Run of months with declining PA slot machine revenue nearly reaches a year
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PA Casinos Ride Table Games To Revenue Increase In August, But Slots Slide Again

PA casinos August 2017
Thanks to a double-digit increase in table game revenue, the Pennsylvania casino industry landed in the black for August.

Overall, Pennsylvania’s casinos posted a solid month in August, with total revenue up 2.5 percent, per the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s monthly reports.

Individually, table games and slots continue to walk divergent paths. But gains in table game revenue more than offset this month’s slot revenue decline. It’s a trend that has now reached 11 consecutive months, with no end in sight.

The numbers come as the state legislature continues to consider a gaming package that could legalize online casinos and poker.

Top line numbers for August 2017

Here’s a look at the top line August numbers:

  • Slot machine revenue: $193,190,477.69 (-0.39 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $74,269,815 (+10.92 percent)
  • Total gaming revenue: $267,460,292 (+2.51 percent)

Declines in slot revenue approach one year

Pennsylvania’s run of declining slot revenue has reached 11 consecutive months, and there’s no visible change on the horizon.

One bright spot this month was that the slot decline was the smallest instance during the 11-month period.

  • October 2016 slot machine revenue: $191,850,596.41 (-3.04 percent)
  • November 2016 slot machine revenue: $179,399,603.94 (-4.34 percent)
  • December 2016 slot machine revenue: $185,349,872.22 (-6.17 percent)
  • January 2017 slot machine revenue: $180,304,669.91 (-2.44 percent)
  • February 2017 slot machine revenue: $192,268,470 (-3.95 percent*)
  • March 2017 slot machine revenue: $209,984,146.94 (-0.6 percent)
  • April 2017 slot machine revenue: $205,702,752.11 (-1.58 percent)
  • May 2017 slot machine revenue: $203,248,175.70 (-2.68 percent)
  • June 2017 slot machine revenue: $188,520,750 (-0.77 percent)
  • July 2017 slot machine revenue: $209,124,965.58 (-2.01 percent)
  • August 2017 slot machine revenue: $193,190,477.69 (-0.39 percent)

*Accounting for the leap year in 2016,  the normalized numbers in February have slot revenue down just 0.5 percent YoY.

A look at who won and lost in August

Eight of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos posted YoY revenue increases in August.

For the second consecutive month, Mount Airy led the way. The smallish casino saw its second consecutive double-digit rise in total revenue. Last month, the casino posted a 13 percent increase. This month, Mount Airy was up over 10 percent.

  • Mount Airy Casino Resort: 10.65 percent
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort: 7.21 percent
  • Parx Casino: 7.02 percent
  • The Meadows Casino: 6.93 percent
  • SugarHouse Casino: 2.35 percent
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: 2.17 percent
  • Rivers Casino: 1.56 percent
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino: 1.35 percent

Four of the state’s casinos saw total gaming revenue fall in August.

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia: -5.25 percent
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: -4.57 percent
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: -3.78 percent
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: -1.03 percent

Casino-by-casino analysis for August 2017

Parx Casino

  • Slot revenue: $32,041,962.94 (+0.17 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $16,038,261 (+23.95 percent)

Parx added to its lead over Sands Bethlehem in August. Both casinos were in the black for the month, but Parx’s revenue was up over seven percent. Sands’ revenue rose just two percent.

Most of Parx’s gains came on the table game side of the ledger. The casino is suddenly within striking distance of Sands, which has been the top performing casino in terms of table games since the state legalized them back in 2010.

Last year, Sands’ table game revenue outpaced Parx’s by about $6.5 million. This year, its edge shrunk to under one million.

Sands Bethlehem

  • Slot revenue: $25,129,760.37 (+1.38 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $19,951,914 (+3.19 percent)

After several months of YoY growth, Sands saw revenue decline in July. The fall was short-lived as revenue rebounded nicely in August.

Rivers Casino

  • Slot revenue: $22,182,804.60 (+1.36 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $5,531,455 (+2.36 percent)

Rivers posted modest gains across the board in August, allowing the Pittsburgh-area casino to maintain a tight hold on the third spot in the market.

SugarHouse Casino

  • Slot revenue: $14,017,385.34 (-0.09 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $9,052,540 (+6.38 percent)

Slot revenue was flat for the month, but SugarHouse posted another significant uptick in table game revenue during August.

At its current pace of growth, SugarHouse should start seeing $10 million table-game months in the not-too-distant future.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

  • Slot revenue: $15,989,918.03 (-1.70 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $4,876,524 (-15.30 percent)

Harrah’s continues to move in the opposite direction of nearby competitor SugarHouse. Table game and slot revenue were both down in August.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National

  • Slot revenue: $16,349,109.96 (-3.69 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $2,510,165 (-9.90 percent)

Hollywood Casino is dealing with its own revenue slide, and August was no exception. Revenue was down substantially across the board, including a near 10 percent drop in table game revenue, in what was a good month industry-wide.

The Meadows Casino

  • Slot revenue: $17,851,246.60 (-2.58 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $3,480,125 (+114.12 percent)

What’s in the water at Meadows? After consecutive months of table game revenue increases of 20 percent and 40 percent respectively, Meadows posted triple-digit growth in August.

With table games ascendant, Meadows could be shedding the image that it has to rely solely on slot revenue.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

  • Slot revenue: $17,007,164.68 (-4.99 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $3,680,031 (+22.57 percent)

Mohegan’s August slot revenue decline of five percent was partially offset by solid table game numbers.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

  • Slot revenue: $13,203,637.84 (+6.60 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $4,134,837 (+25.93 percent)

Mount Airy’s strong 2017 continued in August. Table game and slot revenue were both on the rise, leading to 10 percent YoY growth for the property.

Presque Isle Downs and Casino

  • Slot revenue: $10,225,570.11 (+.08 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $1,313,075 (+12.43 percent)

Presque Isle’s August numbers pretty much mirror the industry’s, with static slot revenue and its table game revenue experiencing double-digit growth.

Valley Forge Casino Resort

  • Slot revenue: $6,692,023.23 (+2.53 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $3,299,329 (+18.14 percent)

Valley Forge also had a solid August. The Category 3 casino saw 2.5 percent growth in slots and over 18 percent at its tables. This made it the second biggest gainer for the month.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin

  • Slot revenue: $2,499,893.99 (-6.12 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $401,558 (+13.96 percent)

Despite a solid increase in table game revenue, the state’s smallest casino saw total revenue drop almost four percent YoY, as slot revenue was down more than six percent.

Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania

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Steve Ruddock
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Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.