Slot Slump Continues In February, But Are More Slots The Answer?

Written By Katie Callahan on March 7, 2018 - Last Updated on April 10, 2024

February brought a 1.7 percent decline in slot machine revenue to Pennsylvania casinos.

From 12 casinos, the total February gross revenue from slot machines was $189,056,195, reported the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The casinos brought in $192,268,470 during February 2017.

Tax revenue for this year almost hit $99 million with an average of 25,841 machines operating each day. Comparatively, average usage during February 2017 was 26,254. Fewer slots in operation could contribute to the lower numbers.

Parx Casino maintains gains

Parx Casino continues to lead the pack with $32.7 million in February 2018, an almost six-percent change from the prior year. This is not hard to fathom given Parx topped the leaderboard for slot machine revenue in 2017.

In January, Parx Casino posted $30.9 million in gross revenue from slot machines, up more than two percent from January 2017 slot revenues. The nearest competitor, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, was over $7 million behind.

This time is about the same tale for Sands, who took an almost six-percent loss year-over-year in February.

Others who look back on February favorably include:

The rest of the pack suffered losses that span from about 2 percent to almost 14 percent.

Table games glum in January

Considering how close the numbers have been month to month, table games revenue is sure to follow this PA pattern of slight decline.

Overall casino gaming revenue was down 1.6 percent in January, PGCB found. Gross table games revenue was down almost 2.2 percent. Valley Forge Casino Resort took the lead with almost $3.7 million in revenue.

While Harrah’s Philadelphia and Presque Isle Downs and Casino were part of this group of winners for table games, Parx Casino was down 9.84 percent.

Lots of mini-casino movement in PA

Last time we checked, Parx Casino was opening a new poker room for its next Big Stax and Mount Airy had just won a mini casino bid.

While the saturation question in PA still hangs, satellite casino project auctions still have bidders. Penn National Gaming bid $50 million for a satellite casino in York County and Stadium Casino, LLC, bid $40 million for a satellite casino in Westmoreland County.

Parx Casino also just picked up a satellite casino in South Newton for just over $8 million. Sands also tried to complete a bid for Hempfield Township, but the radius overlaps with Mount Airy’s site, so it was deemed invalid by the PGCB.

PA can thank the comprehensive gambling expansion bill passed in October. It authorized 10 satellite casino licenses in the state with 300 to 750 slot machines at each satellite casino.

Online game strong

Presque Isle Downs just had some changes in leadership and ownership that could make for some exciting changes, with online gambling opportunities being the reason for the buy.

The Pennsylvania Lottery is going to have a profitable springtime with the launch of its iLottery with scratch-offs, Keno, and draw games online.

With such continuity in revenues in the first months of the year, PA may be facing similar stories in March from 2017, when PA was down 0.60 percent with almost $210 million in revenues from slot machine gaming. Only time will tell that difference.

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Katie Callahan

Katie Callahan is a freelance journalist, blogger and copywriter who covers everything from poker, business, education and politics to construction, startups and cybersecurity.

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