Philadelphia Casinos See Growth in 2016, Helping YOY Totals

by Kyle Miller

PhiladelphiaCasinos located in Philadelphia saw consistent growth in 2016, helping the state of Pennsylvania to see nice earnings for the year.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board releases new gaming totals each month so operators as well as the public can see how the gaming venues in the state are doing financially. In the Philadelphia, three of four gaming venues were able to see an increase in the total gaming revenue earnings for 2016, with one property standing out above the rest.

Gaming Totals for 2016

Gross gaming revenues which includes slots and table gaming for the state came to more than $3.2 billion for the year from the 12 gaming venues in Pennsylvania. This was about 1% more than what was earned in 2015. Three casinos in Philadelphia saw an increase when looking at year on year totals. The Parx Casino, Sugarhouse Casino and Valley Forge Casino Resort all saw gains for the year when compared to the previous year, which helped push up the yearly totals for the state.

The SugarHouse Casino was able to see the most growth for the year, when compared to 2015. SugarHouse earned $297.7 million which is more than 10% in earnings for 2016 than 2015. The Parx Casino led the state when it came to highest total gaming revenues with a 5.38% increase in earnings. The casino brought in $551.6 million for 2016. Valley Forge Casino was also up for the year, with $114.7 million in earnings, an almost 2% increase. The Harrah’s venue in Philadelphia was not as fortunate as they only earned $272.1 million which is just over 5% less than what was earned in 2015.

SugarHouse Expansion Helps Earnings

The SugarHouse was able to see such a nice increase in earnings thanks to their recent expansion. The casino spent $164 million to add 152,000 square feet, with 44 more table games, 289 slot machines and a poker room featuring 28 gaming tables. All of this helped to increase the bottom line of the venue. Wendy Hamilton is the General Manager for the property who stated that the additions and amenities paid off for the venue, especially considering the market was tough that year.

The market in the state is becoming even more competitive but the gaming options remain the same. Casinos have to focus on non-gaming activities as well so that guests are attracted to each venue. SugarHouse was able to see non-gaming revenue increase by more than 40% when looking at 2015 totals. As the casino moves forward, the casino component will not be the only focus so that the property can succeed.

Non-Gaming Activities

Casinos across the state as well as in other states have begun to focus on non-gaming activities as a way to bring in additional revenues. The younger generation is not necessarily focused on gaming, especially the traditional gambling options like blackjack and slots. Older generations would commonly visit casinos in order to enjoy gambling. For the younger visitors, it’s more about entertainment and dining. Casinos have to be able to showcase something to intrigue players.

Hamilton pointed out that venues cannot just bank on the casino anymore. The SugarHouse has decided to focus on more amenities that are of the non-gaming variety. More live entertainment options are available via the new Event Center, including musical acts like Sara Evans.

New dining options are offered at the venue as well since the expansion including Mian, a quick service Asian restaurant, as well as The Marketplace and Saxbys. A hybrid gaming option was added to the casino to entice gamers known as the Dynasty Gaming Pit. This gaming area features baccarat and roulette in the electronic gaming styles. Many younger players like to take part in electronic gaming as it is similar to modern gaming that is enjoyed via consoles or mobile devices.