Sometimes less is more. Many Pennsylvania casinos are figuring out that reducing the amount of slot machines on their gaming floors can improve the customer experience. Mohegan Pennsylvania is the latest facility to cut down on slot machines.
The casino plans to remove 120 slots over a three-phase process. Mohegan Pennsylvania will have a total of 1,550 slots when the project is complete. Executives from the casino have cited skill games as a large reason for the reduction.
Mohegan Pennsylvania cleared to remove slot machines
Mohegan Pennsylvania is the fourth PA casino since June to be granted approval for the reduction of slot machines to its gaming floor. (It is not, however, removing any slot titles from its PA online casino offerings at Unibet PA Casino.)
Mark Angelo, Mohegan Pennsylvania’s Director of Slot Operations, told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) that the casino is removing the least popular games. Angelo also said that the casino’s peak utilization period has dropped over the last few years.
In data collected from Mohegan Pennsylvania, the casino only crossed 1,000 units played 11 times in a time period from May 2022 through April 2023. The average peak utilization is between 813 and 871 machines used, which still leaves plenty of room for guests.
Mohegan Pennsylvania is opting to create more “smaller banks,” which are four separate games wrapped around one machine.
Mohegan PA casino timeline to reduce slot count
Mohegan Pennsylvania is targeting a May 2024 timeline to finish the removal of the slot machines. The casino will do so in three phases.
The first is expected to kick off on Nov. 15 and finish before Dec. 15. Angelo commented to the PGCB on the process:
“We have a concrete floor and in order to get through with that, it’s easier to shut down one section of the floor and focus on that section for a month. We want to make sure all of the wiring is good and have the smallest amount of games down for that time period.”
Mohegan Pennsylvania said it will remove around 40 machines and relocate 100 others during phase one of the process.
The elimination of slot machines will not affect employee count, table games or the designated smoking area.
Mohegan cites PA skill games as reason for adjustment
Pennsylvania skill games have been a hot-button issue in the state for a number of years. Mohegan Pennsylvania is directly ousting the games as a big part of this reduction project.
Anthony Carlucci, President and General Manager of Mohegan Pennsylvania, told the PGCB:
“The skill games have proliferated and if you do a correlation between that and our volumes going down, there’s a direct correlation.”
Pennsylvania gaming regulators hosted a policy hearing last week against skill games. The Pennsylvania state legislature seemingly has three options for skill games:
- Keep them unregulated
- Regulate skill games with tax structure
- Ban skill games altogether
The PGCB has requested the responsibility to regulate skill games should they become legal. Pennsylvania Senator, Gene Yaw (R-23), has proposed a 16% tax rate in a framework he developed in June.
A decision on Pennsylvania skill games is nearing, and is likely to have a huge impact on the regulated gaming industry one way or another.