The holiday season turned out to be very favorable for Pennsylvania slot operators. According to a report published by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), slot machine revenues increased 8% in December 2018 when compared to the previous year.
The report lists the monthly gross revenues of 13 casinos, and all had improvements year over year for the month of December. The Rivers Casino saw the biggest increase, making $2.76 million more than it had in the same month last year. Valley Forge Casino saw the biggest increase by percentage, bringing in 18.2% more revenue in the same period. Overall, the casinos brought in $202 million from slots alone, more than $15 million more than they had in the same period for 2017.
The increase in revenue comes despite there being fewer slot machines in operation. Combined, the casinos had 25,442 slot machines running, 407 less than in 2017.
The report also provides figures for 2018 as a whole. Slot revenue reached $2.3 billion, 1.4% higher than 2017 as a whole. Tax revenues as a result totaled 1.2 billion, which will be used for property tax reductions for Pennsylvanians, bolstering the horse racing industry, and funding other development projects.
Of the 13 casinos in the report, only six saw their slot revenues increase year over year. Those increases were enough for the state’s casinos to see the overall increase of $33 million in gross revenue. The report expects to have full 2018 casino revenue figures available later in January.
This is a bit of good news for the PA casinos. In November, the board noted that October revenues had declined 3.5% compared to 2017, with a 1.7% decrease for slots gaming. This December increase will have then helped to cheer up operators and tax collectors alike. Assuming the market isn’t saturated already, the PGCB can expect revenues to further increase in 2019 as more casinos come online, after having recently received their licenses.