Good JuJu vs. Bad Juju: FanDuel Taking Bets for Smith-Schuster vs. AB

FanDuel Sportsbook is offering fan service for Steelers Nation. PA bettors can wager on whether or not JuJu Smith-Schuster will outperform Antonio Brown.

Antonio Brown gave the world a lesson in how to burn bridges.

Now, oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino are giving you the chance to make prop bets on whether the new Oakland Raiders will shine brighter than his protege, JuJu Smith-Schuster, this upcoming 2019 NFL season.

“There have been plenty of shots fired between former teammates JuJu Smith Schuster and Antonio Brown over the last week and no doubt each will be trying to outperform the other this season to prove a point,” said FanDuel rep Marc Sausa said in an email statement about the novel lines. 

The beef between AB and JuJu

On his way out of Pittsburgh this offseason, Brown made it clear he was not happy with Steelers management or quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The front office underpaid Brown, he claimed, and Big Ben was a negative presence in the locker room, so much so that Brown left a practice leading up to the final game of the 2018 season.

And, recently, Brown took jabs at now-#1 wideout Smith-Schuster.

In a tweet timestamped 2:10 p.m., April 7, Brown ripped into his younger counterpart. He referenced Smith-Schuster’s costly fumble in the Steeler’s must-win game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! 🤙🏾 by the way check the list <a href=”https://t.co/2SWWT8k0jx”>https://t.co/2SWWT8k0jx</a></p>&mdash; Antonio Brown (@AB84) <a href=”https://twitter.com/AB84/status/1114953676202762240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 7, 2019</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Smith-Schuster fired back with his own tweet, taking the high road by saying:

“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/a big contract, and how he takes shots at me on social media?”

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The prop bets between AB and JuJu

This feud is now the stuff of legends and the basis for FanDuel’s pair of futures bets. One pits the two against each other in TD’s and the other in receiving yards:

  • More touchdowns
    • Antonio Brown: -220
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster: +175
  • More Yards
    • Antonio Brown: -140
    • Juju Smith-Schuster: +115

Based on these odds, Brown is the favorite to score more touchdowns and rack up more yards.

Interestingly, though, the two receivers were relatively evenly matched in 2018 when it came to catches and yards:

  • JuJu: 15 games, 111 catches, 1,426 yards, 7 touchdowns
  • AB: 15 games, 104 receptions, 1,297 yards, 15 TD’s.

Smith-Schuster enjoys the luxury of a high-powered offense that includes running back James Conner and a legendary QB.

While AB is now the star in a relatively pedestrian audience, he brings with him an uncanny ability to haul in TD’s. He’s logged double-digit touchdowns in four of his past five seasons.

Interestingly, Smith-Schuster posted career highs in his third season. His numbers exceeded what AB put up in his third season in the league.

Both JuJu and AB were playing behind stars (AB, Mike Wallace) and emerged as a star in their own right.

If you’d like to place a prop bet on these two wideouts, you can do so in person at Valley Forge Casino. Or, if it is easier, you can always pop over the New Jersey state line and take advantage of FanDuel’s online betting app there.

You Want Brackets? FanDuel Has Free Brackets, Contests, And $250K

Oh, the madness has begun. And FanDuel Sportsbook is ready to amp it up even more.

The newest legal sportsbook in Pennsylvania, and an online sports betting mainstay in New Jersey, FanDuel has rolled out an expanded list of offerings ahead of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Among them is the linchpin of March Madness: filling out brackets.

We all expect to go a perfect 63-0 when picking winners in each game, though the probability of that is low. Mathematicians have pegged such an occurrence at 1 in 9.2 quintillion. Even getting into the second round without a loss is dang near impossible.

With FanDuel Bracket Madness, though, you don’t need to be perfect to claim a share of $250,000 in prizes.

Fill out the bracket to fill up your wallet

The FanDuel Bracket Madness is not limited to state borders. Even better? It’s free to play.

Open to anyone with 21 years and older and access to the FanDuel Sportsbook website can create a free account to become eligible to participate in the bracket challenge.

Once the tournament field is set on March 17, users can begin filling out their brackets. They must be completed by March 21.

Each correct pick earns points. With more points come better odds at claiming a larger portion of the $250,000 prize pool.

