Pennsylvania casino gambling, whether online or in person, showed no signs of slowing down over the past month amid economic headwinds caused by high inflation and rising interest rates.
Nationwide, October casino revenue, released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Thursday, rose 5.71% year over year, with more than $450 million generated from all forms of casino gaming.
According to PGCB, nationwide online betting set a monthly record in October.
READ MORE: Online gaming wins soar at Hollywood Casino while live slots and table games decline
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville increased its revenue by 20.4%, supported by Internet-based gaming and sports betting.
Grantville Casino’s $68.7 million in revenue was the highest of any casino in the Commonwealth. Of that, $52.7 million came from internet gaming.
“It’s a healthy market. It set all-time monthly records throughout the year,” said Chad Beynon, managing director and head of US equity research at Macquarie Capital Equities in New York City. “At the beginning of the year there were concerns about the war in Ukraine and the impact of inflation, higher gas prices and higher interest rates.”
Beynon said consumers have started to back off from home electronics and furnishings purchases but have not yet followed suit when it comes to games
The only nagging drawback in the local mix remains its softness in Hollywood’s brick-and-mortar business.
Live slot revenue from its 1,830 machines lagged 17.6% at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, and table game revenue fell another 23.4%. At Hollywood’s York Mini-Casino, live slot revenue increased by 15.3%, but table revenue fell by 17.1%.
Executives at Wyomissing-based parent company Penn Entertainment cited increased competition and a shift in market share to mini-casinos in York and Morgantown as the primary causes of the decline in live gaming during their third-quarter earnings conference 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 benefited land-based casinos was money from child tax credits and stimulus checks that boosted gaming numbers. Now we are beginning to see declines in stocks and home prices.”
A Penn Entertainment spokesperson told PennLive earlier this month that the proliferation of “skill-based games” — video slot machines found in bars, taverns, gas stations and convenience stores — continues to impact its bottom line.
The spokesman said Penn Entertainment is staying competitive by reinvesting in its existing properties, which include an outdoor concert venue in Grantville and the Barstool-branded sports book and restaurant.
The rep added that live poker will not be returning to Grantville as demand for the game continues to wane.
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