Pennsylvania casinos post second-best gaming revenue year


pennsylvania-casino-table-game-revenuePennsylvania casinos enjoyed table game revenue growth in their most recent fiscal year but it wasn’t enough to prevent a decline in overall gaming revenue.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported the state’s 12 casinos generated table gaming revenue of just under $70m in June, a 2.16% rise over the same month last year. June’s figure brought the fiscal year table total to $866.5m, up 3.25% over the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Combined with the $2.33b the state’s slot machines generated in the 12 months ending June 30, Pennsylvania’s overall casino gaming revenue totaled $3.2b, a decline of less than 1% from the previous year’s record $3.22b.

The slots and table figures had very different trajectories throughout the past fiscal year. Slots experienced statewide declines in 10 of the 12 months, while table games reported nine months of gains.

As ever, Las Vegas Sands’ Sands Bethlehem finished atop the table game charts, with total table revenue up 3% to $235.1m, well ahead of runner-up Parx Casino, which shot up 9.7% to $170.1m.

On a related note, Monday also brought word of the surprise resignation of Sands Bethlehem president Mark Juliano. No reason was given for the exit, but the property’s senior VP of finance and administration Brian Carr has been appointed Juliano’s replacement. Sands Bethlehem was reportedly nearly sold to rival MGM Resorts but talks broke down in May.

Monday also saw Pennsylvania legislators resume their efforts to approve a revenue plan to fund the spending plan they sent Gov. Tom Wolf a couple weeks ago. Gambling expansion – including the possibility of legalizing online gambling – is expected to be a contributor to this revenue roadmap, but precisely what type of gambling will be part of the final package remains a matter of hot debate.

The state Senate reconvened on Monday, and discussion of the amended HB 271 gaming bill approved by the House last month was supposed to be on the docket of the Rules & Executive Nominations Committee, only to see its discussion deferred until Tuesday.

The Inquirer quoted Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati saying that whatever plan emerged from the committee, it would not include the House’s controversial proposal to authorize thousands of video gaming terminals (VGT) in bars and clubs. A similar proposal resulted in last year’s gambling expansion talks going nowhere.

Scarnati claimed that the two chambers are reportedly in agreement on a plan to authorize the state’s gaming operators to launch up to 10 ‘satellite’ casinos, each of which would be allowed to offer up to 700 slots and 100 table games.

The Senate is also reportedly supportive of plans to authorize the casinos to launch online gambling and daily fantasy sports operations, and the House has previously demonstrated its willingness to become the fourth US state to authorize intrastate online gambling. But it remains to be seen whether the House will maintain the same ‘VGT or nothing’ stance from last year.