Pennsylvania Legislature has passed online casino, poker and dfs

Are October Revenues The Calm Before The Storm For PA Casinos?

road in sunshine with approaching storm
The news that local lawmakers approved a major gambling expansion in the state appeared to have little impact on Pennsylvania gambling revenues in October.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board last week, the state’s 12 casinos saw revenues dip just 0.41 percent compared to the same month last year.

In fact, total gambling revenues in PA reached $261.9 million in October 2017, compared to $263 million in October 2016.

Slot machine revenues in the state were down 1.2 percent, from $191.8 million to $189.5 million.

However, total revenues were picked back up by table games. Table game revenues in the state rose 1.8 percent to $72.4 million from $71.1 million.

The PA government collected $104,959,532 in gambling taxes, $93,306,020 from slots and $11,653,512 from table games.

A comprehensive gambling expansion bill passes

Lawmakers passed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill near the end of the month. Essentially, the bill:

  • Legalizes and regulates online slot machines, table games, and poker.
  • Authorizes the sale of online lottery products.
  • Provides for the regulation of sports betting, should it become legal at the federal level.
  • Authorizes video gaming terminals at qualified truck stops.
  • Regulates daily fantasy sports.
  • Authorizes tablet gambling at qualified airports.
  • Authorizes up to 10 satellite casinos.

It was no surprise to see the bill have little to no impact on revenue figures for October. It should take a considerable amount of time before most of the gambling expansion initiatives get up and running.

Parx tops in Pennsylvania gambling revenues

Parx Casino in Bensalem continued to be the state’s top revenue generating casino in October. In fact, Parx reported $45.3 million in total gambling revenue throughout the month. The figure represented a 1.61 percent increase over October 2016.

However, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem was hot on Parx’ heels again, posting a 3.93 percent increase in revenues over the same month last year. In fact, Sands’ gambling revenues reached $43.5 million in October, leaving it less than two million dollars shy of Parx.

Mount Airy now free

The gambling expansion bill also included a measure to allow Category 3 casino resorts like Mount Airy Casino Resort to remove membership fees for patrons for a one-time fee paid by the casino.

This may have had an impact on revenue numbers for Mount Airy, who paid the one-time fee the day after the bill was signed into law, and opened it’s doors to gamblers for free immediately after.

As a result, Mount Airy posted the biggest jump in October revenues. In fact, Mount Airy saw October revenues rise 12.53 percent from $15.4 million in October 2016 to $17.3 million in October of this year.

The biggest declines in gambling revenue for the month were posted by Mohegan Sun Pocono. Mohegan Sun Pocono saw gambling revenues drop 8.92 percent from $21.6 million last year to $19.7 million in October 2017.

Marty Derbyshire

About

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.