Pennsylvania Casinos See Play Cool, May Retail Revenue Totals $292.5M

Posted on: June 21, 2023, 08:22h. 

Last updated on: June 21, 2023, 09:33h.

Pennsylvania casinos saw their in-person play slow in May as the 17 brick-and-mortar properties reported retail gross gaming revenue of approximately $292.5 million. Compared with May 2022, last month’s land-based win represents a $1.7 million reduction or a 0.6% year-over-year decrease.

Pennsylvania casinos gaming revenue May
Slot machines at Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino in Bensalem Township. Pennsylvania casinos experienced a bit of a cooldown in their retail play during May 2023. (Image: Philadelphia Inquirer)

The decline was mostly felt on the tables, as dealer games saw poorer win rates for the house. Retail tables at the state’s 17 casinos totaled $81.6 million, a 7.8% drop from May 2022. Slots tried to cover the table losses with more than $210.8 million in coin-in hold, but the 2.5% premium on May 2022 wasn’t enough to bridge the gap.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course remained the top player in the state market. Revenue there totaled over $74.3 million, an 18% jump from the previous May. Valley Forge Casino Resort, largely because of its iGaming and sports wagering business, placed a surprising second, with revenue north of $64.2 million, a nearly 22% year-over-year improvement.

Individual casino GGR includes income from retail, iGaming, and sports betting.

After Hollywood Penn National and Valley Forge, Parx Casino near Philadelphia was third at $58.8 million, Rivers Casino Philadelphia was fourth at $50.2 million, and Wind Creek Bethlehem rounded out the top five at $46.3 million. All but Wind Creek, which posted a 5% year-over-year decline, saw improved revenue in May 2023.

iGaming, Sports Betting Increases

Though in-person play cooled a bit in May, something not unique to Pennsylvania, but also experienced in neighboring Atlantic City, online casinos and sportsbooks continued to experience growth.

iGaming, inclusive of online slots, table games, and poker rake, totaled more than $140.9 million. That’s a 24% surge on May 2022 or an increase of about $27.7 million.

Interactive slots won $100.6 million, up nearly 29%, while online tables generated $37.8 million or 17% more than a year ago.

Oddsmakers kept $41.1 million of the $495.6 million wagered, which respectively, represent year-over-year increases of 17% and 0.5%. As the numbers show, oddsmakers fared significantly better against their bettors last month than they did during May 2022.

Notable events last month included the Kentucky Derby, the PGA Championship, the Indianapolis 500, and the start of the French Open.

Video gaming terminals inside truck stops added about $3.6 million in revenue, and daily fantasy sports operators reported $1.2 million in contest fees. When GGR from all verticals is combined, Pennsylvania’s gaming industry reported May 2023 revenue of approximately $479.37 million, which is up 7%.

Bridge Concerns

iGaming and sports betting bridged the in-person reductions at the Pennsylvania casinos last month. The online verticals will likely have more work to do in June, as some retail play is expected to be hampered by the I-95 bridge collapse in Philadelphia.

On June 11, a tanker truck carrying gasoline crashed while attempting to exit the highway in Northeast Philadelphia at Route 73. The truck caught fire underneath the highway bridge and the extreme heat resulted in the bridge collapsing.

State and federal officials say the nine-mile closure of I-95 will reopen as soon as this weekend. But the traffic and backlogs surrounding the area are presumably keeping some would-be gamblers away from the three casinos in the area, Parx, Rivers, and Live!