The breakdown of said pool ranges from $100,000 for first place to $25 for 1,000th. The distribution looks like this:

PlacePrize
1st$100,000
2nd$50,000
3rd$25,000
4th-5th$10,000
6th-10th$1,000
11th-20th$500
21st-50th$250
51st-100th$100
101st-500th$50
501st-1,000th$25

Should users tie, awards will be combined and divided among them. FanDuel limits users to one bracket.

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But wait, there’s more at FanDuel Sportsbook

An industry leader in New Jersey that just expanded into PA sports betting, FanDuel Sportsbook also offers a daily free-to-play contest revolving around the tourney.

With Props Pick’em, users will play a daily props game in which they compete for $10,000 jackpots during each day of the tournament. Should no winner emerge on any given day, that total will roll over into the next day.

Of course, FanDuel Sportsbook will offer its traditional sports betting markets as well as several other promotions for customers within New Jersey borders:

  • Bandwagon Bonus: Place any NCAA championship futures bet, receive a $5 bonus for each game that team wins in the tournament.
  • Conference Tournaments: Wager at least $10 on five or more conference tournament games, receive $10 in FanDuel Sportsbook site credit.

FanDuel’s latest offerings reflect its effort in “innovating with our customer in mind,” FanDuel Group Chief Product Office Nik Bonnadio said in a release.

“So, whether sports fans just want to bet on a team, player prop, or simply fill out a bracket – we make it easy for them to do it all in one place with just a few clicks of the button. Everything you want to do for March Madness can be done on FanDuel.”

FanDuel continues to expand, including into PA

These latest moves by FanDuel Sportsbook follow a successful launch in Pennsylvania this week.

The sportsbook recently opened its retail location at Valley Forge Casino Resort. Certainly, FanDuel expects to be among the first to introduce online sports betting in the state when it receives the green light summer.

Interestingly, FanDuel Bracket Madness also hit the market shortly after DraftKings Sportsbook introduced a similar offering. FanDuel’s chief competitor announced free-to-play and $20 entry pools for filling out brackets earlier this week.

FanDuel Beats Turf Club To Launch In Valley Forge Battle

It’s a busy couple of days for PA sports betting. Valley Forge Turf Club began testing on Tuesday. FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino starts testing Monday.

Two new sportsbooks are arriving in Pennsylvania just in time for March Madness.

Both Valley Forge Turf Club and FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino began testing this week. Now area bettors have two new options for gaming before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off on March 21.

FanDuel Sportsbook started testing on Monday. Valley Forge Turf Club followed suit on Tuesday. The Valley Forge Casino book launches officially on Wednesday. Turf Club’s full launch is set for Thursday.

“The goal the whole time was to be open for March Madness,” Jeff Lowich, senior director of retail for FanDuel, told Philly.com. “It’s hard to understand it until you’ve either been through it or seen it. Once you go through that, you don’t want to sit at home and watch a fight or a game on your couch. Whether you’re with friends or even strangers, when you’re in a sportsbook, it’s just fun.”

Former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek is scheduled to attend the sportsbook’s grand opening. He will place the ceremonial first bet.

FanDuel looking to build on NJ success

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming purchased Valley Forge Casino last September. Since then, it added more than $40 million in upgrades to the property.

The casino’s sportsbook aims to continue the success of the FanDuel brand, which launched its first sportsbook last summer at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. According to Legal Sports Report, FanDuel’s Meadowlands property led all New Jersey sportsbooks in combined digital and retail revenues from December to January, taking in over $16 million.

Now, the brand will branch across the region with its first sportsbook in Pennsylvania, a rapidly growing sports betting market. The Keystone State should have at least nine sportsbooks open before football season.

“People are already familiar with FanDuel,” Boyd Gaming spokesperson David Strow said in January. “It’s a reason for people to come to Valley Forge Casino Resort and give our product a try.”

Valley Forge Turf Club is Parx’s third book

Valley Forge Turf Club in Oaks, PA, started taking bets on Tuesday. The sportsbook recently completed a $500,000 renovation to prepare for the opening. The improvements include several high-definition televisions and improved surveillance equipment.

Last month, Greenwood Gaming, which also owns Parx Casino in Bensalem, opened a sportsbook at South Philadelphia Turf Club. With the arrival of the Valley Forge property, Greenwood will become a clear leader in Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry with three of the eight PA sportsbooks.

