The 2015-2016 fiscal year was a good one for Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos: $3.23 billion good.
That’s according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, which released the revenue numbers on July 18. This was Pennsylvania’s best year, revenue-wise, in the state’s six-year history of regulated gambling.
The $3.23 billion also marks a 3.6 percent increase over the previous fiscal year.
An overview of the ’15-’16 revenue numbers
The year-to-year total gambling revenue represents two different numbers: gross slot machine revenue and gross table games revenue.
In the 2015-2016 revenue year, PA casinos brought in $2.38 billion from slots and $839 million from table games. The latter represents a more than $59 million increase over the previous year’s table-game numbers.
Tax revenues from table games and slots were estimated to be nearly $1.4 billion, with table games accounting for nearly $120 million of that figure.
Sizing up the casino revenues
Digging down into the casino-by-casino revenues from 2015-2016 reveals that nine of the state’s 12 casino’s experienced an increase in table-games revenue.
The leaders in table-games revenue were Sands Bethlehem, Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino. Each of those properties experienced revenue growth over the 2014-2015 year:
- Sands: 12.39 percent growth
- Parx: 13.18 percent growth
- SugarHouse: 11.04 percent growth.
Yet the year’s numbers weren’t just a matter of the rich getting richer. Casinos whose revenue was near the bottom of the list experienced aggressive growth as well.
Valley Forge Casino Resort pulled in $33.5 million in table-games revenue, which was a 13.2-percent increase over the previous year.
Meadows ($32.05 million) also had a nice year, seeing a 9.22-percent increase over 2014-2015.
The three casinos which suffered losses in 2015-2016 were:
- Mohegan Sun Pocono: -7.24 percent
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin: -4.75 percent
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course: -2.63 percent
Hot streak contributes to big numbers
If you’ve been following the revenue numbers for Pennsylvania’s casinos, the record-breaking year wasn’t a big surprise.
The state’s casinos just wrapped up a nine-month growth streak, in which they’ve experienced year-on-year growth in revenue.
The peak of the run came in the spring, when casinos pulled record revenue in April and May. June saw the end of YoY increases.
More revenue in PA if bill passes
While Pennsylvania’s casinos rode the hot hand through the end of the fiscal year, the state’s online gambling bill hit a cold streak at the end of June.
A gambling expansion bill, which included language to legalize and regulate online gambling in Pennsylvania, was approved by the House but stalled in the Senate.
Interestingly, the state’s legislature passed a budget that included $100 million in gambling revenue. Some of that is likely going to come from online gambling.
That makes it likely that Gov. Tom Wolf, who signed off on the budget, expects the bill to pass when a gambling bill is reintroduced to the Senate this fall.
A large chunk of the $100 million will most likely come one-time licensing fees included in the online gambling bill.