When It Comes To Casino Revenue, Valley Forge Just Keeps On Winning

Posted on February 21, 2019

Pennsylvania’s casino industry is off to a strong start in 2019. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) January revenue reports, gaming revenues were up across the board, with total casino revenue (a combination of slot machines and table games) up 2.18 percent.

Pennsylvania’s fledgling sports betting industry added another $2.6 million to the industry’s revenue tally off of $32 million in wagers.

Pennsylvania casino revenue numbers in January:

  • Slot machine revenue: $179,842,150 (+1.15 percent)
  • Table game revenue: $74,409,695 (+4.75 percent)
  • Sports betting revenue: $2,607,205 (no Y/Y comp)
  • Total gaming revenue (including sports): $256,859,050 (+3.1 percent)

12-month slot revenue trend

The increase wasn’t as significant as it was in December 2018, but slot revenue continued its upward trajectory in January, growing by just over one percent.

It’s safe to say that rising slot revenue is a trend in Pennsylvania.

Slot revenue was up for the third straight month, and for the fifth time in the last six months. Over the previous 12 months, slot revenue has increased year-over-year nine times.

  • February 2018 slot machine revenue: $189,056,194.76 (-1.67 percent)
  • March 2018 slot machine revenue: $221,350,220.10 (+5.41 percent)
  • April 2018 slot machine revenue: $206,178,527.52 (+.23 percent)
  • 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)

Which PA casinos are up and down

In a month where total gaming revenue was up over 2 percent (3 percent including sports betting) only five of the state’s 12 casinos posted year-over-year revenue increases. That’s an atypical result.

However, all five casinos saw revenues rise by at least 6.9 percent. That’s also an atypical result.

The significant gains at these casinos easily offset the year-over-year declines at the state’s eight other casinos:

CasinoGaming RevenueIncrease/Decrease
Parx Casino$48,737,362-.19%
Sands Bethlehem$42,964,173-.13%
Rivers Casino$30,017,9634.81%
SugarHouse$26,163,4965.48%
Harrah's Philadelphia$20,455,490-6.93%
The Meadows$20,197,807-.88%
Hollywood Casino$19,310,594.21%
Mohegan Sun$18,641,539-4.43%
Mount Airy$14,545,14911.34%
Valley Forge$10,854,1244.04%
Presque Isle Downs$9,838,532-4.18%
Lady Luck$2,249,233-14.18%
Statewide Total$263,975,463.44%

PA casino market share

*Doesn’t include sports betting

PA market analysis

Sports betting

Bettors in Pennsylvania’s (scant few) sportsbooks placed a total of $32 million in wagers during January. The books collected $2.6 million in revenue from those wagers, representing a hold percentage of about 8 percent.

That’s a veritable drop in the bucket compared to the $18.8 million of revenue New Jersey sportsbooks generated in January. The large gap in wagers between the two states will close as more retail sportsbooks open in the Keystone State, and once online sports betting goes live.

That said, even though New Jersey’s sports betting operators are generating 7x the revenue of Pennsylvania’s, the amount of tax revenue going to the state is far closer.

Pennsylvania’s 36 percent tax rate means it collected nearly $1 million compared to the $2.4 million New Jersey collected from its sports betting operators. That means that New Jersey’s sports betting revenue was 7x Pennsylvania’s, but its tax revenue was a mere 2.5x.

Valley Forge has its sights set on Mount Airy

Valley Forge ranked 11th out of 12 casinos for most of its existence, but the small Category 3 “resort” casinos could soon rank up to ninth.

A few months ago, Valley Forge left Presque Isle in the dust. The property is now closing in on another much larger competitor, Mount Airy.

  • Mount Airy Casino Resort January 2019 revenue: $12,534,176
  • Valley Forge Casino Resort January 2019 revenue: $11,278,612

Since Valley Forge paid $1 million to rid itself of the $10 amenity fee mandate back in November 2017, total casino revenue has increased in 14 out of 15 months.

That’s a trend that’s likely to continue after Valley Forge paid $2.5 million to increase the maximum number of slot machines from 600 to 850.

A historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania

 

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Steve Ruddock

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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