PA Casinos’ Slot Machine Revenue Slide Ends At 11 Months

PA casino slot slide
September was a good month for the casino industry in Pennsylvania.

For the second consecutive month, table game revenue grew by double digits. After 11 percent growth in August, September saw a 10-percent spike.

More importantly, slot revenue rose for the first time in 12 months. Overall, the industry underwent nearly four percent growth for the month.

Top line numbers for September 2017

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

  • Slot machine revenue: $195,396,966.03 (+1.69 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $75,609,372 (+9.92 percent)
  • Total gaming revenue: $271,006,338 (+3.86 percent)

12-month slot revenue trend

As mentioned, September saw Pennsylvania’s 11-month run of declining slot revenue come to an end. The question now is this: Is September an outlier, or is this the start of a new trend for Pennsylvania’s casinos? It may be the latter, considering slot revenue was only down 0.39 percent in August.

  • 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)
  • September 2017 slot machine revenue: $195,396,966.03 (+1.69 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 who lost in September

Because of the strong industry-wide numbers, it should come as no surprise that ten of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos posted YoY revenue increases in September.

Somewhat surprisingly, not a single casino posted a YoY gain of more than 8.69 percent.

For the third consecutive month, Mount Airy led the way:

  • Mount Airy Casino Resort: 8.69%
  • Rivers Casino: 8.02%
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: 7.56%
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: 6.56%
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort: 5.03%
  • SugarHouse Casino: 3.52%
  • Parx Casino: 3.36%
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia: 3.10%
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: 3.16%
  • The Meadows Casino: 0.65%

Only two Pennsylvania casinos saw total gaming revenue fall in September:

  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino: -3.37%
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: -3.56%

Casino by casino analysis for July 2017

Parx Casino

  • Slot revenue: $32,393,680.20 (+1.83 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $15,054,201 (+6.83 percent)

Parx lost its monthly battle with Sands, a battle it’s been dominating for more than a year. It passed the title of the top revenue-generating casino in Pennsylvania to its rival, but only by the slimmest of margins.

That margin, $58,850, is just 0.1 percent of Parx’s total September revenue.

Sands Bethlehem

  • Slot revenue: $24,818,351.87 (+.23 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $22,688,379 (+16.93 percent)

As noted above, Sands reclaimed the top spot from Parx in September on the back of a terrific month at the casino’s copious table games.

Sands’ table game revenue is approaching its slot revenue totals.

Rivers Casino

  • Slot revenue: $22,535,898.56 (+7.94 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $5,742,241 (+8.33 percent)

Rivers had the second-best month of any Pennsylvania casino, with total casino revenue growing by more than eight percent.

SugarHouse Casino

  • Slot revenue: $14,646,981.45 (+1.19 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $9,408,164 (+7.37 percent)

SugarHouse has cemented itself as the clear No. 4 casino in the Pennsylvania market, behind frontrunners Parx and Sands, and third-place casino Rivers. (Rivers is SugarHouse’s sister casino, both owned by Rush Street Gaming.)

Continued gains on the table game side of the ledger have allowed the Philadelphia-based casino to separate itself from a tightly bunched group comprising Harrah’s, Mohegan Sun, Hollywood Casino, and Meadows.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

  • Slot revenue: $16,390,263.11 (-1.16 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $5,171,350 (+19.41 percent)

Harrah’s offset a slight decline in slot revenue with strong gains at its tables in September.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National

  • Slot revenue: $17,458,498.50 (+4.46 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $2,853,499 (-4.18 percent)

After some lackluster months, Hollywood righted the ship in September. Strong slot revenue more than offset its drop in table game revenue. The end result was a three percent increase in total gaming revenue.

The Meadows Casino

  • Slot revenue: $17,702,778.30 (-1.66 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $2,465,264 (+21.07 percent)

Over the past four months, Meadows’ table game revenue has grown by 20 percent, 40 percent, 117 percent, and 20 percent.

Once heavily reliant on slot handle, Meadows is starting to morph into something of a dual threat in the market.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

  • Slot revenue: $16,745,265.96 (-6.46 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $4,020,761 (+10.75 percent)

Mohegan’s slot revenue was down nearly 6.5 percent in September.

Not even double-digit growth from its table games could overcome the slot decline and keep the casino out of the red. For the month, total casino revenue was down 3.5 percent.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

  • Slot revenue: $13,444,724.33 (+11.4 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $3,868,690 (+0.23 percent)

For the third consecutive month, Mount Airy led the way in year-over-year growth.

Mount Airy is now nipping on the heels of the mid-pack casinos mentioned above: Meadows, Harrah’s, Mohegan Sun and Hollywood.

Presque Isle Downs and Casino

  • Slot revenue: $9,966,285.78 (+0.93 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $1,167,811 (-29.15 percent)

Presque Isle was one of two casinos to post year-over-year losses for the month. But unlike Mohegan Sun, where declining slot revenue was the culprit, it was a near 30 percent drop in table game revenue that did in Presque Isle.

Valley Forge Casino Resort

  • Slot revenue: $6,742,058.26 (+2.48 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $2,717,830 (+11.93 percent)

It was a good month for Valley Forge, as the Category 3 casino posted solid gains on both fronts.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin

  • Slot revenue: $2,552,179.71 (+2.04 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $451,183 (+42.41 percent)

The state’s smallest casino posted some really big gains in September.

A 42 percent increase in table game revenue boosted Lady Luck’s bottom line by more than 6.5 percent.

Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania

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Steve Ruddock
- 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.