FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2nd, 2009

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
P.O. Box 69060
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

CONTACT

Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

New Casino Opening Helps Pennsylvania Slots Revenue Climb Nearly 18% In May

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem helps boost monthly revenue to $178 million

HARRISBURG, PA:  Pennsylvania slot machine casinos, now numbering eight with the recent opening of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, generated $178,415,271 in gross terminal revenue in May of 2009, a 17.9% increase over revenue generated by gaming in May of last year.

The figures, released today by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, also show that the Commonwealth’s tax on that revenue was $98,128,399.  That money is used for reduction of local property taxes, support for the horse racing industry and to fund economic development projects.  In addition, a portion of that money is returned to the local and county governments that host the casinos.

For the first 11 months of the state fiscal year, taxes generated by legalized slot gaming are up 24.7% compared to the previous year, or $873,899,361 in 2008/09 compared to $700,960,342 in the same period in the 2007/08 fiscal year.  Operators retained $715,008,567 from slots play thus far in the fiscal year.

When comparing just the seven casinos that were operating in both May of 2009 and 2008, gross terminal revenue increased 10.84% with $167,725,423 generated this year compared to $151,327,837.67 last year.

Comparative gross terminal revenue for each of the casinos operating in both May 2009 and May 2008 are as follows:

Casino
May 2009
May  2008
% change
Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack$32,832,771.06$32,025,085.242.52%
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino$31,594,459.96$23,519,352.5634.33%
Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack$29,355,486.66$31,283,315.96-6.16%
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse$22,276,510.63$16,376,209.4036.03%
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs$20,702,050.59$14,772,236.4340.14%
Presque Isle Downs and Casino$15,610,758.85$16,348,019.21-4.51%
Mount Airy Resort and Casino$15,353,384.89$17,003,618.87-9.71%
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem$10,689,848.15*n/a 
* Numbers are from 10 full days of operation and 2 test periods


The average number of operating slot machines at these facilities was 19,984 in May 2009 and 15,141 in May 2008.

Board Chair Greg Fajt says the taxpayers in the Commonwealth are benefitting from this revenue increase in a number of ways.

“The Legislative intent of introducing legalized gaming in the Commonwealth is helping homeowners meet their local property tax obligations by lowering their overall bill,” Fajt says. “With more expansion scheduled in this new industry over the next year, revenue dedicated to assisting homeowners will continue to increase.”

Fajt adds that Pennsylvania’s gaming industry has also helped in another important way, creation of jobs.

“Due to the opening thus far of eight casinos 7,000 living wage jobs have been created plus additional 7,200 jobs to support completed or ongoing construction,” Fajt adds.  “This is another benefit that will continue to increase as casinos expand and open.  In these tough economic times, the fact that the casino industry has been able create these additional employment opportunities for Pennsylvanians has proven that the legalization of slot gaming has been one of the best legislative initiatives in some time.”

The Gaming Control Board provides weekly updates of casino revenue on its web site, www.pgcb.state.pa.us.  In addition, videos and information on the operation of the PGCB, problem gambling efforts and assistance, future meeting schedules and past meeting transcripts, and a link to request a speaker are among the many items available to the public on the web site.

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