, Mt. Airy Casino and Presque Isle Downs. The decline cannot be blamed on machine availability.
Last month there were, on average, 26,229 machines operating compared to 26,074 in 2015.
Pennsylvania slots generated $1.2 billion*
The report states slots revenue generated $1,259,648,414 in taxes for the state over the course of 2016.
This number should be taken with a grain of salt, however. A lawsuit filed by Mt. Airy Casino in the fall of 2016 disputed the fairness of the slots taxation system.
The courts sided with the casino and ruled the law, which had effectively different rates based on what areas of the state the casinos were located in, was unconstitutional.
Thanks to the change, there is now an expected shortfall in budget projections of $140 million. The tax revenue presented in the report was calculated before changes passed in the state Senate in the wake of the lawsuit ruling.
The board will have overall casino gaming revenue reports in the coming weeks.