Casino Revenues Up Again In Pennsylvania
Strong March ’09 exceeds previous year by 9.4%
HARRISBURG, PA: Slot machine play during March 2009 generated more than $155 million in revenues during the recently completed month of March, a 9.4% increase over March of 2008.
The revenue figures and month-over-month comparison for the Commonwealth’s seven operating casinos were released today by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and are based on information received from the Department of Revenue.
Based on the Pennsylvania 55% tax rate on gross terminal revenue from slot machine play, Commonwealth citizens saw a return of $85,315,707 in tax revenues during March. Casino operators’ revenue was $69,803,761. In March 2008, those figures were $77,984,150 and $63,803,761 respectively.
Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins says the current and anticipated long-term growth of revenue is encouraging in the face of a dour economy.
“Our expectations are that two new casinos and two expansions of existing casinos will occur in 2009, so we should continue to see an increase in needed tax revenues coming back to the Commonwealth.” says Colins. “In light of this growth, the Gaming Control Board, which has gained a national reputation for strict regulation, will also need to continue diligent oversight that is strong but fair in order to make sure that Pennsylvania’s casinos are world-class and equipped with the latest technology, while also assuring that patrons enjoy a fair and predictable gaming venue.”
The planned expansions are at two casinos currently operating in temporary facilities, The Meadows and Philadelphia Park. The Meadows has a target opening date of its new facility and 109,000 square feet of gaming space on April 15, while Philadelphia Park is targeting an opening in December of its casino with 120,000 square feet of casino floor.
The two new facilities will open in Bethlehem and Pittsburgh. The Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem plans a May 22 opening in a facility with 110,000 square feet of gaming floor, while the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh is aiming for an August opening of its facility with 123,000.
The result of these openings is expected to increase the Commonwealth’s tax revenues by an estimated 40% while also significantly increasing the number of living-wage jobs. Currently, the seven operating casinos employ approximately 6,200 persons with 94% of those jobs being held by Pennsylvania residents.
An additional five casinos are permitted to open under Pennsylvania’s Gaming Act, including two that have already been licensed in the city of Philadelphia.
The monthly comparison used figures from seven casinos for the first time, since Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Court had it first full month of operation in March 2008. In addition, revenues from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack, Harrah’s Chester Casino and Racetrack, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and Mt. Airy Resort and Casino are used in the comparison.
Comparative revenues for each of the casinos operating in both March 2008 and March 2009 are as follows:
|Casino ||March 2008 ||March 2009 ||% change |
|Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs||$13,884,467||$18,874,445||35.94%|
|Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack||$30,772,918||$32,706,513||6.28%|
|Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack||$31,595,072||$29,269,145||-7.36%|
|Presque Isle Downs and Casino||$13,837,484||$15,698,326||13.45%|
|The Meadows Racetrack and Casino||$20,246,082||$21,165,966||4.54%|
|Mount Airy Resort and Casino||$15,226,354||$16,314,108||7.14%|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse||$16,226,989||$21,090,966||29.97%|
The average number of slot machines operating daily at these facilities was 15,027 in March 2008 and 16,635 in March 2009.
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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