Pennsylvania Slots Down 3.5% To $2.4bn In 2013January 7, 2014 2:15 pm
For the first time since Pennsylvania embraced casino gambling back in 2006, “The Keystone State” has recorded its first annual decline in slots revenue as increased competition from bordering states begins to eat into its domestic casino market.
Pennsylvania closed out the year by reporting an 8.7% decrease in its slots revenue to $178 million for December, and according to the overall 2013 figures released by the Gaming Control Board, Pennsylvania’s 26,591 slot machines generated less than $2.4 billion in revenue throughout the year, 3.5% less than in 2012. The state subsequently collected 55% in taxes, equivalent to nearly $1.3 billion.
Eleven out of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos actually posted decline throughout the year, and recording the biggest fall was the Presque Isle Downs and Casino, which was down by more than 13%. Other casinos reporting falls in slots growth included Harrah’s Philadelphia down 10%; Parx Casino down more than 4% at $368.42m; and the SugarHouse in Philadelphia down by almost 5%. Just Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino reported a gain in slots growth, albeit by less than 1%.
Commenting on the state’s first decline in slot machine gross revenues in six years, gaming board spokesman Doug Harbach, said: “There continues to be increased casino competition from all of Pennsylvania’s bordering states and that certainly is affecting year-over-year revenue. The good news is we continue to see revenue numbers from slot machines that are second in the U.S. behind Nevada and tax revenue generation that is the highest. So, in many ways you can still make the argument that Pennsylvania’s casino industry is doing very, very well.”
Striking a further note of optimism, Harbach said that Pennsylvania table games revenue continues to be solid, and showed growth in nine out of the first eleven months of 2013. December’s tally is expected to be released later this month. Accounting for the state’s table games growth is the fact table games were introduced to Pennsylvania four years after slots, are so are still showing an upward trajectory in growth.