Pennsylvania casino revenue climbs above $3.2 billion |

Pennsylvania casino revenue climbs above $3.2 billion

Rich Cholodofsky
Andrew Russell | Trib Total Medi
Customers at Rivers Casino on Pittsburgh's North Shore, shown here Tuesday, June 30, 2015, play on the gaming floor. Year-over-year growth that saw Pennsylvania rocket up the list of the nation’s most profitable casino industries has come to an end. For the fourth consecutive year, casino gambling revenues will come in around $3.1 billion — still good enough to rank the state No. 2 in the country,al though that could change as New York builds new casinos over the next few years.

Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos generated more than $3.2 billion in revenues in 2018, setting a record for the most money earned in a year since gambling was legalized in 2006.

The record revenues topped the previous high, set a year earlier, by more than $21 million.

Revenue figures were released Wednesday by the state’s Gaming Control Board, which said the record was reached even as money earned from table games dipped by 1.34 percent last year. Money received from slot machines generated more than 2.39 billion and offset the drop in table game revenue, the board said.

Tax revenue collected from table games and slot machine play topped $1.3 billion last year, according to the gaming board’s report.

The state’s casinos have generated more than 32 billion in revenue over the last 13 years. Table games, which were legalized in 2010, have accounted for $6.4 billion of that revenue.

The gaming board reported that the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, with $76 million earned, was the fourth highest grossing facility for table games in the state in 2018, behind casinos in Bethlehem, Bucks County and Philadelphia. Its table game revenues jumped by more than 15 percent last year, representing the biggest increase in the state.

The Meadows Casino in Washington saw its table game revenues slip last year to $35.7 million, while the small Lady Luck Casino at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Fayette County earned $4 million from its games in 2018, according to the state report.

Casino revenues could see a further jump with the legalization of sports betting and online gaming approved by the board last year.

Mini casinos in Westmoreland, Lawrence and York counties also could open sometime in the next two years.

A facility proposed at the vacant Bon-Ton department store at Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield, currently awaiting gaming board approval, would initially feature 750 slot machines and 30 table games. Officials said that casino could open late this year.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]