Pennsylvania Table Games Revenue Up Nearly 10 Percent in September

Posted on: October 19, 2017, 09:55h. 

Last updated on: October 19, 2017, 09:55h.

According to the latest report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state’s 1,252 gaming tables in daily operation (on average) generated $76 million in September, up nearly 10 percent year-over-year. The uptick is a refreshing reprieve from sluggish gaming revenue numbers in the state earlier in the year.

Table games in Pennsylvania
Gaming revenues in Pennsylvania are on the rise in September, after a lackluster start for casinos to 2017. (Image:

Sands Casino in Bethlehem jumped 17 percent, for the largest gain in the state. The Pennsylvania outpost of Las Vegas Sands corporation brought in $22.6 million in 2017, up $3.2 million compared to last year.

Despite the casino’s success, or perhaps because of it, Sands Bethlehem is currently being shopped around to interested buyers, with a bid from a New York investment firm expected later this month or early November.

Bucking National Trends

Second only to Nevada, Pennsylvania has benefited the most from casino revenues of any state in the US. Raking in nearly a third of what Nevada brings in monthly, Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos pull in more gaming revenue than Atlantic City, which brought in $58 million in table games revenue from its eight casino locations.

Meanwhile, in the Silver State, according to data released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, table games made up to $344.4 million in revenues in May. That may sound like a big number, but it’s not raining money in Nevada. That’s because even though revenue was up at the tables this year, volume was down.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Tax and License Division of the board, told the Las Vegas Sun, the overall amount of game action is down this fiscal year.

“Luck played a lot into that, because the drop was down 2.4 percent with $29.8 billion in game and table volume,” Lawton said. “The hold was 13.97 percent. That’s the highest game and table hold percentage since fiscal year 2004. It’s a little bit of an anomaly.”

It’s hard to say, specifically why table games, especially in Pennsylvania, have become such an attractive option to gamblers this year.

Expanded Gambling Still on Table

Analysts attribute some of the additional spend to an overall improving economy, and competition among casinos doing more to bring in players in Pennsylvania as well as nearby New Jersey.

Throughout much of 2017, Pennsylvania’s state legislature has been considering an expansion of gambling, including laws to legalize online gambling and poker, to address serious budget shortfalls.

And while the Republican-controlled House and Senate have both been unable to come up with a comprehensive fix to fill a $2.2 billion hole in the state’s $32 billion budget without raising taxes, all sides agree in principle that additional gambling revenues in some capacity should be part of it.