Pennsylvania Slot Machine Revenues Suffer January Blahs

Written By Marty Derbyshire on February 7, 2018
Melting snowman

Pennsylvania slot machine revenues continued to slide in the month of January. Although the size of the decline was relatively insignificant.

In fact, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported gross revenue from slot machines inside the state’s 12 casinos hit $177,795,127 in January 2018. This represented a 1.4 percent decrease compared to the $180,304,670 in gross revenue from slot machines reported in January 2017.

Slot machine revenues were actually up one percent in December 2017. However, total year-end gross revenue from slot machines hit $2.33 billion in 2017, representing a drop of close to one percent from 2016. Despite the slight drop, it was the seventh consecutive year where slots revenues topped $2.3 billion in the state.

Tax revenue generated from Pennsylvania slot machines reached $1.18 billion in 2017. Tax revenue generated from slots in January of this year was $92,644,953.

According to the board, most of the tax revenue from slots is used for property tax reduction for Pennsylvania homeowners. Portions are also used to help bolster the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry and fund various economic development projects.

Parx Casino on top

Parx Casino posted better than $388 million in slot machine revenues in 2017 to lead the PA casino market. That trend continued in January of this year with Parx posting $30.9 million in gross revenue from slot machines throughout the month. That number was actually up more than two percent from Parx’ January 2017 slot revenues.

It was also up more than $7 million from the $23 million in gross slot machine revenues posted in January 2018 by second-place Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Sands numbers were off more than 3.4 percent from the same month last year.

Parx boasts more than 3,330 slots, while Sands has more than 3,000.

The biggest gains in January PA slot machine revenues were post by Erie County’s Presque Isle Downs and Casino. Its 1,500 slots grossed $7.89 million throughout the month. That represented a 3.2 percent increase from the $7.6 million Presque Isle posted in January 2017.

The Pittsburgh-area’s  Meadows Racetrack and Casino posted the biggest slot machine revenue decreases in the month. Its 3,000 slots grossed $14.8 million in January 2018, down 9.73 percent from the $16.4 million Meadows slots grossed in the same month last year.

Part of the reason slot machine revenues were down throughout the entire state in the month of January was due to the fact fewer slots were open and operating.

According to the board, the average number of slot machines operating on a daily basis in the state was 25,808 in January 2018. This compared to the 26,254 slots operating inside the state’s 12 casinos in January 2017.

More slot machine revenue coming

However, more slots are certainly on their way to PA.

Pennsylvania passed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill in October 2017. Among other measures, it authorizes the gaming board to issue up to 10 satellite casino licenses. These Category 4 casino licenses permit the operation of between 300 and 750 slot machines at each satellite casino.

The first two satellite casino project auctions held by the board have already yielded successful bids for the first two satellite casinos. Penn National Gaming bid $50 million for a satellite casino in York County. Stadium Casino, LLC, which is already building a $600 million casino in Philadelphia, bid $40 million for a satellite casino in Westmoreland County in the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Satellite casino project auctions are currently being held by the board every two weeks.

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Marty Derbyshire

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.

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