In court filings for its bid to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the company highlighted the strengths of Valley Forge Turf Club.

“Situated near Philadelphia’s ‘Main Line,’ the facility is ideally suited for a sports wagering operation as it is easily accessible to sports fans and travelers,” Greenwood’s court filings read, according to Philadelphia Business Journal.

PA closing the gap on NJ sports betting

With the arrival of two more sportsbooks this month, Pennsylvania is moving closer to challenging its neighbor New Jersey on the sports betting front. New Jersey is home to more sportsbooks. More importantly, the Garden State’s big edge is digital wagers. Online betting accounts for roughly 80 percent of all wagers in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania isn’t expected to launch online betting until July.

This month’s wagers might provide an interesting glimpse into what the future holds. With Pennsylvania claiming about 3.8 million more people than New Jersey, PA could soon overtake its neighbor in gambling revenue once mobile betting arrives. For now, the state’s casinos can simply expect record revenues in February for its relatively new betting industry. Hopefully, the Super Bowl gave the industry a big boost compared to January.

As for March, PA has two new properties are entering the fray and the immensely popular NCAA Tournament, which should make for another good month.

Valley Forge Getting Not One, But Two Sportsbooks In Immediate Future

The Valley Forge area will soon have more sportsbooks than Pittsburgh. Within two weeks both Valley Forge Casino and Valley Forge Turf Club should launch.

Pennsylvania will soon host its seventh retail sportsbook. The Valley Forge Turf Club should open its doors sometime in the next two weeks, according to Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) Chief Counsel Doug Sherman.

The launch will mark the second off-track betting location to offer Pennsylvania sports betting. South Philadelphia Turf Club opened in January 2019.

Both turf clubs are owned by Greenwood Gaming, which also owns Parx Casino. Thus, Greenwood will own more sportsbooks in Pennsylvania than any other operator.

Coincidentally, both turf clubs plan to raise their admission age from 18 to 21. While horse racing allows betting for 18 and up, the off-track betting parlors will adhere to sports betting’s age limits.

Valley Forge Turf Club sportsbook details

The new sportsbook will be the result of a $500,000 renovation of the existing OTB parlor area. The updates include the addition of several high-definition televisions and improved surveillance equipment.

Valley Forge Turf Club will also have the following features:

  • 6 tellers and 14 kiosks for sports betting
  • 23 tellers and 13 kiosks for horse racing

The kiosks will be Novomatic-TV-830 model machines. Greenwood Gaming already has 30 of these machines in operation at the other two sportsbooks. Kambi, Parx’s sports betting partner, powers the kiosks.

How things are going at South Philly Turf Club

The debut of a second off-track betting parlor-turned-sportsbook would suggest that things are going swimmingly at South Philadelphia Turf Club (SPTC). So far, there is only limited information about how well the SPTC is doing.

Last month, the SPTC accepted $858,130 in wagers. From that handle, the book held $91,835, the lowest revenue amount in the state.

Bear in mind that the SPTC opened its doors on Jan. 17. So, that figure represents two weeks of service.

However, Harrah’s Philadelphia did not launch its retail sportsbook until a week later, on Jan. 24. Yet, Harrah’s managed to keep $103,569 out of just over $615,000 in handle.

So, the newer casino-based sportsbook ran far more efficiently than its OTB counterpart. Harrah’s Philadelphia, in fact, had an operating profit margin (revenue divided by handle) of 16.82 percent in January 2019.

As it turns out, in terms of operating profit margin, Harrah’s outperformed every sportsbook in Pennsylvania aside from Parx. In fact, the SPTC was the next-most-efficient location, with a hold percentage of 10.7 percent.

Based upon this metric (if not absolute numbers), the SPTC was quite successful. So, perhaps the Valley Forge Turf Club’s debut makes sense after all.

Two other sportsbooks on the horizon

The Valley Forge Turf Club’s debut would, indeed, be the seventh sportsbook to open in Pennsylvania. However, that number should grow larger in a very short time. In fact, another property might beat the OTB to the punch.

Valley Forge Casino is on a similar launch trajectory. It is likely that the book will open in time to accept wagers on March Madness games.

Presque Isle Downs should also open its sportsbook in March or April. So, by the time the summer rolls around, there will likely be nine different retail sportsbooks active in the Keystone State. Hopefully, after that, the focus can shift to getting online sport betting off the ground.

