PA Casinos Kick Off 2018 With Lowest Slot Take In Years

Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos raked in $177,795,127 in slot machine revenue in January, a 1.4% year-over-year decrease in earnings.
Quarters getting smaller
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Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos raked in $177,795,127 in slot machine revenue in January, a 1.4% year-over-year decrease in earnings, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The figure comes as somewhat of a disappointment, considering that the industry broke its all-time revenue record in 2017.

Parx Casino topped the list with a $30,960,203 take, continuing its long reign as the highest grossing casino in terms of slots revenue. The venue also claimed the title of top overall earner in 2017, taking in $566,518,039 in both slots and table games combined. Parx boasts 3,400 slot terminals, and plans to team up with GameAccount Network to offer virtual slot games when online gambling goes live in the state later this year.

Sands Bethlehem, which features a gaming floor stocked with 3,000 slots, posted the second biggest win of the month with $23,004,850. Unlike Parx, there is no guarantee Sands will be offering slots through its own online gaming site. Company CEO Sheldon Adelson is vehemently opposed to the spread of iGaming, so a Sands-branded online casino may not happen at all.

Rivers Casino took the third spot in January slot earnings with $21,017,973. The Pittsburgh casino will soon expand its real-money slot selection to the virtual realm, opening an online gaming site using a software platform created by its parent company. The casino already offers patrons play-money slot internet gaming through its somewhat dated PLAY4FUN social casino, accessible through the property’s website.

Slots slide while table games rise

October 2016 marked the start of an 11 month negative streak in year-over-year slot earnings for PA casinos. The trend was only interrupted in September 2017 when earnings rose 1.69% Y/Y and again in November and December, when they increased by 1.08% and 1.22% respectively.

January’s slot revenue figure again puts a damper on the vertical; it is the lowest amount the state has banked on the machines in several years.

Slots are a major source of revenue for the state, and are taxed at a whopping 54%. Regulators plan to tax online slots at the same rate, a move which will likely force operators to steer customers towards table games, or lower the payback percentages on certain titles.

But while slots revenue has been trending downward, table game revenue has been on the rise. As of December, the state had managed 10 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.

Table games are taxed at a much more reasonable 16%, however, so increases don’t necessarily make up for lost tax revenue from the decline of slots. A continual decrease in slots and a minor rise in table games could mean stable overall revenue for casinos, but less money for government coffers.

That said, January’s 1.4% slots decrease isn’t cause for too much concern. Taken together, the industry looks to be at a stable and mature point in its lifecycle. Let’s not forget, last year PA’s casino industry banked $3,226,909,823, the most in its history, beating out its 2016 haul by .42%.

Total January 2018 slots revenue

CasinoSlot RevenueMarket Share
Mohegan Sun$15,587,225.689%
Parx$30,960,203.1017%
Harrah's$15,736,121.179%
Presque Isle$7,896,762.984%
Meadows$14,853,503.408%
Mount Airy$10,649,829.976%
Penn National$15,374,217.689%
Sands Bethlehem$23,004,850.5913%
The Rivers$21,078,973.4112%
SugarHouse$13,887,887.298%
Valley Forge$6,730,652.344%
Nemacolin$2,034,899.711%
January Totals$177,795,127
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