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Pennsylvania Casinos Can Thank Sports Betting For Revenue Holding Steady

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PA sports betting and casino revenue

After a record-setting March, the Pennsylvania casino industry saw its revenue fall by just over 1% in April.

However, April 2019 bested April 2018… if the $4.2 million generated by Pennsylvania’s licensed sportsbooks is added to the revenue mix.

On the month-over-month level, the March to April dip isn’t unexpected. Outside of the summer months, March is huge revenue month for gaming on the East Coast, and a slowdown in April has become a common occurrence.

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What about DFS?

The first full year of licensed, regulated daily fantasy sports in Pennsylvania was fairly underwhelming.

All told, Pennsylvania’s licensed DFS operators tallied $22.5 million during their first 12 months. By comparison, New Jersey’s online casino industry tallied $36.5 million in April alone.

So, while states were busy legalizing DFS in recent years, they seem to have had their heads down and missed the proverbial golden goose walking by. Fortunately, Pennsylvania didn’t fall into that trap. The state legalized online gambling and DFS at the same time. PA online casinos are preparing for a scheduled July 15 launch date.

Topline revenue numbers

According to the revenue reports issued by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s gambling operators collectively tallied just over $280 million in April.

April 2019 Pennsylvania casino revenue numbers:

  • Slot machine revenue: $200,359,402.90 (-2.82%)
  • Table game revenue: $77,448,426 (+3.72%)
  • Sports betting revenue: $4,221,482 (no Y/Y comp)
  • Total gaming revenue (including sports): $282,029,311

12-month slot revenue trend

After a five-month run of year-over-year gains, slot revenue finally crashed in April. That’s just the third time the state has experienced a Y/Y slot revenue decline in the last 12 months.

  • May 2018 slot machine revenue: $203,993,259.02 (+.37 percent)
  • June 2018 slot machine revenue: $197,763,672 (+4.9 percent)
  • July 2018 slot machine revenue: $203,643,985.78 (-2.62 percent)
  • August 2018 slot machine revenue: $201,729,430.81 (+4.42 percent)
  • September 2018 slot machine revenue: $196,209,617.90 (+.42 percent)
  • October 2018 slot machine revenue: $186,255,556.07 (-1.73 percent)
  • November 2018 slot machine revenue: $183,069,176.86 (+.96 percent)
  • December 2018 slot machine revenue: $202,840,435.32 (+8.12 percent)
  • January 2019 slot machine revenue: $179,842,150 (+1.15 percent)
  • February 2019 slot machine revenue: $189,976,151.61 (+.49 percent)
  • March 2019 slot machine revenue: $226,597,681.24 (+2.37 percent)
  • April 2019 slot machine revenue: $200,359,402.90 (-2.82 percent)

A look at who was up and who was down

As expected in a down month, only four of the state’s 12 casinos posted year-over-year revenue gains in April.

CasinoGaming RevenueIncrease/Decrease
Parx Casino$51,259,416-1.67%
Sands Bethlehem$47,031,2117.63%
Rivers Casino$31,294,2422.70%
SugarHouse$28,462,0369.96%
Harrah's Philadelphia$20,648,441-14.26%
The Meadows$19,534,043-10.29%
Hollywood Casino$20,727,328-4.38%
Mohegan Sun$19,285,858-7.22%
Mount Airy$14,142,806-13.19%
Valley Forge$11,765,48615.95%
Presque Isle Downs$11,210,451-1.47%
Lady Luck$2,446,510-3.28%
Statewide Total$277,807,829-1.08%

Market share

*Doesn’t include sports betting

PA market analysis

Sports betting is boosting revenues across the casino

Pennsylvania’s retail-only sports betting market might not be posting the same revenue numbers as New Jersey’s combination retail-online industry, but that doesn’t mean sports betting is a failure in the Keystone State.

In addition to the $4 million in direct revenue generated in April, sports betting is boosting revenues in other areas. At the recent ICE North America conference, two Pennsylvania casino representatives spoke to the ancillary benefits sports betting has provided.

Jeff Kaplan of Penn National told attendees, “sports is bringing in a younger demographic,” and has led to an increase in table game revenue.

Richard Schwartz of Rush Street has seen similar results, noting that sports betting is driving across every casino sector, including table games, slots, poker, and food and beverage.

Will PA hit its target online gaming launch date?

As noted last month, casino revenue will get a boost when the state (finally) green-lights online casinos and poker rooms. The tentative launch for online casino and poker is slated for July 15.

However, some backchannel chatter at ICE North America has Play Pennsylvania slightly pessimistic that the state will have all its ducks in a row and launch on time.

Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania

About

Steve Ruddock has been a well-known writer and analyst in the world of regulated US online gambling. He contributes to a number of online publications focused on online poker and online casino, including OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, and many others.

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