Pennsylvania Gaming Revenue Down 18 Percent in 2019-20 Fiscal Year

Posted on: July 17, 2020, 09:35h. 

Last updated on: July 17, 2020, 11:24h.

Pennsylvania gaming revenue, including win from slot machines, table games, online gambling, sports betting, daily fantasy sports (DFS), and video gaming terminals (VGTs), fell 18 percent during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Pennsylvania gaming revenue casinos
Pennsylvania gaming revenue tumbled due to coronavirus health safety measures in place. (Image: William Thomas Cain/Bucks County Courier Times)

COVID-19 was the culprit for the steep decline. The pandemic forced the state’s 12 brick-and-mortar casinos to close for nearly three months, VGT parlors inside truck stops were off-limits, and oddsmakers and DFS platforms had little to no sports to offer lines and contests on.

By the Numbers

Slots: $1,697,955,473

Tables: $644,543,736

Sports Betting: $113,724,759

DFS: $20,868,176

Online Gaming: $240,894,852

VGTs: $6,798,123

TOTAL: $2,724,785,117

In the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported a total win of more than $3.3 billion. As a result of the decline, the state gaming regulator reported tax revenue from gambling totaled $1.12 billion in 2019/20, down from $1.39 billion in the previous fiscal year.

Parx and Bethlehem Lead

Parx Casino near Philadelphia won the most money of the 12 land-based casinos in 2019-20. The venue reported slot machine revenue of $300.4 million and $137.8 million on table games for a combined haul of $438.2 million. However, that’s a $169 million loss compared with the previous 12-year period.

Wind Creek Bethlehem, which Las Vegas Sands sold to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians in May of 2019 for $1.3 billion, ranked second in gross gaming revenue (GGR). The casino won $187.9 million on its slots and $160.7 million on its tables for a combined $348.6 million year. That’s down $175 million.

Valley Forge Casino Resort led the way in sports betting. The property’s sportsbook partner FanDuel reported sports wagering revenue of $40.8 million, far ahead of Rivers Casino in second at $17.8 million.

DraftKings and FanDuel dominated DFS, the two operators respectively winning $11.2 million and $8.9 million of the state’s total $20.8 million in fantasy sports revenue.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh topped online gaming with $73.1 million in revenue. Mount Airy was a distant second at $48.7 million.

Casinos Reopen, But Will it Last? 

All 12 Keystone State casinos are once again open for play. Total GGR for June, inclusive of DFS and VGTs,  was $132.5 million. Though that’s a 51 percent plunge, operators are glad to have their slots back on and cards being dealt. But there’s no guarantee it will last.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) this week announced that indoor dining would be reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent capacity. Bars can only be open for sit-down food service at tables, as bar service is prohibited. Gatherings are to be limited to a maximum of 25 people indoors and 250 outdoors.

During the past week, we have seen an unsettling climb in new COVID-19 cases,” Wolf said in explaining the decision. “COVID-19 cases peaked in Pennsylvania on April 9, with nearly 2,000 new cases. If we don’t act now, medical experts are projecting that this new surge in cases could soon eclipse the peak in April.”

Pennsylvania has reported 99,479 coronavirus cases, and more than 7,000 deaths.