Pennsylvania Casino Revenue Falls 12 Percent

Posted on: February 22, 2024, 11:45h. 

Last updated on: February 22, 2024, 12:02h.

Pennsylvania casinos won far less money on their brick-and-mortar floors in January 2024 than they did in January 2023. The Keystone State’s woes to begin the new year mirror much of the nation where retail play slowed.

Pennsylvania casino revenue iGaming sports betting
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. Pennsylvania casino win at the state’s 17 brick-and-mortar properties fell considerably in January 2024. The physical gaming losses were covered online. (Image: Wikimedia)

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported this week that retail slots at the state’s 17 physical casinos totaled $179.5 million, a more than 11% year-over-year plunge. Table games won $72.6 million, a 13% decline.

Combined, the legacy gross gaming revenue (GGR) of approximately $252.1 million was nearly 12% lower, or $33.9 million less than January 2023.

iGaming, Sportsbook Wins

Pennsylvania’s other gaming verticals, specifically iGaming and sports betting, offset the land-based casino losses.

iGaming GGR continued to grow, with online slots and interactive tables winning $149.5 million — an increase of over 12%. Oddsmakers won 78% more money, with sportsbooks retaining nearly $70 million of the $858.1 million bet.

The Philadelphia Eagles, once the Super Bowl favorite last season, lost twice in January, including an embarrassing 32-9 performance in the NFC wild-card game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pittsburgh Steelers also made an early exit in the NFL Playoffs with a 31-17 loss at the Buffalo Bills.

Total revenue from casinos, iGaming, and sports betting, plus $3 million from gaming machines inside truck stops and $2.5 million from fantasy sports, totaled $477.1 million. That’s a 2.8% year-over-year improvement.

Economic Headwinds

Pennsylvania’s January gaming report provides further evidence that gamblers across the country are reining in their in-person play. Along with Pennsylvania, in-person casino revenue in January was down from 2023 in New York, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, and Maryland.

The $3 million in truck stop video gaming terminal revenue represents a 9% drop, and fantasy sports income dropped over 7%.

Though iGaming and sports betting offset the losses elsewhere, the January filing demonstrates that gamblers aren’t risking as much money on legacy outlets. A host of reasons could explain why, including ongoing inflation, the end of government stimuli, and a tightening labor market.

Economic growth is likely to decelerate in 2024 as the effects of monetary policy take a broader toll and post-pandemic tailwinds fade,” JP Morgan’s 2024 Economic Outlook report read. “We expect real GDP growth to walk the line between a slight expansion and contraction for much of next year, also known as a soft landing. After tracking to a better-than-expected 2.8% real GDP growth in 2023, we forecast a below-trend 0.7% pace of expansion in 2024.”

After three years of record growth in the US commercial industry, 2024 could be the first brick-and-mortar casino revenue setback since the nation exited the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Fines

In related news, the PGCB said it levied $212,500 in fines against gaming licensees for regulatory violations.

Penn Entertainment was fined $97,500 for allowing fraudulent online accounts to be created for iGaming and sports betting purposes. Penn’s Hollywood Casino York was also fined $50K for allowing underage people access to the gaming floor.

Rivers Philadelphia was fined $65K for failing to meet minimum staffing requirements and failing to notify the PGCB about a theft that occurred on the casino floor.

The state additionally banned three more adults for leaving children unattended in their vehicles outside casinos.

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