Pennsylvania Table Gaming Revenues Trend Upward in May

People play casino games: gold spinning roulette with motion of players, croupier (dealer) and roulette in a modern casino

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has released the table gaming revenue totals for May, showing the 12 casinos in the state generated $74m (£56.2m), 0.6% more than in May 2017.

Slot machines brought in $203m (£154m) for the month, as reported by the Board earlier in the month, which created $278m (£211m) in total revenue, a 0.4% increase over the same month last year. Table games were up less than 1% over April totals, with an average of 1,271 tables in operation on a daily basis for the state.

Individual casino earnings

Breaking down the revenue numbers by casino, Parx Casino was the top operator in slot earnings with $35.7m (€26.4m) and second in table games, with $16m (£12.2m). The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem was first in table game revenues with $19.6m (£12.8m) and second in slots, earning $27m (£20.5m).

The Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh saw a nice increase in table game earnings, bringing in $6.3m (£4.8m), an increase of almost 16% over last May. Its slot revenues for the venue came in at just over $22m (£16.7m). The Hollywood Casino at Penn National earned just over $18m (£13.7m) via slots, while table games produced $3m (£2.3m).

The largest increase in table game earnings was seen by The Meadows Casino, which brought in $3.2m (£2.4m), a whopping 124.25% increase from May 2017. The Valley Forge Casino Resort also saw a nice increase of just over 67%, with $3.8m (£2.9m) in table game earnings.

While revenue from table games increased for most casinos in the state, a few venues saw large decreases in earnings. Mount Airy Casino Resort earned only $2.9m (£2.2m), a 30.49% decrease from May of last year. SugarHouse Casino was down 11.86% with $10m (£7.6m), while Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino reported a 13.72% decrease, with $5.2m (£3.9m) in earnings.

Counting on casino taxes and fees

Pennsylvania counts on the taxes paid by the casinos to pay for many budget needs; May revenues were just over $12m (£9.1m) for the month. Tax revenues go toward local communities, the horse racing industry, lowering homeowners’ property taxes. Yesterday, details of the new state budget package emerged, showing that gaming revenue is expected to total $100m (£75.9m) for the next fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

Negotiations on the budget are underway and lawmakers are counting on over $100m from licensing of legalized online gambling and sports betting to help. The cost of licensing for online casino gaming is currently set at $10m (£7.6m) if operators want to offer table games, slots, and poker. There are 13 licenses presently available, with one for each of the 12 casinos in the state and the other set aside for a planned casino for Philadelphia.

If the full casino licenses are not sold, then operators will be allowed to acquire one license for table gaming, slots, or poker at $4m (£3m) each. The process for online gaming licensing began in mid-April but the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has yet to receive any applications.

Back in 2017, lawmakers had estimated that online gambling would provide around $200m (£151.8m) to the state’s budget in licensing payments. That number was not met, and it looks as if lawmakers are more realistic with their budget estimates this time around, since they have lowered the amount by 50%.

Online casino licensing is open for 90 days in Pennsylvania at the $10m price tag for all three categories combined. In mid-August, the window for single licensing will open up, and that could be when operators begin the application process. Because most operators will be involved in online gaming for the very first time, analysts believe that operators may be waiting to try one category of online gaming instead of diving into all three at one time.

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