Parx, Sands Bethlehem still lead the way for PA casinos

Pennsylvania Casinos Set A New Revenue Record In 2017

PA casinos up 2017

With the help of a monster December, Pennsylvania’s casino industry managed to set a new revenue record in 2017.

Pennsylvania casinos generated $3.227 billion in 2017, besting the previous record of $3.213 billion set last year.

Zeroing in on December, casino revenue was up across the board. Table game revenue jumped over five percent and slot revenue ticked up for the third time in four months, after 11 straight months of decline.

Top line numbers for December 2017

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

  • Slot machine revenue: $187,614,378.63 (+1.22 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $75,843,993 (+5.52 percent)
  • Total gaming revenue: $263,458,371.63 (+2.37 percent)

12-month slot revenue trend

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

  • 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)
  • December 2017 slot machine revenue: $187,614,378.63 (+1.22 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 2017

Collectively, Pennsylvania’s casinos saw slot revenue dip just over one percent for the year. Four casinos did manage to increase their slot revenue haul year over year.

  • Valley Forge Casino Resort: 6.37%
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort: 4.12%
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: 2.79%
  • Rivers Casino: 1.77%
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: -0.41%
  • Parx Casino: -0.42%
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: -0.81%
  • SugarHouse Casino: -1.85%
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino: -3.31%
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino: -3.66%
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack: -4.18%
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: -5.45%

Table games were more of a mixed bag for Pennsylvania casino operators. Table game revenue increased at six casinos, and decreased at six casinos.

  • Mount Airy Casino Resort: 17.61%
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino: 16.55%
  • Parx Casino: 10.18%
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: 5.66%
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: 4.07%
  • SugarHouse Casino: 2.90%
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack: -0.04%
  • Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: -2.42%
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino: -2.65%
  • Rivers Casino: -4.79%
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono: -6.66%
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort: -7.12%

You can see the full numbers here.

Market share: December 2017

Market analysis: December 2017

The four casino logjam

Once you get past the two top dogs — Parx Casino and Sands Bethlehem — and the two Rush Street properties that have a solid hold on the Nos. 3 and 4 spots — Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino — the Pennsylvania market turns into a veritable logjam. There are four casinos all hovering around $20 million in revenue.

They are:

  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National
  • The Meadows Casino
  • Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs

This logjam has persisted for most of the year, but Meadows Casino (which was recently acquired by Penn National) has been making gains of late, particularly on the table game side of the ledger, where revenue has been on the rise for most of 2017.

Over the past seven months, table game revenue at Meadows has grown by:

  • 20 percent in June
  • 40 percent in July
  • 117 percent in August
  • 20 percent in September
  • 23 percent in October
  • 18 percent in November
  • 17 percent in December

Mount Airy continues to climb

Mount Airy has been on a tear throughout 2017. The casino’s slot revenue was up over four percent in 2017 and table game revenue rose by over 17 percent.

Mount Airy still has a long way to go to catch up to the likes of Harrah’s, Mohegan Sun, Hollywood and Meadows, but it is closing the gap.

Valley Forge jumps past Presque Isle

The loosening of restrictions on Category 3 casinos in the gaming expansion bill has already paid off in spades for Valley Forge. After paying the state a one-time fee to do away with the “amenity fee” the casino has seen profits surge, and surpassed Presque Isle (a Category 1 racino) in revenue in December.

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.