For Most PA Casinos, Revenue Remains Steady As She Goes

When it comes to PA casino revenue, no news is good news, with September 2018 numbers holding steady at the 12 Pennsylvania gaming properties.

September marked another big month for most of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) this week, casinos combined to post statewide total gaming revenues of $268,519,825 throughout the month. The number is down less than one percent from the September 2017 statewide total gaming revenue figure of $271,012,678.

September 2018 PA slot machine revenues are actually up 0.42 percent from the same month last year, hitting $196,209,617.90.

However, a decrease of 4.4 percent in table games revenue, from $75,615,712 in September 2017 to $72,310,207 last month, caused a slight statewide total gaming revenue dip.

The state collected $11,634,379 in tax revenue from table games and $102,279,882 in tax revenues from slots throughout the month.

PA’s 12 casinos operated 25,471 slot machines and 1,281 table games on a daily basis during September 2018.

Parx on top, Sands slipping

Parx continued to hold on to the title of top-grossing casino in the state. It posted $49,185,572 in total gaming revenue, up 3.66 percent from $47,447,881 in September 2017.

However, perennial second-place finisher Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem saw its numbers dip substantially. It held on to second place, but total gaming revenue figures dropped more than 10 percent from $47,506,731 in September 2017 to $42,633,271 last month.

Sands continued to post the biggest table game revenue numbers in the state, despite reporting an 18.8 drop from $22,688,379 in September 2017 to $18,422,996 last month. Its slot revenue numbers dropped 2.45 percent from $24,818,351.87 in September 2017 to $24,210,274.55.

Sands revenue numbers appear to have been falling since March 2018, when the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality announced it would be buying the property for $1.3 billion from Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The ascension of Valley Forge

Valley Forge Casino Resort posted the largest increase in September total gaming revenue. The $10,451,129 in total gaming revenue Valley Forge posted last month marked a 10.48 percent increase over the $9,459,888 it recorded in September 2017.

Valley Forge revenues have been climbing ever since it paid $1 million to the state to eliminate a $10 resort fee for customers at the end of 2017. Boyd Gaming Corporation also entered into an agreement to acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort in December 2017. The Las Vegas, Nevada-based gaming company finalized the $280.5 million deal in September.

PA casino gaming revenue numbers

Five of 12 casinos posted year-over-year gains in September. Here’s a look at the September 2018 total gaming revenue numbers and movement at all 12 casinos:

For most, the numbers are expected to climb substantially with the launch of PA sports betting and PA online casinos coming in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early 2019.

The following charts, courtesy of PlayPennsylvania.com, display September 2018 PA market share numbers and a PA gaming revenue comparison:

Despite No Application Yet, FanDuel Sportsbook Is Coming To PA Soon

Daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator FanDuel is coming to Pennsylvania through Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator FanDuel is coming to Pennsylvania.

Last week, sources inside the company told PlayPennsylvania that a FanDuel Sportsbook mobile sports betting app will soon launch in PA. It will do so out of Boyd Gaming‘s Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia.

FanDuel has already moved into the New Jersey and West Virginia sports betting markets. Pennsylvania appears to be next.

Valley Forge Casino Resort has yet to apply for a $10 million sports betting license with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). However, FanDuel claims an application is in the works.

There is a PGCB meeting scheduled for Sept. 12. However, the board isn’t likely to begin discussing the Valley Forge and FanDuel plan until its Oct. 2 meeting.

Board regulations require sports betting applications to be submitted 90 days before operations launch. However, the Board could approve a Valley Forge and FanDuel license prior to that. A move that may allow operations to launch as early as November.

FanDuel and Paddy Power Betfair

Earlier this year, FanDuel combined operations with Betfair US, a subsidiary of Paddy Power Betfair, one of the largest publicly traded sports betting companies in the world.

The newly created FanDuel Group soon partnered with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey to launch a brick and mortar sportsbook at the track. It opened on Saturday, July 14. Additionally, its FanDuel Sportsbook mobile sports betting app launched this past weekend.

FanDuel has also inked a deal with West Virginia’s The Greenbrier casino resort to provide an onsite wagering platform inside The Casino Club at The Greenbrier. There are also plans for a FanDuel-branded online site and mobile app.

