Pennsylvania Casinos Continue to Do Well

by Kyle Miller

PennsylvaniaCasinos in Pennsylvania have seen table game revenue growth for the most recent fiscal year, yet an overall decline in gaming revenues was present.

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released the report for the just completed fiscal year for the twelve casinos of the state which showed that table game revenues were up while overall gaming did see a decline. For June, table gaming was up just over 2% with a little less than $70 million earned. With the totals for June available, the fiscal year of 2015 to 2016 showed an overall increase in table gaming of 3.25% with a total of $866.5 million earned.

Full Report

With the table gaming revenues at $2.33 billion in slot machine revenues combined, the state was able to earn $3.2 billion for the fiscal year, which ended on June 30th. This was a slight decline of less than 1% from the previous year which set a record of $3.22 billion. So even though the state saw a decline, they are just under their record year performance which shows that casinos in the state continue to do well.

Throughout the year, table games and slot figures came in at various numbers so it was unclear just how much would be earned for the fiscal year. Ten of the twelve months showed a decline in slot earnings while table games were up for nine months of the year.

Breaking down the numbers individually, shows the Sands Bethlehem Casino on top when it comes to table games with $235.1 million in earnings. This is a 3% increase. Parx Casino was next with $170.1 million in earnings which is an increase of 9.7%.

What About Online Gaming?

With the casinos doing so well, isn’t the next logical step to begin offering online gaming? Of course, Pennsylvania has been on track to legalize online gambling, legislation has yet to pass to see casino and poker game play allowed over the internet. As of this week, efforts have resumed by lawmakers to see a revenue plan approved that would fund the spending plan sent to Governor Tom Wolf just a few weeks ago.

Gambling expansions are being considered across the state and not just online gambling. Airport gaming is being considered, video gaming terminals and more. Online gambling is supposed to help contribute greatly to the money needed for the budget but the final package as to what will be on offer has yet to be decided.

The state Senate was back in action on Monday and were discussing HB 271 in its amended form. The bill was approved after amendments were made by the House and is continuing to be debated. The big topic that keeps holding back any expansion is video gaming terminals. Joe Scarnati is the Senate President Pro Tempore who has stated that when a plan is approved by the Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, would not include the proposal set forth by the House to include video gaming terminals for clubs and bars.

So basically, you have one chamber of government that wants to add video gaming terminals to the gambling expansion package while one does not. This stalemate has stopped online gaming from coming to fruition before and seems to be a stopping point now. We shall see in the coming days or weeks if legislators are able to come to an agreement and pass some type of legislation in order to expand the gambling industry. Proponents of online gaming hope to see something happen soon in order for the state to become involved in the industry. Pennsylvania is already successful when it comes to land-based gaming and have the means to create a booming online industry as well.