Pennsylvania casinos New Jersey pain

Sands Casino

Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem laid off 80 workers April 30th.

A new month means a new set of reports on the gaming revenues for the previous month.  The first state to report these days is Pennsylvania; for April of 2010, Pennsylvania reported a 30 percent increase in slot revenues – table games will start to come on line in the next couple of months – but on a same store basis – seven of the state’s nine casinos were open in April 2009 – slot revenues were only up 1.7 percent. [Biloxi Sun-Herald]

But there is a devil in the details and it is in the same store sales number, one of the existing casinos, Mount Airy, reported a 21 percent decline, one, parx, showed a 13 percent increase, but it opened a newly remodeled casino this year and is the closest casino to Philadelphia currently; and, the Sands in Bethlehem – one of the two new casinos – laid off 10 percent of its workforce in April.

Of course, all of the now nine casinos in Pennsylvania will be getting table games over the next couple of months and that certainly will drive the over gross revenue numbers much higher; but not necessarily net profits and the table games come with increased capital expenses, fees and taxes and much higher payroll costs.  And as with any industry, some casinos may not do as well as others.  Especially now that almost all of planned casinos are open, they are fighting each customers.  In that battle size, location and operational skill will all play a role in determining the winners and losers.

However, the real loser in all of this is Atlantic City – it will be nearly two weeks before we have the numbers from New Jersey, but that 30 percent increase in Pennsylvania is bound to have an impact on the casinos in Atlantic City.


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May 2010
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