Pennsylvania Casinos Again Set Monthly Gaming Revenue Record

Posted on: August 18, 2021, 02:57h. 

Last updated on: August 18, 2021, 03:34h.

Don’t try telling Pennsylvania casinos that there remains an ongoing global pandemic. Business is better than ever.

Pennsylvania casinos GGR gaming revenue
Guests stand in line eagerly awaiting the grand opening of Hollywood Casino York on August 12, 2021. Pennsylvania casinos enjoyed record gaming revenue in July, and look to further increase play in the months ahead with new properties, such as Hollywood. (Image: York Daily Record)

Pennsylvania’s gaming industry is today the second-largest in the nation, behind only Nevada. Pennsylvania had 13 commercial land-based casinos operational in July, plus iGaming, retail and mobile sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and video gaming terminals (VGTs) at truck stops.

In May, the state reported record gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $413.18 million. The record didn’t stand long, as today a new monthly high has been announced.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) says GGR from all verticals totaled $423.65 million in July. It’s the richest monthly haul in state history. The first legal casino bet was wagered in the commonwealth in November of 2006.

Healthy as Ever

Pennsylvania casinos are operating free of coronavirus restrictions.

The brick-and-mortar venues are no longer subject to reduced caps on occupancy limits. Indoor smoking sections are again allowed, and the slot machines that were powered down to promote social distancing are back on.

Table games have additionally brought back their full complement of seats. And last month, tables played a substantial role in driving the record revenue. Brick-and-mortar table games kept $86.9 million of gamblers’ bets, a 65.5 percent surge on July 2020 and 13 percent gain on July 2019.

July 2021 was the best single month ever for table games in Pennsylvania. The state legalized table gambling in 2010.

Slots also fared well. The terminals last month generated GGR of $222.8 million, a 35 percent year-over-year increase, and 11.5 percent premium on July 2019.

Sportsbooks retained $19.8 million of the wagers — soaring 144 percent from a year ago. VGTs were responsible for revenue of $3.7 million, up more than 81 percent.

iGaming Remains Strong

While Pennsylvania casinos enjoyed record play in July, online platforms continued to post strong earnings. iGaming sites reported GGR of $63.2 million from internet slots, $22.8 million from interactive tables, and $2.6 million from online poker rake and fees.

All combined, iGaming GGR in July 2021 came in at $88.6 million. That represents a 63 percent year-over-year increase.

Wind Creek Struggling

One glaring item in the PGCB July report is the ongoing market share loss of Wind Creek Bethlehem. The casino resort was once the top GGR earner when it was owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands. Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians paid Sands $1.3 billion for the casino, a sale that closed in May of 2019.

The days of the Bethlehem casino dominating Pennsylvania’s casino industry are long gone. Wind Creek placed fourth in terms of total revenue last month.

July 2021 Total GGR

  1. Parx Philadelphia — $64M
  2. Hollywood Penn National — $53.6M
  3. Rivers Philadelphia – $50.2M
  4. Wind Creek Bethlehem — $43.9M
  5. Valley Forget — $35.3M

However, Wind Creek’s brick-and-mortar operations remain strong, as the casino came in second in retail slot and table GGR. But the casino is greatly lagging online and in the sports betting space.

The Poarch Band Bethlehem casino placed seventh in iGaming, and 16th in sports betting.