State’s gambling halls generated more than $450 million in October revenues despite economic headwinds

Penn Live
 
State’s gambling halls generated more than $450 million in October revenues despite economic headwinds
BetOnline

Casino gambling in Pennsylvania, whether online or in person, showed no signs last month of slowing in the face of economic headwinds caused by high inflation and rising interest rates.

Statewide, October casino revenues released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Thursday increase 5.71% over the previous year with more than $450 million generated from all forms of casino gambling.

Online wagers statewide set a monthly record in October, according to the PGCB.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville increased its revenues 20.4% bolstered by internet-based gaming and sports wagering.

The Grantville casino’s revenues of $68.7 million was the highest of all the Commonwealth’s casinos. Of that, $52.7 million came from internet gaming.

“It’s a healthy market. There have been monthly all-time records set all year,” said Chad Beynon, managing director and head of U.S. equity research at Macquarie Capital Equities in New York City. “There was concern with declining in the beginning of the year with the war in Ukraine and the effects of inflation, higher gas prices and higher interest rates.”

Beynon said consumers have started pulling back on purchasing home electronics and home furnishings but haven’t yet followed suit when it comes to gaming.

The one nagging negative in the local mix continues to be softness in Hollywood’s brick-and-mortar business.

Live slot play revenue from its 1,830 machines lagged 17.6% at Hollywood Casino at Penn National and table games revenue slipped another 23.4% At Hollywood’s York mini-casino, live slot revenue increased 15.3% but table revenues slid 17.1%.

Executives at Wyomissing-based parent company Penn Entertainment cited increased competition and shifting market share to the York and Morgantown mini-casinos as the main causes for the live play declines, during its third quarter earnings call earlier this month.

Beynon agrees with the company’s assessment.

“The State College and Shippensburg (mini-casinos) have been pushed back to mid-2023,” he said. “What benefitted land-based casinos was money from child tax credits and stimulus checks inflating gaming numbers. Now, we’re starting to see declines in equities and home prices.”

A Penn Entertainment spokesman told PennLive earlier this month that the proliferation of “skill-based games” – video slot machines found in bars, taverns, gas stations and convenience stores – continue to impact the bottom line.

The spokesman said Penn Entertainment remains competitive by reinvesting in its existing properties, which include an outdoor concert venue at Grantville and the Barstool-branded sports book and restaurant.

The spokesman added that live poker will not be returning to Grantville, as the demand for the game continues to wane.

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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s figures show revenue increased 5.7 per cent year-on-year.