Pennsylvania Casinos Stay On Roller Coaster Ride With An Up And Down October

November 18, 2016
Pennsylvania Casinos Stay On Roller Coaster Ride With An Up And Down October

The ups and downs continue for Pennsylvania casinos in terms of gaming revenue.

The top-line look at PA casino revenue

Casinos generated $263 million in October of this year, according to data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. That’s down about $1.4 million from the October of last year, a decrease of 0.9 percent.

The month was saved by revenue from table games, which ticked up more than five percent year YoY. October‘s gross table games revenue generated $71.1 million, or $3.6 million more than October 2015.

Slot machine revenue was released previously released by the PGCB. October saw revenue from slots dip three percent, or almost six million dollars.

The calendar can’t really be blamed for the poor year-over-year performance. October in both 2015 and 2016 had five full weekends, although there was one fewer Friday this year.

The revenue numbers came after PA casinos posted a solid September nearly across the board on the heels of a bad August.

Tax revenue for the state was about $114 million in October.

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Winners and losers in PA

October is a month a lot of casinos will be happy to forget, as numbers were down across most of the 12 gaming facilities.

But one — Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino — had a banner month.

Total revenue was up an incredible 18.7 percent, from $21.5 million last October to $25.6 million this October. It’s not clear how or why SugarHouse bucked a negative trend that affected almost all of its competitors in such a big way. Without SugarHouse’s big month, the numbers would have been much more dire.

Only three other casinos posted gains YoY, and those were all minimal, including Parx Casino, also in Philadelphia (+2.1 percent, $900K).

Parx continued to lead the way as the No. 1 casino in PA in terms of revenue ($44.6 million). It widened the gap with No. 2, Sands Bethlehem. Sands saw revenue drop more than three percent, about $1.4 million (total of $41.9 million).

Taking the biggest hit in October was Harrah’s Philadelphia, down more than 11 percent to $22.2 million.

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What’s next in PA?

PA casinos can rest a bit easier in the short term that their revenue won’t be impacted by more competition to the east.

New Jersey voters handily defeated a ballot measure that would have allowed casinos in North Jersey. That would have had the potential to siphon off gaming revenue from eastern PA casinos.

In the meantime, the Pennsylvania legislature has pumped the breaks on a gambling package that could alter gaming in the state in a big way. That would include the possible authorization of online gambling.

The statehouse must also attempt to fix an unconstitutional casino host tax that has a nine-figure impact on jurisdictions in the state.

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