Additionally, the company’s deal with Meadowlands Racetrack includes a long-term agreement to run retail and online and mobile sports betting with Tioga Downs Casino Resort in New York, once New York passes sports betting legislation.

Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group

The news of FanDuel’s entrance into PA through Valley Forge Casino Resort was hinted at in early August when Boyd announced it had inked a deal with FanDuel Group to run online and mobile sports betting operations across the US together.

The agreement gives FanDuel Group market access in states, like PA, where Boyd holds gaming licenses. In return, Boyd gets tech and related services for its Boyd-branded mobile and online sports betting products from FanDuel.

Boyd CEO Keith Smith said that deal put them in position to lead the US sports betting market:

“With more than 40 years of experience, Boyd Gaming is a leader in the gaming and entertainment space, and a natural partner as we continue to build a leading position in the sports betting market. There is incredible momentum in the sports betting space and we look forward to partnering with Boyd Gaming to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to more customers across the United States.”

Boyd and MGM Resorts International

Boyd also struck a deal with MGM Resorts International to run online gambling and mobile sports betting operations together. Both deals mean FanDuel will be working with MGM in additional states where MGM has properties and sports betting is legal.

On the FanDuel side, the agreements do not extend to Nevada. Boyd and MGM already run various proprietary retail and mobile sports betting operations there.

MGM does not operate a casino in PA. This makes Valley Forge the only logical entry point for FanDuel into the Commonwealth’s sports betting market.

Of course, PA sports betting regulations allow license holders only one mobile sportsbook. Plus, that sportsbook must prominently feature the license holder’s name. Therefore, one can expect the product to launch with a name like FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge or something similar.

PA Gaming Board Hands Out Close To Half A Million In Fines

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board dished out a total of $481,116 in fines to one casino and a variety of gaming services firms this week.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) dished out close to half a million dollars in fines last week.

In fact, the Board levied a total of $481,116 in fines to one casino and a variety of gaming services firms at its latest public meeting in Harrisburg on June 27.

The largest fine went to a Nevada-based gaming manufacturer and distributor. Apparently, the firm was doing business with Pennsylvania casinos without proper authorization from the Board, or its knowledge.

American Gaming Systems (AGS) was hit with a $351,271.40 fine. The Board says AGS failed to disclose its intellectual property purchase agreement with a New Jersey casino games company called In Bet Gaming. AGS also did business with PA casinos through In Bet Gaming. Plus, it received proceeds from that business, without gaining authorization or a license from the Board.

In Bet Gaming is authorized by PGCB to conduct gaming related business with PA casinos. A $55,744.60 fine was also levied against it.

PGCB says Pennsylvania licensing requirements were circumvented when games in which AGS holds the intellectual property right were operated in PA casinos.

Super 4 Blackjack Progressive

AGS manufactures and distributes a variety of casino games and slots, including a number of Asian-themed slot machines. Plus, the company produces various versions of traditional table games like Baccarat and Blackjack.

It also runs a number of social casino mobile apps on its own and for various casino partners. For the most part, it’s clients are in the Native American gaming market.

In Bet Gaming is a casino game developer. The company has developed a variety of Blackjack and Baccarat side wager and progressive wager games. The games are in various casinos across the US. In Bet Gaming’s website claims its Super 4 Blackjack Progressive game is available in Pennsylvania. In fact, it lists Valley Forge Casino Resort and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack as locations where the game can be found.

However, AGS bought five games from In Bet Gaming in October 2017, including Super 4 Blackjack Progressive.

As part of the purchase agreement, AGS received the five games and approximately 500 installations of those games. In addition to Super 4 Blackjack Progressive, the other games include:

  • Blackjack Match Progressive
  • Jackpot Blackjack
  • Royal 9
  • Jackpot Baccarat

AGS also purchased In Bet Gaming’s In Between and Criss Cross Poker games in 2014.

Super 4 Blackjack side bets win when the dealer shows an ace. Players trigger the Super 4 Bonus if the dealer makes Blackjack. This allows them to combine their cards with the dealer’s cards to make a four-card poker hand. Various four-card poker hands offer the opportunity to win progressive jackpots.

Excess free slot play

Additionally, a $50,000 fine was levied against operators of Valley Forge Casino Resort. The board says  Valley Forge was guilty of giving out what it calls excess amounts of free slot play.

