Pennsylvania’s IGaming Strength Endures In August

Online casinos drove overall gaming revenue growth of 7.5% from a year ago

A spike in online casino revenue in August boosted Pennsylvania’s overall commercial gaming industry to a strong month for earnings compared to a year ago.

The monthly revenue report released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board showed $457.2 million in total revenue from gambling in 17 casinos, casino games played online, sports betting, truck stop VGTs, and fantasy sports contests. That was a 7.5% increase from August 2022, though off 2.1% from July’s total.

The iCasino sector of the industry showed its popularity, with the $145 million earned by 20-some sites nearly matching the monthly record of $148.2 million set in March. August’s total was 35.3% higher than a year ago, as well as 9.1% more than was retained from bettors’ digital play in July.

Revenue of $285.9 million from in-person slots and table games play was 2.2% more than in the prior August but 4.1% less than in July. There was a drop in taxable sports betting revenue, meanwhile, compared to both the prior month and prior August.

In all, the $457.2 million in earnings by the operators of various forms of legal commercial gaming resulted in direct taxes of $189.4 million for state and local governments.

Two newcomers boost iCasino total

The iGaming industry was bolstered by the arrival of online casino options from Bally’s and Golden Nugget, with additional slots and table games provided for those interested in playing on phones or computers.

Bally’s reported $2.2 million in revenue in August and Golden Nugget $191,548, with the latter figure sharply reduced by an unusual $351,097 loss Golden Nugget reported from online tables play.

Under the state’s reporting system, revenue from Bally’s and Golden Nugget can be pinpointed by virtue of their individual licenses. That is not the case for most platforms, as multiple operators typically are bundled under one brick-and-mortar casino’s iGaming license.

Clearly, however, most of the sites were more active in August than the month before. PENN Interactive’s Hollywood Casino license shared by that iCasino brand and by Barstool Sportsbook, DraftKings, BetMGM, and PointsBet totaled a state-high $60.3 million in revenue.

The Valley Forge Casino Resort license used by FanDuel and Stardust Casino made $32.4 million last month, with the Rivers Philadelphia license of BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse, and Borgata Casino generating $28.1 million.

The $145 million in total iCasino revenue broke down as $105.3 million from slots play, $37.3 million from table games, and $2.4 million from iPoker.

Some sharp differences at individual casinos

The 17 casinos’ revenue from in-person visits broke down as $203.2 million from slots play and $82.7 million from table games. As has been generally the case, the earnings were basically flat from a year ago, with the addition of the Parx Shippensburg mini-casino in the interim providing $2.7 million in new revenue.

Despite statewide stability, there were individual casino highs and lows. Double-digit percentage increases in slots revenue from a year ago came at Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (up 16.2%), Rivers Philadelphia (10.9%), and Hollywood Casino Morgantown (10.3%). Harrah’s Philadelphia, on the other hand, had the lone double-digit decline from August 2022 at 14.7%.

Fluctuations in table games revenue don’t necessarily mirror those of slots play. While the dollar amounts are smaller than the earnings from slots, there were big table games revenue increases year over year in August by Lady Luck (112.4%), Hollywood Casino at the Meadows (42.7%), and Live! Pittsburgh (31.4%). Mount Airy Casino Resort showed the biggest trend in the other direction, with 31.5% less in table games revenue, followed by Hollywood Casino York (-21.3%).

Photo: Getty Images


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