Pennsylvanian Casinos Report Declining Revenue in 2020, Silver Lining Ahead
Casinos in Pennsylvania generated close to $2.66 billion in 2020 as business was down by 21.5% from $3.39 billion in 2019. The lockdown due to COVID-19 severely impacted casino revenue in multiple ways. The most notable of which was the shift away from in-person gambling in favor of online gambling.
Sports wagers also took off during the tenure. As casinos remained shut for in-person wagering between April and June, casinos recorded over a 40% decline in revenue. The operators barely remained to stay afloat thanks to the rising demand for iGaming. Renewed vigor for sports betting following a lackluster season during 2019 also improved the situation marginally.
While March Madness was canceled, sportsbooks more than made up for lost revenue with a full season of the National Football League. A few casinos with dedicated sportsbooks, therefore, witnessed a slight increase in total revenue in 2020. And the list of operators includes Hollywood Casino at Penn National and Valley Forge Casino Resort.
However, the star of the show was Rivers Casino Philadelphia where business was down barely 2.6% during the year. Although Rivers Pittsburg and Philadelphia share an interactive gaming website, the revenue reflects on the latter’s accounts.
The Extent of Losses Reported in 2020
The revenue from Rivers Casino Pittsburg in 2020 was around $227.5 million, and the figure was down by 42% from $392 million in 2019. Revenue from video slots at the property was down by 46%, while the statewide average was at -43% for slots and -44% for table games. Sports betting in Rivers Casino Pittsburg saw marginal improvement as revenue figures were up to $19.5 million in 2020 compared to $12.3 million in the previous year.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino generated $180.6 million in 2020 as business was down by 24.1% since the previous year. Sports wagering played a crucial role in making up for the downfall as business was up by $2.3 million in 2019 to a whopping $49.4 million last year. The Meadows Casino does not offer interactive gaming.
Who Gained the Most?
Live! Casino Pittsburg that went online on November 24, 2020, reported around $4.3 million in revenue. While Live! Casino Philadelphia, which commenced its services on January 19, 2021, reported revenue figures of $1.1 million. There was a sign of relief for the brick-and-mortar casinos as revenue from video slots recovered almost 80% between August and November.
However, that glory was short-lived as COVID-19 infections rose in December, forcing the authorities to announce the second round of lockdown for the month. But because of the recuperating sports betting revenue during the time, the figures were at par with the first two months of 2020.
The average revenue collected between August and November was $305.8 million compared to the $308.2 million recorded between January and February. This is promising news for the industry and hints at a recuperating market.