PA Table Game Revenue Back on the Rise in February, While Parx’s New Poker Room Nibbles at the Competition

Revenue at Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos snapped back last month from a disappointing January, growing by 1.64% compared with the same time period last year.
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Revenue at Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos snapped back last month from a disappointing January, growing by 1.64% compared with the same time period last year.

Several of the state’s operators made huge gains in terms of table game revenue, which overall grew by a healthy 11.24% year-over-year.

Top earners

In total, PA’s 12 casinos banked $262,814,001 last month, 5.62% more than they did in January. While the bump is impressive, especially taking into account the fewer days in the month, it should be noted that January figures were diminished due to severe weather conditions.

The following were the top overall earners:

  1. Parx: $48,831,577
  2. Sands Bethlehem: $43,018,829
  3. Rivers Casino: $28,641,460
  4. SugarHouse: $24,804,725
  5. Harrah’s: $21,979,546

Table games make their mark

If revenue figures over last year are any indicator, gamblers are growing tired of slot machines, and instead are gravitating towards table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and even poker.

For the past 12 months, the vertical has experienced nearly uninterrupted year-over-year growth. The trend continued in February, with operators taking in $73,757,806 — the biggest Y/Y bump the industry has seen in recent memory.

Here’s a breakdown of the top five table game leaders in February:

  1. Sands Bethlehem: $19,145,453
  2. Parx: $16,090,888
  3. SugarHouse: $9,991,803.00
  4. Rivers Casino: $6,042,930
  5. Harrah’s: $5,082,951

Valley Forge, Rivers, SugarHouse, The Meadows, Nemacolin and Parx stood out from the pack last month, each boasting double-digit year-on-year table game growth. Valley Forge for its part, blew its 2017 figures out of the water, raking in more than 50% than it did during the same time frame that year.

Is Parx new poker room cannibalizing the competition?

Industry-leader Parx debuted a new, state-of-the-art poker room in late January as part of a $75 million expansion. February was its first full month up and running, yet the new digs haven’t had a huge effect on the casino’s bottom line — not yet at least. Last month, Parx poker pulled in $1,454,566, a nice boost over January, but an overall Y/Y decrease.

Even so, Parx’s lavish poker room may very well have begun siphoning away business from its closest geographical competitors, SugarHouse and Harrah’s. Indeed, while Parx saw revenue gains last month, its two rivals both watched their fortunes drop by 6% and 7% respectively.

March numbers may be even more positive for Parx, as the casino is running its popular Big Stax series throughout the month.

Table game revenue spike not necessarily a win for the state

Slot terminals took in a respectable $189,056,195 last month, which constitutes a 6.33% month-on-month gain. But facing frigid weather and even a blizzard, many patrons decided to stay home in January, making February numbers seem more exciting than they really are.

The larger trend shows slot revenue on a prolonged slide, with casinos posting year-over-year growth just three times in the past 17 months.

The trend could be a concern for the state, which makes much more tax revenue when players choose slot machines over other games. That’s because in PA, regulators take a massive 54% cut of slots proceeds, compared with just 16% for table games.

Lawmakers will extend this policy towards the state’s online gambling industry as well, applying the same rate to virtual one-armed bandits. Online casinos don’t have the same non-gaming revenue generating opportunities as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and will be hard-pressed to squeeze out a profit from the vertical.

Total February revenue

CasinoSlotsTable GamesTotal Win
Sands Bethlehem$23,873,376.92$19,145,453$43,018,829.92
The Rivers$22,598,530.03$6,042,930$28,641,460.03
Mohegan Sun$16,208,097.17$3,298,201$19,506,298.17
Penn National$16,219,262.67$3,051,653$19,270,915.67
Mount Airy$10,280,778.76$2,782,926$13,063,704.76
Valley Forge$6,967,734.19$3,464,497$10,432,231.19
Presque Isle$9,095,252.62$1,172,012$10,267,264.62
February Totals$189,056,194.76$73,757,806$262,814,000.76

Total 2018 revenue

CasinoSlotsTable GamesTotal Win
Sands Bethlehem$46,878,227.51$37,271,215$84,149,442.51
The Rivers$43,677,503.44$11,863,172$55,540,675.44
Mohegan Sun$31,795,322.85$6,447,800$38,243,122.85
Penn National$31,593,480.35$5,964,214$37,557,694.35
Mount Airy$20,930,608.73$6,049,565$26,980,173.73
Valley Forge$13,698,386.53$7,153,800$20,852,186.53
Presque Isle$16,992,015.60$2,384,319$19,376,334.60
2018 Totals$366,851,322.08$144,790,079$511,641,401.08

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