Pennsylvania casino income continues to break records
Pennsylvania casinos continue to see year-over-year growth, with the industry posting a record $3.87 billion in revenues last fiscal year, according to state regulators.
The influx of revenues for casino operators comes after covid-related restrictions had facilities shuttered for several months during the 2019-20 fiscal year, with casinos reporting $2.7 billion in revenues, a significant decrease compared with previous years, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
While casinos were not immune to mitigation orders during the previous fiscal year, the time that facilities were forced to be closed was reduced to less than a month, allowing operators to recoup funds lost during the 2019-20 fiscal year. Revenues for last fiscal year also broke the previous record of $3.3 billion set in 2018-19.
Included in the fiscal year totals are June numbers, released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week. Unlike numbers for the fiscal year, which ran from July 1 to June 30, revenues fluctuate by month, meaning some months contained higher revenues.
Last month, revenues totaled $388.8 million, a $24.2 million decrease from May, when revenues exceeded $413 million.
Compared with last June, however, revenue totals increased by $256.3 million, data show.
Year-over-year growth seen for most of the past decade can be attributed to several factors. Revenues were largely spurred by the opening of Live! Casino Pittsburgh at Hempfield’s Westmoreland Mall in November and Live! Casino Philadelphia, which opened in January.
Growth also was reported in sports betting and fantasy sports contests. Online gaming and video gambling terminals, located at truck stops throughout the state, were established during the 2019-20 fiscal year, bringing additional revenues into play.
Those forms of gambling made up 33% of revenues reported last year, or $1.26 billion, state officials said.
Of that, about $308.8 million in revenues was generated through sports wagering last fiscal year compared with $113.7 million generated the year prior, when major sporting events were canceled in response to the covid-19 pandemic.
Several local casinos added to that sports betting revenue last year.
Rivers Casino on Pittsburgh’s North Shore generated $20.2 million in sports betting revenues last fiscal year, compared with $12.7 million generated in 2019-20. In June, the casino saw $1.49 million in sports betting revenues, with total wagers exceeding $23 million, data show.
At The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington County, sports wagering revenues during the fiscal year reached $54.4 million, compared with $10.8 million reported in the 2019-20 fiscal year. In June, the casino reported $5.8 million in sports wagering revenues, with betting totaling $87.4 million.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh, which was open for about seven months of the 2020-21 fiscal year, reported $618,920 in sports betting revenues. In June, the facility saw $137,580 in revenues with wagers totaling $882,400, data show.
In addition to sports wagering, fantasy contests also generated millions of dollars in revenues. According to state officials, fantasy contests totaled $28.1 million, a significant increase from 2019-20, when revenues reached $20.86 million. Fantasy contests include apps such as DraftKings, which saw $16 million in revenues, and FanDuel, which saw $11.4 million.
In June, fantasy contests generated $1.89 million in revenues.
Online gambling also saw significant increases last fiscal year. In all, the industry generated $897.2 million in 2020-21, compared with the previous fiscal year when the industry saw $240.8 million in revenues. Ten of the state’s 15 casinos offer online gambling options, none of which are local to Western Pennsylvania.
Like online gambling, video gaming terminal revenues grew significantly last year, when totals reached $31.3 million. That’s compared with 2019-20, when revenues exceeded $6.79 million. In June alone, the industry brought in $3.3 million in gross revenue, data show.
Traditional forms of gambling
In addition to nontraditional forms of gambling, slot machines and table games accounted for a large chunk of revenues reported last fiscal year.
Slot machines brought in $1.88 billion, compared with the 2019-20 fiscal year when they generated $1.69 billion. The 11% increase occurred despite facilities being shuttered for between 23 and 62 days because of mitigation orders, depending on where the casino was located.
During the last fiscal year, table games statewide generated $721.7 million, compared with the 2019-20 fiscal year when revenues reached $644.5 million.
Locally, however, casinos largely saw a decrease in revenues generated through slot machines and table games.
Rivers Casino, which closed for 30 days last fiscal year, brought in $196 million through slot machines, data show. During the 2019-20 fiscal year, when the facility was closed for a total of 86 days, revenues reached $226.3 million. In June, Rivers saw $19.5 million in slot machine revenues.
Table games at the facility generated $61.6 million in revenues last fiscal year, a 3% decrease from 2019-20 when those revenues totaled $63.7 million. In June, Rivers brought in $7.4 million in table game revenues.
At The Meadows, which closed for 27 days during the last fiscal year, slot machine revenues saw an almost 8% decrease, data show. In all, the facility saw $133.3 million in slot machine revenues during the 2020-21 fiscal year. During the previous fiscal year, when the facility closed for 84 days, revenues reached $144.9 million.
In June, slot machine revenues at the facility totaled $12 million.
Table games at the facility saw an almost 2% decrease last fiscal year, when revenues totaled $23.9 million. In 2019-20, table game revenues reached $24.4 million.
In June, table game revenues totaled $2 million, data show.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh, which closed for 23 days last fiscal year, saw $42 million in slot machine revenues, $6.7 million of which was generated in June. Table games at the facility last fiscal year brought in $7.2 million, $1.4 million of which was generated in June.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Fayette County, which closed for 23 days last fiscal year, saw an almost 20% decrease in slot machine revenues. About $19.6 million was generated during the 2020-21 fiscal year, compared with $24.4 million brought in during the 2019-20 fiscal year, when the casino shuttered for 87 days.
In June, Lady Luck saw $1.8 million in slot machine revenues.
Table games at the facility also had an almost 26% decrease last fiscal year, when revenues totaled $2.2 million. In 2019-20, table game revenues reached $3 million.
In June, table game revenues totaled almost $175,930.
In addition to revenues generated at casinos across the state last fiscal year, estimated combined tax revenue for 2020-21 reached $1.59 billion compared with $1 billion generated during the previous fiscal year, according to officials with the state Gaming Control Board.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .