Casinos
1:38 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

PA Casinos See Drop in February Revenue

While the overall casino revenue for February decreased 5 percent, the Pennsylvania table games had a bit more luck.

Table games at the commonwealth’s 12 casinos grossed $57.1 million this year — a 3.25 percent increase over February 2013.

However, Richard McGarvey, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman, said this increase is not that impressive at second glance.

“Whenever we look at the numbers, we feel that maybe table games themselves, even though they were up a little bit over last year, was probably depressed some, too, in other words, their numbers were probably lower than they could have been” McGarvey said. “It’s one of those things, even though it’s up, we think had the weather been nicer, probably the numbers would have been even higher.”

He also thinks the weather affected the slot machine revenue, which dropped 7.5 percent, lowering the overall gaming revenue from $251 million in February 2013 to $238 million in 2014.

“Slot machine numbers are actually a little more stable than table games numbers, so they’re a pretty good indicator of what’s happening around the state,” McGarvey said.  “And in February it really was very snowy and very cold, so we really think that had an effect on the overall gaming revenue.”

McGarvey said the revenue could also be lower because gamblers have more options.

“You have increased competition from Ohio, increases from Maryland, also seeing increases in New York from competition,” McGarvey said.  “So whenever you add competition, there’s only a limited amount of people out there, so we think that certainly has had some effect also on our revenue numbers.”

The table games brought the commonwealth about $8.2 million in tax revenue this February in addition to the $97 million from slots.

But McGarvey said Pennsylvania is still bringing in more than $1.4 billion in tax revenue from table and slot machines - the most in the nation.

He said the board expects to see an increase in revenue within the next few months.

“March traditionally in Pennsylvania is the largest revenue generating month for casinos,” McGarvey said.  “So March has always been a good month, we’ll just have to wait and see, you know, will it be as good as other years, certainly the expectation is it probably will be, especially with the weather improving, but again you have to wait and see.”