According to PGCB regulations, PA casinos must impose limits on the amount of free slot play an organization can give away. Plus, they must impose limits on the number of employees who can give it away.

An investigation by the PGCB’s Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement revealed that in 2015 and 2016, various amounts of free slot play was awarded to Valley Forge players by employees who were not authorized to do so. Plus, authorized employees gave away more than approved levels.

Finally, a Nevada-based slot machine provider, licensed to do business with PA casinos, filed financial statements late.

A $24,100 fine was levied against Ditronics Financial Services as a result.

Photo by  nrqemi / Shutterstock.com

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More Losers Than Winners When It Comes To May Casino Revenue

May was a decent month for PA casinos with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reporting slight increases in combined table game and slots revenues.

May was a decent month for PA casinos with revenues pretty much holding steady across the board.

In fact, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported a slight increase in combined table game and slots revenues for the state’s 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos and two smaller resort casinos. As a result, combined total gaming revenues were up 0.43 percent from $277.7 million in May 2017 to $278.9 million last month.

Statewide table game revenues were up 0.6 percent from $74.4 million in May 2017 to $74.9 million last month. Additionally, statewide slot revenues were up 0.37 percent from $203.2 million in May 2017 to $203.99 million in May 2018.

More than $118 million in taxes

The state collected more than $118 million in taxes from the casinos. A little over $106 million of that came from the 25,840 slot machines operating at Pennsylvania casinos. Another $12,058,720 came from the 1,271 table games in operation.

Parx Casino in Bensalem held on to its spot as the states top revenue generating casino. It posted total gaming revenues of $51.7 million, up 7.11 percent from the same month last year.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem continued to post second-place numbers, despite seeing total gaming revenues decline 3.3 percent from $48.2 million in May 2017 to $46.6 million last month.

Valley Forge Casino Resort saw the biggest percentage increase in revenue from last May. In fact, the King of Prussia casino saw a 25.18 percent increase in total gaming revenues from $9.3 million in May 2017 to $11.7 million last month.

The Philadelphia-area casino paid $1 million to the state to eliminate it’s $10 resort fee for customers at the end of last year. It has seen traffic at the property and revenues climb substantially ever since.

PA casino movers and shakers:

Four of 12 PA casinos saw increases in total gaming revenue in May 2018, including:

Unfortunately, the other eight open and operating casinos in the state all saw revenue declines in May.

Mount Airy Casino Resort reported the biggest revenue drop. It saw revenues decline 9.62 percent from $17.2 million in May 2017 to $15.5 million last month.

Here’s a look at the eight PA casinos reporting revenue declines in May 2018:

Below is a pie chart examining May 2018 PA casino market share courtesy of PlayPennsylvania.com:

Additionally, here is a complete May 2018 PA casino revenue analysis also courtesy of PlayPennsylvania.com:

Record-Setting March A Positive Sign For Land-Based PA Casinos

March was a huge month for Pennsylvania casinos with combined revenue across the state’s 12 gaming properties exceeded $300 million for the first time ever.

March was a huge month for Pennsylvania casinos. In fact, combined revenue across the state’s 12 gaming properties exceeded $300 million for the first time ever.

The record-breaking figures were released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Tuesday. They showed gross table games revenue were down slightly from $79,545,431 in March 2017 to $79,165,791 last month. However, combining the table game revenue numbers with earlier reported March slot machine revenue of $221,350,220 brought total gaming revenue up to $300,516,011. This represented a 3.8 percent increase over the $289,529,578 reported last March.

March has consistently been a big month for PA casinos. In fact, the previous monthly high for total gaming revenue of $296,718,018 was reported in March 2013.

Parx leads PA casinos once again

Parx Casino continued to set the pace. It posted $54,635,233 in total gaming revenue throughout the month to top all 12 Pennsylvania casinos. The Philadelphia-area casino’s numbers represented a 9.9 percent increase over the same month last year.

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem held on to the number-two spot. This despite its total gaming revenue dipping 3.31 percent from $48,369,570 in March 2017 to $46,770,619 last month.

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh saw the biggest monthly gains. It’s total gaming revenue jumped from $30,199,493 in March 2017 to $33,546,172 last month. The 11.08 percent increase helped Rivers Casino rise up to third place among PA’s 12 casinos in terms of total gaming revenue.

