The slot revenue numbers in January are a continuation of an increasingly worrisome trend for the Pennsylvania casino industry.
January marks the fourth consecutive month slot handle has declined year-over-year:
There weren’t many winners in January, as just four of the state’s dozen casinos posted year-over-year revenue increases (and nominal increases at that) with Parx leading the way:
Two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s casinos posted year-over-year revenue declines in January:
The chart below shows market shared by casino for January 2017.
With nearly a fifth of the total casino market, Parx continues to pip Sands as the market leader, but not by much.
Parx could tighten its grip on the top spot should Pennsylvania legalize and regulate online gambling, a vertical Sands has shown zero interest in. Even modest online gambling revenue of a few million dollars per month by Parx could keep Sands perpetually in the number two spot.
Sands had a solid month in terms of slot handle, but a double digit decline in table game revenue did the casino in. Sands’ table games generate more revenue than any other property and account for nearly 50 percent of the casino’s total gaming revenue
As noted above, Sands could fall further behind Parx if online gambling becomes a reality in PA, but Sands also has an ace up its sleeve in the form of a $90 million expansion project it’s considering.
In a down month, Rivers Casino held relatively steady, which is, for all intents and purposes a win for the Rush Street Gaming property in Pittsburgh.
Compared to its recent growth, January looks like a ho-hum month for Rush Street’s other Pennsylvania casino, SugarHouse in Philadelphia.
However, it’s important to note that most of the casino’s year-over-year growth in 2016 was due to an expansion project that was completed in January 2016. Because of this, year-over-year growth in 2017 will be harder to come by.
With this in mind, SugarHouse is likely very happy with its January numbers.
As SugarHouse has risen, nearby Harrah’s Philadelphia has seen its market share eroded, with SugarHouse supplanting it as the number four casino in the market.
Harrah’s could fall even further down the list, as three other casinos are now nipping on its heels: Mohegan Sun, Meadows, and Hollywood Park.
Mohegan Sun’s table game revenue rose by more than 10 percent YoY, but with slot handle down by almost the same margin it was a bad month for Mohegan Sun, as table games makes up only a sixth or so of the casino’s total gaming revenue.
Meadows is part of what looks like a second tier of casinos in the market – Harrah’s, Mohegan Sun, Meadows, and Hollywood Park – that are all right around the $20 million mark.
Interestingly, each of these four casinos saw slot handle dip and table game revenue rise in January.
Static slot handle combined with a surge in table game revenue put Penn National’s Hollywood Park Casino in the black for the month.
With a 5.5 percent market share, Mount Airy continues to occupy a no-man’s land in between the state’s small casinos (Lady Luck, Presque Isle, and Valley Forge) and the second tier casinos noted above.
The casino is also one of the most inconsistent when it comes to table game revenue, capable of quite a bit variance month-to-month.
Mount Airy was on the good side of variance in January, which helped offset its year-over-year slot decline.
Valley Forge was one of the casinos that was able to buck the industrywide trend of falling slot handle and rising table game revenue.
The casino saw substantial increases in slot handle and an even more significant decline in table game revenue.
Presque Isle’s revenue was down across the board in January, but only by trivial amounts, making January a veritable wash for the racino.
The state’s smallest casino, Lady Luck was one of the few casinos that will look at January 2017 as a good month. Total revenue was up over five percent thanks to a nearly seven percent bump in slot handle year-over-year.