A more-than four percent increase in table game revenues in Pennsylvania last month could not prevent a decrease in total gambling revenues across the state.

According to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last week, May 2017 table games revenues reached $74,464,759. This represented a close to 4.4 percent year-over-year increase over the $71,342,206 in table game revenues reported in May 2016.

Slot machine revenues in PA continue to decline

However, the board reported earlier this month that Pennsylvania slot machine revenues were down from $208,852,793 in May 2016 to $203,248,176 to last month. This represented a 2.68 percent year-over-year drop.

Plus, combining the two numbers shows Pennsylvania’s total gaming revenue was down 0.89 percent from May of last year. Statewide total gaming revenues hit $277,712,934 in May 2017, compared to $280,194,999 in May 2016.

Statewide total revenue decreases return

Pennsylvania saw five straight months of year-over-year declines in statewide total gaming revenues end in March of this year.

Slot machine revenues continued to decline, but an increase in table game revenues made up the difference. The same held true for April of this year, when table game revenues and total gaming revenues increased, even as slot revenues continued to slide.

Online gambling revenue relief

Of course, relief could be right around the corner as the PA Legislature is currently considering a comprehensive gambling expansion bill that could increase statewide total gaming revenues. The Pennsylvania Senate and House have each passed version of the legislation that would legalize, regulate and tax:

  • online casinos in PA
  • PA online poker rooms
  • daily fantasy sports
  • video gaming terminals at liquor licensed establishments; and
  • tablet gaming at specified airports across the state.

There are currently 10 standalone and racetrack casinos, plus two resort casinos in Pennsylvania.

The average number of slot machines operating daily at these properties last month was 26,092. The average number of table games of in operation daily was 1,236.

Total tax revenue from table games play during May was $12,003,743. However, Pennsylvania charges a 54 percent tax on slot machines, compared to 16 percent on table games. That means total tax revenue from slots was a much larger $107,671,693.

Proposed tax rates for online casino operations continue to be a sticking point for Pennsylvania’s comprehensive gambling expansion bill. The Senate originally passed legislation with a 54 percent proposed tax rate on online casino games.

However, the House amended the bill to include a proposed tax rate of 16 percent across the board on online gambling operations. The bill was passed by the House including this amendment and is currently back before the Senate.

Parx and Sands lead PA casino revenue

In the meantime, the gaming board’s numbers show Parx Casino leading the state in total gaming revenues with $48,318,937. This was up 2.63 percent compared to the same month last year.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem was a close second with $48,222,089 in total gaming revenues, up 1.56 percent from May of 2016.

Both properties have expressed concerns with the idea of state legalizing and regulating online gambling.