Pennsylvania casinos enjoy August despite cold tables


penn-national-gaming-york-galleria-mall-casinoPennsylvania casinos reported a modest gaming revenue bump in August, while Boyd Gaming formally assumed ownership of one of the state’s lesser lights, and Penn National Gaming went full mallrats.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported that gaming revenue at the state’s 12 brick-and-mortar casinos hit $275m in August, a 2.8% improvement over the same month last year. August’s slots revenue improved 4.4% to $201.7m while table games fell 1.3% to just under $73.3m.

Seven casinos reported overall negative growth in August, with most of the decliners reporting steep drops in table revenue. Sands Bethlehem, the state’s perennial top table earner, saw its tables down 6.35% to $18.7m, while tables at perennial runner-up Parx nearly closed the gap, rising 8.4% to $17.4m. Parx won the overall revenue race with nearly $52.2m (+8.5%), while Sands was well back in second with $44.4m (-1.4%).

The Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia ranked second-last on the overall revenue chart at just under $10.7m, but the property is beloved by its new owner Boyd Gaming, which formally completed its acquisition of the casino on Monday, following a $280.5m deal the company struck last December.

Valley Forge may not be a star on the revenue chart, but Boyd CEO Keith Smith said the venue “represents a key expansion of our nationwide portfolio,” in particular due to Pennsylvania’s current path to launching both online gambling and sports betting.

Smith said Boyd was looking forward to “exploring future growth initiatives at this property,” including online and sports via Boyd’s new partnership with FanDuel Group. However, while those new verticals depend on the PGCB finishing its paperwork, Boyd can move more aggressively with plans to add an additional 250 slots to Valley Forge’s current complement of 600 machines.

Meanwhile, Penn National Gaming filed an application with the PGCB last week seeking to build its new Category 4 ‘satellite’ casino in the York Galleria Mall in Springettsbury Township. The new Hollywood Casino York property (artist’s impression pictured) will feature 500 slots and 20 table games, with capacity for up to 750 slots and 40 tables.

PNG, which currently operates Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, paid $50.1m for its Cat 4 license, then topped that up with an additional $2.5m for its new tables, bringing the project’s total outlay to around $120m. PNG CEO Timothy Wilmott called the Galliera Mall a “well-known retail destination in York County” and thus “an ideal site” for the new venue, which will also feature a restaurant, sports bar and entertainment lounge.