Pa. slots revenue down for 5th straight month
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gross revenue from slot machines at the state's 11 casinos declined for the fifth straight month in April, down 4 percent from the same period the year before, state gambling regulators reported Thursday.
Casinos brought in $205.2 million in gross revenue from slots last month, or about $9 million less than the previous April, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The totals represent the latest piece of evidence that slots growth is leveling off after years of exponential growth.
The only casino to see significant slots growth during the period was Valley Forge Casino Resort, which opened outside Philadelphia in March 2012. Last month, it reported $5.4 million in gross slots revenue, up nearly 34 percent from the previous April, its first full month in operation.
Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh (up .2 percent) and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem (up .64 percent) were the only other casinos to show an increase over April 2012.
Presque Isle Downs Casino in Erie continued to see declines as it faces competition from a new casino across the state line in Cleveland. It brought in $11.8 million in gross revenue from slots last month, down 16.3 percent from the same period a year earlier.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in central Pennsylvania saw the second-largest decline, down 9.7 percent. Harrah's Philadelphia, which is in the struggling city of Chester in the crowded Philadelphia market, was down 8 percent. Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in northeastern Pennsylvania was down 7.1 percent.
The state's first casino opened in 2006, and Pennsylvania has grown into the nation's second-largest gambling market behind Las Vegas. The state uses casino revenue to support the state budget, schools, development projects, volunteer firefighting squads, local governments and horse racing.
While slots growth has been slowing, table games, which were introduced in 2010, still show strong growth. In March, the state set a record for gross revenue from table games, pulling in $67.5 million in gross revenue, 9 percent more than the previous record that had been set a year earlier.