Revenue numbers come as Penn National poised to take over Meadows
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Things Are Looking Up For PA Casinos With Slot Machine Rebound In November

PA casinos looking up
The Pennsylvania casino industry had a lot to be thankful for in November.

The state’s casinos posted year-over-year gains in both slot machine and table game revenue in the month, according to the latest revenue reports issued by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

November marks the second time slot revenue was up YoY in 2017, and just the second time in the past 14 months.

The slot revenue increase occurred despite a slight drop in the total number of slot machines in the state. The average number of slot machines in Pennsylvania casinos during November was 25,827 in 2017, compared to 26,406 machines in November 2016.

Top line numbers for November 2017

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

  • Slot machine revenue: $181,329,655.27 (+1.08 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $72,230,798 (+2.84 percent)
  • Total gaming revenue: $253,560,454 (+1.57 percent)

12-month slot revenue trend

Pennsylvania’s prolonged slot revenue drop is so pronounced that the beginning of the downward trend (October 2016) no longer appears in our 12-month tracking. However, the trend might be reversing. Slot revenue has increased in two of the past three months.

  • 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 (-.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 (-.77 percent)
  • July 2017 slot machine revenue: $209,124,965.58 (-2.01 percent)
  • August 2017 slot machine revenue: $193,190,477.69 (-.39 percent)
  • September 2017 slot machine revenue: $195,396,966.03 (+1.69 percent)
  • October 2017 slot machine revenue: $189,527,493.24 (-1.21 percent)
  • November 2017 slot machine revenue: $181,329,655.27 (+1.08 percent)

*Accounting for the leap year in 2016,  the normalized numbers in February have slot revenue down just .5 percent YoY.

A look at who won and who lost in November

Seven casinos bettered their November 2016 numbers this year. Two casinos, Valley Forge and Mount Airy posted double-digit gains.

Five of the state’s casinos saw November revenue decline in 2017.

That said, all five saw YoY revenue drop by less than 2 percent.

  • Valley Forge Casino Resort: 12.40%
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort: 10.23%
  • Rivers Casino: 6.24%
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: 2.01%
  • SugarHouse Casino: 1.64%
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: 1.04%
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: 0.95%
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: -0.37%
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia: -0.71%
  • Parx Casino: -1.01%
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino: -1.67%
  • The Meadows Casino: -1.82%

Market share: November 2017

Casino-by-casino analysis: November 2017

Parx Casino

A slight YoY revenue decline combined with a slight YoY increase for rival Sands Bethlehem was enough to bump Parx Casino out of the top spot in November.

Sands Bethlehem

Sands casino revenue was up less than one percent in November, but that was enough to out-pip Parx by a tenth of a percent.

Interestingly, it was table games that made the difference, as both casinos saw slot revenue rise by precisely 0.77 percent.

Rivers Casino

Solid gains in slot and table game revenue pushed Rivers Casino’s total revenue up over six percent for the month.

Rivers is the clear No. 3 in the market, and the only casino within striking distance is Rivers’ sister property in Philadelphia, SugarHouse Casino.

SugarHouse Casino

November saw SugarHouse Casino bounce back after a down October. Small increases in slot and table game revenue led to a 1.64 percent increase in total gaming revenue.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

A slight uptick in slot revenue wasn’t enough to offset a drop of over five percent in table game revenue. That said, Harrah’s total casino revenue was down less than one percent for the month.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National

A five percent increase in table game revenue propelled Hollywood casino to a one percent YoY increase in total casino revenue for the month.

The Meadows Casino

Meadows’ table game tear continued in November.

Over the last six months, Meadows table game revenue has grown by 20 percent, 40 percent, 117 percent, 20 percent, 23 percent in October, and 18 percent in November.

Meadows is poised to join Penn National’s portfolio.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

A 16 percent increase in table game revenue was a wash for Mohegan Sun’s three percent decrease in slot revenue in November. Overall, casino revenue fell by just 0.3 percent for the month.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Unlike the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mount Airy’s winning streak is still intact. A 12.5 percent increase in slot revenue saw Mount Airy post yet another double-digit increase in total casino revenue.

Presque Isle Downs and Casino

Presque Isle saw revenue decline across the board, most notably, a near 10 percent drop-off in table game revenue.

Valley Forge Casino Resort

Valley Forge continues to close the gap on Presque Isle, and the Category 3 casino is now on the verge of overtaking the much larger Category 2 facility in terms of revenue.

November saw the revenue gap between Valley Forge and Presque Isle shrink to less than $200,000.

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin

The state’s smallest casino saw revenue rise by two percent for the month.

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.