The good news is table game revenue jumped an impressive seven percent year-over-year. The bad news is it still wasn’t enough to offset the more than four-percent decline in slot machine revenue.
Still, it’s important to keep casino revenue in perspective, as the nearly $250 million tally in November all but guarantees 2016 will set a new revenue record — barring a blizzard that shuts down the state for a week or more.
The top-line November numbers
SugarHouse was the only casino to avoid the slot revenue decline, as the Philadelphia casino continued its remarkable 2016 with a six percent year-over-year increase in slot revenue.
Coupled with SugarHouse’s 26.5 percent increase in table game revenue, the casino was the clear winner in November, as total gaming revenue was up nearly 14 percent.
The only other casinos that posted YoY increases in November were market leaders Parx and Sands:
- SugarHouse Casino: +13.95 %
- Parx Casino: +5.06 %
- Sands Bethlehem: +4.2 %
Here’s a look at the industry-wide breakdown of slot revenue and table game revenue in October:
- November 2016 slot machine revenue: $179,399,603.94 (-4.34 %)
- November 2016 table game revenue: $70,237,664 (+7.1 %)
- November 2016 total gaming revenue: $249,637,268 (-1.38 %)
A look inside the YTD revenue numbers
Here is a look at the monthly year-to-date revenue tally for Pennsylvania’s casinos:
- January 2016 GGR -$255,905,078 (+3.6%)
- February 2016 GGR – $268,354,231 (+8.6%)
- March 2016 GGR – $289,167,505 (+4.2%)
- April 2016 GGR – $281,206,497 (+3.9%)
- May 2016 GGR – $280,194,999 (+.80%)
- June 2016 GGR – $258,423,105 (-0.2%)
- July 2016 GGR – $288,451,402 (+2.95%)
- August 2016 GGR – $260,904,471 (-4.28%)
- September 2016 GGR – $260,937,476 (+2.93%)
- October 2016 GGR – $263,011,981 (-.91%)
- November 2016 GGR – $249,637,268 (-1.38%)
Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is on pace to beat its previous high water mark, set last year when casinos tallied $3.17 billion.
Through 11 months, the state’s casinos have tallied $2,957,120,713, guaranteeing it will eclipse $3 billion in total gaming revenue for the sixth consecutive year. Short of something unforeseen occurring, a new high-water mark will be set.
A new revenue record also seems extremely likely, as the state’s 12 casinos would need to hit just $217 million in total gaming revenue to eclipse last year’s record setting tally of $3,173,787,012.
- 2006: $31,567,926
- 2007: $1,039,030,723
- 2008: $1,615,565,758
- 2009: $1,964,570,480
- 2010: $2,486,408,061 (table games introduced)
- 2011: $3,024,772,959
- 2012: $3,158,317,863
- 2013: $3,113,928,591
- 2014: $3,069,077,597
- 2015: $3,173,787,012
A casino-by-casino look at the numbers
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $23,927,676.61 (-1.17%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $19,882,805 (+11.50%)
Sands Bethlehem and Parx are generally following similar month-to-month trends, ebbing and flowing in unison. In November, both casinos saw slot revenue slide and table game revenue rise.
But throughout most of the year, Parx’s declines have been a bit smaller and their gains a bit bigger. That explains Parx’ ascendence to the top of the monthly revenue charts in Pennsylvania for most of 2016.
But Sands isn’t sitting on its hands, and with online gambling (a vertical Sands would likely have eschewed) facing an uncertain future in 2017, Sands’ proposed $40 million expansion project could be the push it needs to once again overtake Parx.
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $29,973,170.46 (-.93%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $14,381,739 (+20.20%)
Parx continues to outpace Sands as the state’s top revenue generator (Parx’s streak at the top of the charts is now four months), but both properties continue to lose ground to SugarHouse, which has been narrowing the gap throughout 2016.
Interestingly, it has come to light that Parx was against (or at the very least not in favor of) online gambling. Perhaps its hold on the top spot played a part in its lack of support for online gambling at the tail end of 2016?
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $14,098,741.33 (+6.22%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $10,301,474 (+26.54%)
Even when the industry has been down, SugarHouse has been able to buck the trend, as it did once again in November.
SugarHouse is now less than a million dollars (about $600,000 to be more precise) away from taking over the third spot from Rivers, its sister casino in Pittsburgh. That is pretty impressive considering the gap was 10 times as wide a year ago, at more than $6 million.
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $19,787,513.66 (-9.46%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $5,295,858 (-6.56%)
Rivers’ revenue was down across the board in November. There is nothing remarkable in the casino’s dip in and of itself, as most casinos in the market suffered a similar fate.
That being said, looking forward to 2017, Rivers is likely to lose its hold on the No. 3 spot to SugarHouse sooner rather than later.
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $14,979,396.65 (-11.76%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $4,735,526 (-13.44%)
Harrah’s had a tough October, and November wasn’t any better.
Following a 10 percent decline in slot revenue and an 18 percent drop in table game revenue in October, Harrah’s saw double digit declines in both areas once again in November. Slot revenue dropped almost 12 percent and table game revenue nearly 13.5 percent.
In November 2015, Harrah’s was ahead of SugarHouse by about four percent; in 2016 SugarHouse is in front of Harrah’s by almost 20 percent.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $16,328,388.94 (-8.44%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $2,868,969 (-15.68%)
The story of November was drops in both table game revenue and slot machine revenue, and the Mohegan Sun numbers followed suit.
Mount Airy Casino Resort
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $10,507,043.13 (-4.91%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $3,494,310 (-8.31%)
After surviving the slot revenue declines that hit the industry in October (one of only three casinos that saw slot revenue rise last month), Mount Airy succumbed in November, as slot revenue was down nearly five percent.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $6,000,843.07 (-1.24%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $2,495,262 (-11.60%)
All things considered, Valley Forge had a decent November. Slot revenue was down just a percentage point, and even with a sharp drop in table game revenue, the casino’s total revenue was down less than five percent.
The Meadows Casino
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $16,929,802.45 (-6.19%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $2,746,001 (+19.03%)
Meadows had a disastrous month on the slot revenue front (the fourth worst drop in the industry), but the casino’s sharp uptick in table game revenue helped offset it, keeping Meadows’ YoY decline at just 3.33 percent.
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $8,796,250.13 (-2.57%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $1,110,985 (-8.97%)
Presque Isle revenue was down across the board, but the racino managed to limit the damage. Total gaming revenue dropped by 3.33 percent, making Presque Isle the fifth best performing casino in November.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $15,889,807.33 (-4.11%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $2,605,722 (+3.71%)
Only SugarHouse, Parx and Sands had a better November than Hollywood Park. The casino mitigated its slot revenue decline with a slight uptick in table game revenue, which limited the damage and kept its YoY decline at just three percent.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- Slot revenue, November 2016: $2,180,970.18 (-7.85%)
- Table game revenue, November 2016: $319,014 (-25.49%)
Lady Luck was posting $3-million months earlier this year, but the small casino has fallen back once again, and revenue is back in the $2.5 million range heading into 2017.