Pennsylvania’s casino revenue growth trend continued in May, as the industry posted its ninth consecutive month of year-over-year growth.
However, the torrid rate of growth the industry has posted throughout the first four months of 2016 slowed a bit in May, with gross gaming revenue up less than 1 percent compared to May 2015.
The state is still on pace to easily surpass its best year-to-date in total casino revenue.
Once again, it was table games that bolstered the revenue numbers. Table game revenue was up nearly seven percent in May, offsetting a one percent decrease in slot revenue.
Of note, it was a tumultuous month, as several casinos posted huge gains in table game revenue, while several others posted huge losses.
A look inside the YTD revenue numbers
Here is a look at the year-to-date 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%)
Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania
- 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
Who’s up in PA
- March 2016 revenue: $25,244,569 (2015: $23,358,038)
- YoY change +8.08%
In May, SugarHouse saw its current growth trend continue, this time by over 8 percent. SugarHouse also eclipsed the $25 million mark in May, and continues to look like a real contender to chase down some of the market leaders now that it has all the pieces in place to be a top-flight destination casino.
SugarHouse’s rise has also thrust it ahead of nearby Harrah’s Philadelphia (actually located in Chester) for the local market lead.
- March 2016 revenue: $47,481,906 (2015: $44,826,256)
- YoY change +5.92%
Considering the previous trend line (Parx was putting more and more distance between itself and Sands), It will be interesting to see if I oversold Parx’s rise. It could be an outlier month in the Sands/Parx rivalry.
- March 2016 revenue: $47,081,032 (2015: $44, 862,541)
- YoY change +4.95%
Parx may have lost ground to Sands, but the casino still posted solid year-over-year gains, up nearly 5 percent thanks to increases in both slot revenue and table-game revenue.
Valley Forge Casino Resort
- March 2016 revenue: $10,920,807 (2015: $10,418,014)
- YoY change +4.83%
Valley Forge continued its consistent and methodical increase in gross gaming revenue in May, as the small casino nearly hit the $11 million mark in monthly revenue. The increase was on the back of a 32 percent increase in table game revenue.
The Meadows Casino
- March 2016 revenue: $22,370,206 (2015: $22,072,462)
- YoY change +1.35%
Following a terrific March and April, Meadows‘ growth slowed a bit in May, as the casino posted a trivial year-over-year increase in monthly revenue. That being said, Meadows’ table games were up over 18 percent in May.
Who’s down in PA
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
- March 2016 revenue: $11,522,203 (2015: $11,640,688)
- YoY change -1.02%
Presque Isle seems destined to linger in the $10 million to $12 million range. The small racino is on the verge of being overtaken by Valley Forge in the near future.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National
- March 2016 revenue: $21,700,994 (2015: $22,041,202)
- YoY change -1.54%
Another ho-hum month for Hollywood Casino has allowed some of its competitors to put even more distance between themselves and the historic racetrack. Hollywood Casino now sits in the bottom half of the state’s 12 casinos in terms of overall monthly revenue.
- March 2016 revenue: $24,038,376 (2015: $24,873,170)
- YoY change -3.36%
As alluded to above, SugarHouse’s gains seem to be having a direct impact on nearby Harrah’s. Revenue was down again at the Caesars Entertainment property. If things don’t turn around soon, Harrah’s could be the clear second fiddle in the Philadelphia area casino market.
If this trend continues, Harrah’s could also find itself at the bottom of the trail pack in the near future.
Mount Airy Casino Resort
- March 2016 revenue: $16,342,852 (2015: $17,007,334)
- YoY change -3.91%
Mount Airy took a hit in May, as revenue dropped nearly 4 percent year-over-year.
Down the road, the casino could very well jump into the second tier of casinos in Pennsylvania, provided the legislature passes a proposed gaming reform bill. That legislation would allow Category 3 casinos (like Mount Airy) to pay a one-time fee to eliminate their membership fee requirement, and to expand the number of slot machines and table games permitted on the property.
- March 2016 revenue: $27,854,334 (2015: $29,422,394)
- YoY change -5.33%
Rivers had a bad May, with revenue down over 5 percent year-over-year, largely because of a near 8 percent drop in slot revenue.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- March 2016 revenue: $2,893,548 (21015: $3,057,822)
- YoY change -5.37%
The also-ran of the Pennsylvania casino industry, the Lady Luck Casino, was also one of the biggest year-over-year losers in the market last month. The drop-off saw the casino’s monthly revenue total dip back below the $3 million mark.
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
- March 2016 revenue: $22,744,173 (2015: $24,388,010)
- YoY change -6.74%
After 4 percent growth in April, Mohegan Sun came crashing back down in May, as revenue dropped almost 7 percent. Interestingly, Mohegan’s drop can be attributed to a loss in table-game revenue, not slots, a rare occurrence for such a large casino.
Mohegan’s table-game revenue was down a staggering 28 percent in May, the most of any casino.