Pennsylvania announced their best year ever on slots and table games.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board revealed on Tuesday that revenue from commercial casinos rose to a record high of $3.25 billion. It beat the previous high by just over $20 million, set in the 2015/16 fiscal year.
Table games reportedly grew by 3.3% to reach an all-time high of $895.3 million. Slot machines clocked in at just under $2.352 billion, up .7% from the previous year, but still about $36 million under the previous high for slots, $2.389 million in 2015/1016.
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem continued their dominance over the state with $235.7 million, rising .24% from the previous year. They hold a $50 million advantage over the next highest casino, Parx, who gathered $185.9 million and rose a solid 9.28% from 2017. SugarHouse checked in at third, at $120.2 million and rising 1.28% from 2017.
The Meadows Casino was the big riser among the casinos. They gained a whopping 22.18% from the previous year to reach $39.2 million from $32.1 million, good for eighth in the state. Other big movers involved Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (up 14.7%), Valley Forge Casino Resort (up 10.3%), and Rivers Casino (up 10.19%).
Five casinos saw revenue fall from the previous year: Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (down 1.32%), Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack (down 2.1%), Mont Airy Casino Resort (down 2.67%), Mohegan Sun Pocono (down 5.97%), and Presque Isle Downs and Casino (down 7.75%).
All revenues reported for casinos are from table games.
As the numbers roll in for Pennsylvania, it appears that the gambling industry is growing in Pennsylvania. There are no online casinos operational yet in Pennsylvania due to laws that hadn’t been passed until recently, but an online lottery has already begun operation. The Gaming Control Board also recently reviewed nine applications from existing casinos that are in search of a license to being online operation.
Pennsylvania also began issuing mini-casino licenses, casinos that feature up to 750 slot machines and up to 30 table games. Penn National won the first license with a bid of over $50 million. However, the state didn’t have a bid for their sixth mini-casino license. Currently, Pennsylvania has raised over $127 million in auctions for mini-casino licenses.
The notable exception to the growth is sports betting. Pennsylvania has yet to have a single application for a sports betting license. Many casinos have pointed to the licensing fees and taxes as a reason to steer clear, as Pennsylvania’s fees and taxes are significantly higher than any state with legalized sports betting (except Kentucky, who’s tax rates are both higher and completely unreasonable). The fees in Pennsylvania are $10million for the initial fee and 36% tax.
While some larger companies, such as Churchill Downs, have indicated they plan to eventually pony up, Pennsylvania sports bettors will currently have to travel to other states to do their betting. New Jersey and Delaware are currently the closest states to Pennsylvania that offer live sports betting.