The Pennsylvania casino industry as a whole stopped growing at a fast rate some time ago. But casinos still managed to break a record ten years after the industry first launched in the state.
The growth was largely led by a paid of Philadelphia casinos.
PA revenue is good news in 2016
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released full-year gambling revenue figures for 2016 this week.
Year over year in PA
The top-line number: Total gaming revenue for slot machines and table games combined exceeded $3.2 billion for the calendar year.
The final tally ($3.213 billion) was up 1.25 percent from 2015 ($3.173 billion). It became the sixth straight calendar year in which the total casino revenue figure topped $3 billion.
The last time the PA casino industry saw a massive uptick was 2010 to 2011, when revenue increased by about half a billion dollars.
Tax revenue in 2016 from the combined play of slot machines and table games checked in at $1.39 billion.
For the history of PA casinos…
The full amount of revenue across all casinos for the history of casinos in PA: Just under $26 billion.
Revenue returned to Pennsylvania in the form of taxes and license fees since the first casino opening is approximately $13.3 billion.
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Slots vs. table games in PA
Slot machine revenue was slightly down in 2016 from 2015.
But table games revenue reached a record high this past year. Table games first went live in 2010, and revenue has increased every year.
In 2016, casinos posted $853 million, an increase of about $45 million over 2015.
Winners and losers for PA casinos
The full-year numbers also painted a picture of what’s going on at individual casinos. The Philadelphia market is the most interesting to see what’s taking shape.
SugarHouse Casino (up about $30 million) and Parx Casino (up about $27 million) both saw substantial increases in revenue for both slot machines and table games from 2015. That appeared to come at least partially at the expense of Harrah’s Philadelphia, which saw revenue drop by about $15 million, year over year.
Sands Bethlehem saw an increase in gaming revenue of more than $20 million, while Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh was down about $14 million.
Gambling expansions on PA’s radar
The state legislature is eyeing a number of changes to gambling law. One that would have a huge impact on PA casinos, if it were to happen in 2017, would be online gambling. It’s expected that iGaming will be appear in an omnibus gaming bill from both Republicans and Democrats.
As the casino industry in New Jersey proved with an uptick in 2016, online gambling is a way to help casinos and expand gaming revenue.