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PA Slot Revenue Drops, But Still Tops $2 Billion For 7th Consecutive Year

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The numbers are in for 2016-17 Pennsylvania casino slot revenue, and it’s an interesting mix of ups and downs

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released the numbers earlier this month, revealing that while total slot revenue topped $2 billion for the seventh consecutive year, revenue actually saw a drop of 2.2 percent compared to the previous fiscal year.

“To date, since the opening of the first casino in November of 2006, revenue from slot machine play has totaled $22.4 billion resulting in a tax generation of $12.1 billion,” said a PGCB press release.

New numbers are second-lowest since 2010

When viewed with the past seven fiscal years of slot revenue, 2016-17 was the second-worst revenue year since 2010. That year, slot revenue hit $2.16 billion. Revenue peaked in 2012 at $2.48 billion.

Since 2012, revenue hasn’t reached $2.4 billion. While that’s not necessarily a cause for alarm, the fact that revenue went down about $52 million was enough to raise some eyebrows.

The casino-by-casino numbers

The decreased slot revenue Pennsylvania experienced this past year was certainly made possible by a couple casinos performing quite poorly. However, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

In fact, based on the PGCB’s numbers, nine casinos saw their slot revenue drop compared to the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Parx Casino and Sands Casino Resort, the state’s two slots powerhouses, saw their revenue drop more than $3 million combined, a small number considering the pair brought in nearly $700 million.

Mohegan Sun and Harrah’s Philadelphia saw the biggest losses: around $13 million and $15 million respectively.

Valley Forge’s 3.78 percent rise in revenue was the best of the state’s 12 casinos.

PGCB also releases June numbers

In addition to comparing the past two fiscal years, the PGCB published charts comparing June 2017 and June 2016 revenue.

The “good” news is that revenue dropped only 0.7 percent, a subtler slide than the fiscal year drop-off. However, the fact that revenue is still falling isn’t a good sign.

Is it an omen of continued decline? It’s hard to say, but revenue still falling despite more than two percent gains from two of the state’s top-three slots casinos is hard to miss.

Will declines in slot revenue sway lawmakers?

Pennsylvania lawmakers are working through a massive gambling bill that would legalize iGaming and video gaming machines.

While the news of declining slot revenue may be seen as a negative, it may also spur lawmakers to pass a gambling bill that would further boost tax revenues and pad the state’s coffers.

J.R. Duren

About

J.R. Duren is a freelance writer and author, and has won the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism award three times. He contributes to numerous publications, including Snooth, the Villages Daily Sun, Bespoke Post, and Barcelona Metropolitan.