Pennsylvania online casinos came close last month to matching their record September revenue, helping push the state’s commercial gaming industry to a 7.3% year-over-year increase in earnings in October.
Last month’s revenue from digital slots, table games, and poker play was 24.3% more than in October 2022 and a big factor in the industry’s overall $483 million figure that also included money lost by gamblers at retail casinos ($275 million), sports betting ($48.2 million), truck stop VGTs ($3.4 million), and fantasy sports contests ($2.7 million).
As has become customary, the level of in-person play on slots, blackjack, roulette, and the rest within Pennsylvania’s 17 casinos saw no increase. The retail revenue was basically flat with September while down 1.8% from October 2022, when there was one fewer casino in operation before the small Parx Shippensburg venue opened.
The state has different tax rates for the different forms of gambling, and the blended rate of about 41% when added together resulted in $196.9 million in tax revenue last month.
A new benchmark perhaps established
Whereas $100 million in online casino revenue was not long ago the benchmark representing a successful month for Pennsylvania’s operators, the past two months suggest that $150 million may be the new bar to reach on a regular basis. Before September, that mark had never been cleared, with $148.2 million in March having represented the prior record.
The state does not break down revenue by individual online operators, but instead lumps together revenue of whatever partners exist with a brick-and-mortar casino holding an iGaming license.
In that manner, the casino sites attached to Hollywood Casino at Penn National — which are Hollywood Casino, Barstool (operating in its last full month), DraftKings, BetMGM, and PointsBet — again led with $62.2 million (off from a high of $64.9 million in September).
The $35.4 million from FanDuel and Stardust on the Valley Forge Casino Resort license and $29.3 million from BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse, and Borgata on the Rivers Philadelphia license were basically the same as the month before, while all had substantial year-over-year increases.
Golden Nugget and Bally Casino both launched in recent months as the state’s newest iCasinos, under special licenses untethered to a retail casino, and Golden Nugget saw a marked drop in revenue from September to October. Its $3 million last month was down from $4.9 million in September, perhaps due to reducing customer bonuses after its initial launch. The $1.8 million earned by Bally’s, meanwhile, was up from $1.7 million in September.
Ups and downs within the retail casinos
The retail casinos’ revenue in October broke down as $192.5 million from slots (a 3.3% decrease from October 2022) and $81.5 million from table games (2% increase). Though basically flat collectively, individual casinos experienced some marked changes.
Leading the unfortunate charge in the year-over-year slots decline were Harrah’s Philadelphia, dropping 18% from the year before to $8.5 million, and Presque Isle Downs and Casino, off 13.2% to $7.1 million. Countering the trend best was little Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, with a 13.7% annual increase to $1.9 million.
Seven casinos saw double-digit increases in their year-over-year table games revenue: Hollywood Casino at the Meadows (50.3%), Live! Pittsburgh (16.5%), Hollywood Casino York (16.2%), Hollywood Casino Morgantown (16%), Valley Forge Casino Resort (13.6%), Presque Isle Downs and Casino (13.1%), and Live! Philadelphia (11.4%).
Three casinos, however, had double-digit table games declines from October 2022: Harrah’s Philadelphia (-22.6%), Mount Airy Casino Resort (-16.3%), and Rivers Philadelphia (-15.9%).
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