The top-line numbers for Pennsylvania casinos
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released full-month revenue for the state in January on Thursday. The good news? Gross revenue from table games was up 2.1 percent from January of last year. In terms of real dollars, that represents an increase of about $1.5 million, to $72.6 million.
The bad news? Table games didn’t make up for the poor performance of slot machines, which were down about $4 million year over year.
Overall gaming revenue fell about 1.2 percent, or about $3 million, to $255.9 million total.
Trending downward for PA casinos
In a vacuum, the numbers being down for a month aren’t so bad. Indeed, gaming revenue for all of 2016 was up.
But here’s a look at the previous five months for total gaming revenue.
- August 2016 – $260,904,471 (-4.28%)
- September 2016 – $260,937,476 (+2.93%)
- October 2016 – $263,011,981 (-0.91%)
- November 2016 – $249,637,268 (-1.38%)
- December 2016: $257,228,162 (-4.64%)
Including January, that’s the longest sustained period of gaming revenue decline since the state introduced casino gaming more than a decade ago. While gains in table game revenues have mitigated the losses, slot machines have steadily been in decline in PA in terms of revenue.
And there’s not much sign that that trend will abate, without changes from the legislature on gambling. The state is considering a number of changes to its gambling laws, including the regulation of PA online casinos.
Winners and losers in January for PA casinos
The news was bad for two-thirds of the state’s casinos, which experiences losses, YoY:
- Hardest hit, as it had been for much of 2016, was Harrah’s Philadelphia. Revenue was down more than seven percent to $20.4 million. It continues to shed revenue while the other Philadelphia-area casinos experience upticks.
- The biggest surprise might have been Sands Bethlehem. The casino usually vies for the No. 1 position in terms of revenue. But it no badly trails Parx Casino, partly because of a drop in revenue to $42.1 million (five percent drop, $2.3 million.)
- Mohegan Sun Pocono had a poor month as well, down five percent.
The good news was mostly centered in Philly:
- The aforementioned Parx was up nearly seven percent, and now easily leads all casinos in terms of monthly revenue ($46.5 million).
- The news wasn’t quite as good at SugarHouse, but it still bucked the trend of declining revenue, posting gains of about half a million.
- Lady Luck Nemacolin and Hollywood Casino at Penn National were the only other casinos that were up YoY.