Valley Forge on the rise

The Philadelphia area’s Valley Forge Casino Resort continues to post gains. This after paying the state’s $1 million fee to drop requirements that limited casino customers to hotel guests, membership holders and patrons of other resort amenities in November of last year.

The casino resort saw total gaming revenues jump 10.54 percent from $10,471,788 in March 2017 to $11,575,606 last month.

The gaming control board also approved the sale of Valley Forge Casino Resort to Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation earlier this month. Boyd first announced plans to buy the property for $280.5 million last year.

Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Poconos Mountains region saw the biggest drop in terms of total gaming revenue compared to March last year. It’s total gaming revenue dropped 5.88 percent from $16,466,470 in March 2017 to $15,497,865 last month.

More than $128 million in taxes collected

The state continued to be the largest single beneficiary of gaming revenue increases. In fact, total tax revenue collected from table games and slots reached $128,261,552 in March 2018. This number includes $115,518,487 from an average of 25,815 slot machines. Plus, $12,743,065 from an average of 1,268 table games in operation statewide on a daily basis throughout the month.

According to PGCB, the majority of the tax revenue collected is used for property tax reduction for Pennsylvania homeowners.

All monthly PA casino revenue figures are posted on the board’s web site.

Boyd’s Holiday Spending Spree Includes Valley Forge Casino

Boyd Gaming has inked an agreement with Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, L.P., to acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, PA for $280.5 million.

Las Vegas, Nevada’s Boyd Gaming Corporation ended 2017 with a flurry of casino acquisition activity. Activity that included buying its first-ever casino property in Pennsylvania: Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Wyomissing, PA’s Penn National Gaming announced the week before Christmas it is buying competitor Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. The acquisition is a cash-and-stock deal worth close to $2.8 billion. However, in order to meet regulatory requirements, Penn National is being forced to sell the gaming operations of four existing Pinnacle properties it will acquire through the purchase. Boyd Gaming has stepped in to buy the casinos for $575 million in cash.

The properties are:

  • Ameristar Kansas City
  • Ameristar St. Charles
  • Belterra Park
  • Belterra Casino Resort

At the time, Boyd Gaming said it expects the four-casino deal to close in the second half of 2018.

Boyd buying Valley Forge

Just a few days later, Boyd Gaming announced it has also entered into an agreement with Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, L.P., to acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, PA. The purchase price is listed as $280.5 million.

Before these transactions, Boyd Gaming already owned and operated two dozen gambling operations across the country. This includes a dozen in the Las Vegas-area alone. Its flagship property is the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Valley Forge Casino Resort is just 20 miles west of downtown Philadelphia. It will be Boyd Gaming’s first Pennsylvania casino. The Keystone State is the second-largest commercial gaming state in the nation behind Nevada.

Boyd Gaming’s President and Chief Executive Officer Keith Smith said in a press release the acquisition represented a growth opportunity for both Boyd and Valley Forge:

“The acquisition of Valley Forge Casino Resort is another excellent opportunity to further grow and diversify our nationwide portfolio. With this acquisition, we will expand into the second-largest gaming state in the country, establishing a presence in a densely populated, high-traffic area just west of Philadelphia. And thanks to Pennsylvania’s recent passage of gaming expansion legislation, there are new opportunities to drive incremental growth at Valley Forge through the expansion of the property’s slot capacity and the introduction of new forms of gaming.”

Valley Forge currently boasts a 40,000-square foot casino with 600 slot machines and 50 table games. Plus, the property also includes nearly 500 hotel rooms, eight restaurants and bars, and more than 100,000 square feet of convention space.

It sits just two miles north of King of Prussia Mall, the largest shopping mall in the country.

Valley Forge slot expansion

In November, Valley Forge paid the state to have its customer admission fee abolished, and made plans to add 250 more slot machines, in accordance with new laws governing gambling expansion. However, the new laws also allow the property to offer online gambling within the state, as well as sports betting, should it ultimately be permitted under federal law.

Smith said Boyd is considering jumping in both sectors in PA.

He also said the recent acquisitions bring Boyd Gaming’s casino portfolio up to 29 casino properties operating across 10 states. Additionally, Smith said the acquisitions give the company direct access to four of the nation’s largest gaming markets in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Cincinnati.

Boyd expects the Valley Forge transaction will close in the third quarter of 2018.