Harrah’s Philadelphia has removed over 500 slot games from its casino floor, after gaining approval to do so by the state Gaming Control Board. The Caesars Entertainment property will now offer more open space for patrons who visit.
Reducing the Game Positions
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had no problem with Harrah’s wanting to remove 563 slot games. Caesars felt that the move was necessary due to the oversupply and underutilization of the machines on the gaming floor. Now, the casino will be home to 1,700 machines instead of just over 2,250.
The casino does not feel that the reduction will affect the revenues earned from slot games. The gaming floor is now larger, which allows players to move around better among the machines. The casino had so many games that players were not using all the available machines. The oldest and least profitable games were the ones removed from the facility.
From the large number of machines removed, more than 330 were located in the smoking section. The smoking section is actually the largest area where slots are offered. Just over 50% of the allotted amount is offered in the space.
The Harrah’s casino opened in Philadelphia in early 2007 and was the first located in the metro area of the major city. At the time, the demand in the area warranted a large number of slot machines. However, as gambling has expanded over the years in the state, it has resulted in lower demand at the venue.
The casino competes with Rivers Casino, Parx Casino, Valley Forge, and Live! Philadelphia. Since 2008, the total gross gaming revenues earned at the casino have dropped significantly as new venues opened. In 2008, the casino generated over $332 million. Back in 2019, the operator generated just over $196 million.
Still An Excess Based on Capacity
When Harrah’s made the request to remove the slot games, the petition stated that during a 12-month period before the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest occupancy rate came in early March in the evening hours. At the time, the venue had hit just over 62% occupancy.
With that percentage, the casino was still offering 850 slot games that were not being played. Even after more than 500 slots were removed, the casino will have almost 300 slots if they reach the same capacity as their highest ever from before the pandemic.
Players are sure to enjoy the more open space at the casino when visiting. It might seem odd at first, but the casino has done a good job of reorganizing the space to create a streamlined gambling environment.
It is not uncommon for a casino to request a reduction in slot game numbers. Back in 2019, before the pandemic, two casino operators in New York asked for a reduction. Both Tioga Downs and Resorts World Catskills asked the Gaming Commission in the state to reduce its slot numbers.
Resorts World removed the most, at 550 machines. For Tioga Downs, only 50 machines were removed. The reduction allowed both venues to provide more space. For Tioga Downs, the casino was able to open up an area to offer its sportsbook.