Record Casino Earnings for Pennsylvania in 2018

Summary: Casinos in Pennsylvania did quite well in 2018, earning record revenues. Will 2019 be the same?

Last year was a good one for the gaming industry. Casinos revenues were on the increase in several states and the US Supreme Court decided to overturn PASPA, paving the way for sports betting across the nation. In Pennsylvania, the twelve land-based casinos in operation had a great year, reporting record revenue earnings. The successful year now has many wondering if 2019 will be the same with increased legality expected across the country.

High Total Annual Gross Revenues Ever

For 2018, the slots and table games of the casinos in the state brought in just over $3.2 million. This is the highest amount ever for an annual gross revenue in the thirteen years that the industry has been in operation. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach stated that the casinos continue to see significant revenues from slots and table games. According to Harbach, the state is number two in the US based on casino revenues and number one based on tax revenues.

For slot machines, the overall gaming revenue was increased in 2018 by 1.8%. Half of the casinos in the state were able to see an increase in slot revenue for the year. The highest percentage increase went to the Valley Forge Casino Resort. The casino was up over 10% with $91 million in yearly slot earnings.  Valley Forge is also planning a large expansion of their casino in Q1 of 2019 which will feature 250 new slot machines and full sportsbook.

Two casinos were able to see an increase of over 4%. Those were the Rivers Casino and the Parx venue. The slots were so successful in Pennsylvania that they represented 73% of the total revenues earned.

Despite the nice increases, there were also decreases for slot games. Lady Luck was down over 6% to $28 million in yearly earnings. The Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino saw their slot revenues decrease by just over 2%, earning $198 million for the year. In total, the casinos were able to earn $2.37 billion from slot games in 2018.

Table Game Results

Even though slots were up last year, table games were not. The revenues for table games in Pennsylvania saw a decrease in 2018. The decline was small at 1.34%, with $878,796,174 in total earnings.

Unfortunately, the largest declines were seen at the Mount Airy Casino Resort, the Lady Luck and the Sands Casino Resort. Mount Airy saw the largest drop of 16.35% while the Lady Luck was down 11.32%. Sands Casino dropped 8.74%.

On the positive side, the Rivers Casino and Valley Forge saw an increase in earnings. The Rivers Casino was up over 15% with $76,043,050 in earnings. The Valley Forge was up close to 11%, with $34 million in earnings.

All eyes are now on the industry for 2019. Will table games be able to increase this year and not fall short like 2018? Will slots continue to work well and see increases this year? If so, that will help the short table game earnings.

The state will soon have online gaming revenues that will come into the mix plus sports betting. Both options are set to impact 2019 as they launch. Once everything is fully operational, the state is expected to see major earnings added to the overall gambling revenues.

We will continue to watch the state and report any developments. It will certainly be interesting to see how much is added once online casino and sports betting is live in the state.


Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.