The Pennsylvania gaming industry is now on a three-month revenue slide after posting record revenue in November. Gross gaming revenue (GGR) last month totaled a little more than $375.6 million, which represents a 4.4% month-to-month decline.
Pennsylvania is the nation’s third-largest gaming state behind Nevada and New Jersey. The commonwealth is home to 16 land-based casinos, iGaming, retail and online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and truck stop video gaming terminals (VGTs).
GGR from all verticals hit an all-time state record of $425.9 million in October, and then again in November with $432.5 million. But since then, monthly revenue has declined in December, January, and February.
The drop comes despite Pennsylvania enjoying a relatively mundane winter season. But the absence of major snowfalls didn’t prompt Pennsylvanians into patronaging their local casino at rates they did in October and November.
Despite February marking Pennsylvania’s third straight month-to-month GGR decline, the month shows that the market is continuing to recover from COVID-19. Compared with February 2021, last month represented a 24.4% increase.
If it weren’t for sports betting, February 2022 would have been much better, as oddsmakers lost $442,847. In February 2021, Pennsylvania sportsbooks won more than $16.3 million.
The Los Angeles Rams’ three-point win last month over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI was considered a best-case scenario for books in Las Vegas. But with Pennsylvania neighboring Ohio, bettors more heavily backed the Bengals than in other parts of the country. With the consensus spread being Los Angeles spotting Cincinnati 4.5 points, the Bengals’ three-point loss was still a win for many bettors.
Every other major vertical posted year-over-year increases in February 2022 compared with February 2021. Retail slots increased 33% to $194.7 million and retail tables 30% to $74.3 million.
iGaming revenue from slots, tables, and poker totaled $102.4 million — approximately 30% better from 2021.
Hollywood Leads Again
Hollywood Casino at Penn National took the top spot in February. The Penn National Gaming property has been the overall GGR leader in each of the past four months.
Penn has established itself as the iGaming front-runner in the state. And that’s how its flagship Hollywood property managed to top Parx Casino despite heavily trailing in brick-and-mortar win. Hollywood Penn National reported retail slot income of just $15.1 million and table revenue of only $2.4 million.
Parx led the way in brick-and-mortar slot play, the Philly-area casino winning nearly $33.7 million from its terminals. Wind Creek Bethlehem won the most money on tables, the Lehigh Valley casino keeping $17.5 million of the table game bets.
But Hollywood Penn National’s iGaming haul of more than $42.6 million easily offset its brick-and-mortar shortcomings. Rivers’ online casino platform was a distant second at $24.5 million.
A looming concern for the Pennsylvania gaming industry is a forthcoming effort in Harrisburg to end indoor casino smoking. Casinos are currently allowed to designate up to 50% of their gaming floor for smoking.
Some politicians in Pennsylvania, as well as in neighboring New Jersey, say it’s time to end the clean indoor air loopholes for casinos. Two Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers are leading the effort in the commonwealth to make gamblers go outside to light up. They say they will introduce such legislation in the coming weeks.
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