Philadelphia Casinos See Big Gains In September

Posted on October 20, 2016

[toc]As Atlantic City continued to struggle, Pennsylvania casinos turned in a solid September. That was especially true for the nearby Philadelphia casinos.

Statewide, the 12 Keystone State casinos won $261 million from gamblers in the month, an increase of nearly three percent compared to the $253.5 million won in September 2015.

The figures come from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Table game revenue of $68.8 million was 4.4-percent more than the same period a year ago. Slot revenue rose nearly 2.5 percent to $192.2 million in September.

Philadelphia-area casinos see biggest gains

Pennsylvania casinos closest to Atlantic City had the best September results.

Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino saw their gaming win for the month increase 10 and 12 percent, respectively.

The former won $45.9 million during the month (up from $41.7 million), while SugarHouse won $23.2 million (up from $20.8 million).

They were the only Pennsylvania casinos to see double-digit gains in September. The much smaller Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie was third place with a year-over-year gain of 5.4 percent.

The performance from Parx was the second-straight month that it had more gaming revenue than Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. Those two casinos are by far the largest in the state in terms of gaming revenue.

Sands Bethlehem gaming win grew just one percent to $44.2 million in September.

Unlike Parx and SugarHouse, the third Philadelphia-area casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, saw revenue remain flat in September. Gaming win there dipped one percent to $20.9 million.

But overall, Philadelphia’s casino gambling market is growing. In August, Parx and SugarHouse were the only casinos in the state to not have a year-over-year gaming win decline.

How Atlantic City casinos performed in September

According to figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, New Jersey land-based casino win in September was $210.4 million, compared to $218.1 million in September 2015. That was a 3.5-percent decrease.

The Trump Taj Mahal, which was Atlantic City’s worst performing casino, closed on Oct. 10. However, operations were winding down in the weeks prior.

The closure left the city with just seven casinos.

Philadelphia casinos had about 43 percent of Atlantic City brick-and-mortar casino win in September. The two cities are just 60 miles apart.

Pennsylvania’s largest city could soon have a fourth casino, depending on the outcome a gaming license review ordered by the state Supreme Court.

Four years ago, the Keystone State overtook New Jersey as the nation’s second largest casino gambling market.

Online gambling in Pennsylvania

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania’s House Gaming Oversight Committee met Wednesday to urge the Senate to pass online gaming legislation. The measure cleared the House in June.

At this point, the Senate could go either way on the proposal.

Regulated online gaming in Pennsylvania could be a $300 million market after it matures. New Jersey, which kicked off internet betting in 2013, had about $150 million in online gambling win in 2015.

That was more than 90 percent of the regulated online casino gaming market in America.

New Jersey online gambling revenue will likely be about $200 million this year.

SugarHouse decided it couldn’t wait for Pennsylvania to pass legislation, opting to partner with Golden Nugget Atlantic City. It launched online games last month.

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Brian Pempus

Brian Pempus writes for a number of industry publications centered around the regulated US online gambling industry. He is a graduate of Penn State. Brian lives in Ohio and has been involved in the gambling industry since 2009.

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