Woodchuck Day: Pennsylvania Casinos Set Another Monthly Gaming Record

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As COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania are on the rise, so is the gross gaming revenue (GGR) at the state’s 15 brick-and-mortar casinos.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced October total revenue figures for the state’s 15 casinos, fantasy sports, online gaming, retail and internet sports wagering, and video gaming terminals (VGTs) inside licensed truck destinations. Jointly, gaming revenue came in at a little more than $425.9 million.

The $425.9 million mark is the maximum money Pennsylvania’s fast-growing gaming industry has ever won. The last mark was set in July when state gaming totaled $423.7 million.

October marked the fourth continuous month that Pennsylvania GGR surpassed the $400 million mark. The solid run should be expected to continue.

“There continues to be a surge following the strict safety measures implemented at the casinos due to COVID-19,”

Dough Harbach, PGCB Communication Director, replied in a comment supplied to CDC Gaming Reports.

“With another casino scheduled to open next month in Morgantown (Hollywood), the expectation is the retail revenue will continue to rise in the months ahead.”

Brick-and-mortar slot machines and table games jointly won $292.4 million, a 34% increase in October 2020. Table games alone set a monthly revenue record of $89 million.

Records abound

Along with solid retail play, October’s record performance was fueled with bizarre iGaming action. Online slot machines created $70.1 million, and interactive table games $32.2 million, for a collective record haul of roughly $102.9 million.

Despite being a small component of the overall revenue, fantasy sports still set its monthly record by winning $3.7 million. VGTs generated another $3.3 million.

Sports wagering was the lone blemish, as oddsmakers won fewer bets in October ’21 than they did in October ’20. Of the approximately $776 million in bets placed last month, the property won $23.5 million, down from $36.7 million.

Hollywood Penn National and Parx tied in the race for the market leader by winning $57.3 million and $57 million, respectively. Wind Creek Bethlehem and Rivers Casino Philadelphia essentially tied for third at $46.2 million.

Thanks to its sovereignty as the sportsbook leader in the state through its partnership with FanDuel, Valley Forge closed the top five at $42.8 million.

COVID-19 concerns

Yesterday, Pennsylvania registered 6,000 new COVID-19 cases, and related hospitalizations eclipsed 3,000 beds for the first time in a month. According to figures analyzed by Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania ranks fifth in the nation for per-person spread.

That is despite Pennsylvania ranking third in the nation in terms of adult individuals who have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. This week, Governor Wolf (D) tweeted that more than 73% of the Pennsylvanians aged 18 and above are fully inoculated, and almost 97% are partially vaccinated.

Wolf states at this time, he has no plans to reimpose any operating restrictions on businesses, including casinos.

Last week, the state unveiled a $45,000 fine against Presque Isle Downs and Casino for disobeying Wolf’s COVID-19 order last year concerning alcohol service. Gaming directors stated the Erie Casino unlawfully served a patron an alcoholic drink on the gaming floor without being accompanied by food. The governor’s order that ran from mid-July 2020 to April requires that alcohol only be sold to an individual taking food in the same bill.

According to Erie Time-News, a regional news site, a player at a craps table was initially ejected after taking alcohol on the same floor on October 5, 2020. However, the report added that Casino General Manager Kevin O’Sullivan allowed the player to stay on the floor for three more hours.

The player’s friends also allegedly bought shots of alcohol and took them onto the gaming floor. That was also a violation.