The Pennsylvania casino industry saw total revenue dip by one percent year-over-year in September. Unfortunately, the month’s slight uptick in slot revenue wasn’t enough to offset the four-percent drop in table game revenue.
These year-over-year comparisons could soon become obsolete. If the state makes good on its plans to launch PA sports betting in the not too distant future, September will be one of the last straight comparison months.
Y/Y revenue comparisons will become even more convoluted further down the road when online gambling launches and mini-casinos open their doors.
Top line numbers for September 2018
Here’s a look at the top line September numbers:
- Slot machine revenue: $196,209,617.90 (+.42 percent)
- Table game revenue: $72,310,207 (-4.37 percent)
- Total gaming revenue: $268,519,825 (-.92 percent)
12-month slot revenue trend
Slot revenue, the bread and butter of the PA casino industry, has increased in six of the last seven months. Zooming out even further, the last 12 months include eight months of slot revenue gains and just four months of declines.
- 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)
- January 2018 slot machine revenue: $177,795,127.32 (-1.39 percent)
- 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)
Who was up and who was down in August
Five of the 12 casinos posted Y/Y gains in September, led by Valley Forge and the two Rush Street Gaming properties, Rivers and SugarHouse.
September wasn’t a good month for many of the casinos that saw revenues decline. Three of the casinos saw revenue dip by more than 8.5 percent, including Sands Bethlehem, which saw a double-digit drop-off.
- Valley Forge Casino Resort: 10.48%
- SugarHouse Casino: 7.70%
- Rivers Casino: 5.28%
- Parx Casino: 3.66%
- Mount Airy Casino Resort: 1.43%
- Harrah’s Philadelphia: -1.57%
- Presque Isle Downs and Casino: -2.26%
- The Meadows Casino: -2.48%
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: -3.65%
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: -8.59%
- Mohegan Sun Pocono: -8.91%
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem: -10.26%
Market share and revenue comparisons
PA market analysis
Sands in a freefall
Since the announcement of its sale to Wind Creek Hospitality, Sands Bethlehem has seen revenues going in the wrong direction.
Consistent Y/Y declines have allowed its once rival Parx to put some considerable distance between itself and Sands, and the once robust competition between the two properties isn’t much of a competition at all anymore.
Valley Forge continues its hot streak
Without question, Valley Forge is the fastest growing casinos in the state of Pennsylvania over the past 12 months.
Revenue has been up in 10 of the last 11 months at Valley Forge.
- November 2017: +12.4 percent
- December 2017: +6.4 percent
- January 2018: +13.9 percent
- February 2018: +15 percent
- March 2018: +10.5 percent
- April 2018: – 5.64 percent
- May 2018: +25.18 percent
- June 2018: +15.84 percent
- July 2018: +7.44 percent
- August 2018: +6.93 percent
- September 2018: +10.48 percent
The gains at Valley Forge can be traced back to the gaming reform law passed last October, and as Play Pennsylvania recently speculated, the other Category 3 casino, Lady Luck, needs to get on board and pay the one-time $1 million fee to eliminate the amenity fee restriction.
Rumor mill: Philadelphia casino being shopped
The state’s 13th casino was expected to be a joint project between Parx’s parent company, Greenwood Racing, and the Cordish Company.
But the two companies could be shopping the proposed Stadium Casino license, according to multiple sources.
We've heard same. https://t.co/OnzSsme796
— Chris Krafcik (@CKrafcik) October 19, 2018
One potential suitor would be MGM. MGM has been increasing its presence across the US, and has long been interested in acquiring a Pennsylvania property.
Historical look at casino revenue in Pennsylvania