Two PA casinos had petitions granted at the latest Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) monthly meeting to modify their gaming floors.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown has been granted to reduce the number of slot machines on its gaming porch.
Lady Luck Nemacolin is redesigning its gaming floor to include the addition of several slot machines, while giving some rentals back to parent company Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI).
Hollywood Casino Morgantown to reduce 30 slots on gaming porch
Marc Guastella, general manager of Hollywood Casino Morgantown, and legal representative, Michael Fabius of Ballard Spahr, presented the PGCB modifications the casino wants to make.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown is removing 30 slot machines from its gaming porch to adjust the total there from 147 to 117. In a presentation made to the PGCB, the casino said that those slots have an occupancy rate that is less than a third of other slots on the gaming floor. Gaming porch slot machines have a win per unit per day (WPUPD) that is almost 75% less than the rest of the games.
There have been two other occasions where Hollywood Casino Morgantown has reduced slot machines since opening in December 2021. The casino removed 17 slots in January 2022 and slot tax revenue increased roughly $400,000 in the following months. Then in December 2022, after removing 14 more slots from the gaming porch, slot tax revenue increased by roughly $1 million in March 2023.
Guastella is not concerned about business despite the loss of more slot machines.
“Our taxable revenue continues to grow as our business continues to grow year over year,” Gaustella told the PGCB. “It’s a very encouraging sign and we’re very excited for the future.”
Hollywood Casino Morgantown would be left with 697 slot machines overall after the reduction. There is no timetable for the removal, however, Fabius told the PGCB the process would happen “swiftly.”
Hollywood Casino Morgantown is looking at non-gaming options to fill the space, and no staffing will be affected.
Lady Luck Nemacolin to refresh slot games despite slight reduction
Fabius, also representing Lady Luck Nemacolin, and general manager of the casino, John Gibboni, spoke in front of the PGCB regarding changes to the gaming floor.
Lady Luck Nemacolin is essentially undergoing a slot machine transaction. The casino is installing 81 new slots onto the gaming floor, while shipping out 100 machines, which are owned by CDI.
Since renewing its license in June, Lady Luck Nemacolin has been operating seven days a week. It also has several renovations to the property on the horizon. Despite the slight reduction, Lady Luck Nemacolin is thrilled with the addition of the new machines. Fabius told the PGCB:
“There’s a competing desire to refresh the slot count. Under the prior management, the slot machines were not as refreshed. There was no new slot product put out on the floor as frequently or on a regular basis.”
While the math says that Lady Luck Nemacolin is reducing slot machines by 19 games, Gibboni told the PGCB that more slots could be added after finalizing plans to redesign the gaming floor.
Lady Luck Nemacolin also intends to add a coffee bar and an entertainment area. No staffing changes of any kind will be made.
Evidence suggests that the removal of slot machines isn’t necessarily bad for business. We’ll see how these latest moves impact the two PA casino properties.