Table Games Continue to Do Well for Pennsylvania Casinos

by Jim Hall

PennsylvaniaWith table game revenue increasing in the double digits, the casino industry of Pennsylvania shows quality earnings in August.

In the United States, the main revenue sources for land based casinos are slot games and table games. It seems the two offer casinos the best revenue streams and often, one will perform better than the other. In Pennsylvania, table games are providing the state with much-needed revenues, helping the state stay in the black month after month. For August, table games saw a double digit increase of just over 10%.

August Earnings

August was a good month for casinos in Pennsylvania, with overall gaming revenues coming in at $267,460,292. This is a 2.51% increase. For table gaming, the revenues were up just over 10% to $74,269,815. Slot gaming was down .39% to $74,269,815. While table games have performed well, slots continue to see a decline. August marks 11 months in a row that the state has seen a decline in revenues.

Since October of last year, the slot machines have been in a decline. Slots have been down as much as 6.17% with this past month being the lowest decrease within the 11 month time frame. This is a postivie note but the fact that slots are still down is concerning to operators as well as lawmakers who need the funds to help the state function.

Breakdown of Individual Casinos

There are currently twelve gaming venues operating in Pennsylvania. Of these twelve, eight casinos were able to see an increase in revenues for the month of August. The biggest increase was made by the Mount Airy Casino Resort, with a 10.65% gain for August. Valley Forge Casino and Parx Casino were not far behind as they hit the 7% increase range.

Four casinos saw a decrease in earnings which included the Mohegan Sun Pocono, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin and the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The highest decrease was seen at Harrah’s of 5.25%.

Will Online Gambling or a Gambling Expansion Help?

With slot revenues continue to see a decline, many are wondering if online gambling or an expansion in other areas of the industry will help. Opponents of expanded gambling like video gaming terminals believe that the slot revenues will suffer even more if such gaming is allowed in the state. Players would have more access to VGTs as they would be allowed at bars and restaurants. Instead of having to travel long distances, players could just walk down the street or reach a venue offering VGTs in a shorter time frame than a casino in the state.

Some would argue that online gambling might hurt the numbers as well but by looking at such states as New Jersey, online gaming has only served to help the land-based industry. Casinos are able to be involved in online gambling operations and in most cases, any decline in land-based revenues are made up for with online game play.

The state is currently trying to decide what to do as far as gambling expansion is concerned. Just recently, the House passed a budget plan but the plan was opposed by the Senate. Lawmakers continue to try and come to some consensus on the matter in order to see a plan put in place and laws passed in order for a budget to be in place and money come in to the state. For most, the best way to do so it so legalize online gambling. Money would be provided in the short term and long term based on licensing fees paid up front as well as fees paid each year plus gaming taxes. We shall see in the coming weeks if something is done to see any such expansion in the state as far as gambling is concerned.