New numbers from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) indicate the state’s 12 casinos grossed 0.2 percent more in April 2018 than they did in April 2017.
While April’s growth was slight, it marks two months in a row that PA slots revenues have risen over the previous year.
Breaking down the numbers: Winners and losers
Of the 12 casinos in the state, only four posted gains over April 2017:
- Valley Forge Casino Resort: 9.07%
- Presque Isle Downs and Casino: 7.22%
- Parx Casino: 6.04%
- Rivers Casino: 4.32%
Parx and Rivers are two of the top three revenue earners in the state. The April bottom line benefited from this fact, as the two casinos steadied the losses sustained by other properties.
In fact, April marks the second-straight month that all four casinos on the list have posted positive numbers.
In March, the gains were as follows:
- Valley Forge: 13.64%
- Presque Isle: 11.53%
- Rivers: 9.45%
- Parx: 9.01%
Meanwhile, the other eight casinos struggle through April. Here’s a rundown of their slots revenue losses:
- Lady Luck Nemacolin: -10.70%
- The Meadows Casino: -8.36%
- Mohegan Sun Pocono: -3.46%
- Harrah’s Philadelphia: -3.05%
- Hollywood Casino: -1.93%
- Sands Casino Resort: -1.01%
- SugarHouse Casino: -0.90%
- Mount Airy Casino Resort: -0.40%
The good news for the Mohegan Sun, Sands, and SugarHouse is that their March gains trumped their April losses, putting them ahead in slots for the past two months.
The good news about the April numbers is that they represent two consecutive months of positive YOY growth.
According to PGCB Communications Director Doug Harbach, the average swing in YOY slot revenue ranges from 2 percent growth to 2 percent decline and has been steady for the past few years.
“Our slots numbers have remained consistent over the past number of years even with growing competition … we have seasoned operators who do a very good job of meeting the market demands. They also continue to grow the amenities at the facilities which, in turn, can give patrons more reason to visit and stay longer.”
Looking ahead: How will online slots play out?
A downturn of brick-and-mortar revenue isn’t out of the ordinary during January and February, as inclement weather tends to roll in and keep people away from casinos. As the weather warms and steadies out, slots revenue should level off and continue an upward climb.
However, once the bad weather rolls around next year, brick-and-mortar slots revenue may take an extra hit from the online slots that presumably will be available in January and February.
New Jersey is a good test case for this, as January and February were tough months for land-based casinos as historic rainfall and storms barrelled through the state.
However, the losses casinos experienced weren’t as bad as they could be. Gamblers who didn’t want to brave the bad weather stayed and home and gambling on New Jersey’s online casinos. The revenue from those online gamblers tempered Atlantic City’s losses.
Online slots act as an extra source of revenue but, when it comes to temperamental New England weather, the extra online revenue sources act as insurance against anything that would keep people out of land-based casinos.