Forecast: Industry revenue of "casino hotels" in Pennsylvania from 2012 to 2024

min to read
Gus Herman
Gus Herman Author
Publication date: 2021-12-24 Last updated: 2022-01-05

Pennsylvania is one of the rare US states where both offline and online gambling is legal. In this state, there are casino hotels chains, sportsbooks, and online sites of all these gambling services. If we take a look at the statistics in recent years, we can say that PA internet gambling is becoming more and more popular. This is mainly due to the closure of physical gambling establishments (i.e., casinos and sportsbooks) due to the global pandemic. But even before the pandemic, the use of internet gambling and casino apps PA was quite common.

So, what does this mean for land-based gambling services? Can we expect Internet gambling to become more common and, for example, PA online poker sites to be preferred over playing in a real money PA casinos? You can find the answers to these questions in this guide, which we have prepared by evaluating the official PA casino gambling statistics. The numbers reveal very interesting results for the past, present, and future. 

The Summary

  • Casino hotels industry revenue dropped more than 45% in 2020.
  • Nobody expects the casino hotels industry to recover before 2023.
  • 2024 may be a miracle year for the industry, but if everything goes alright.
  • Internet gambling grew by more than 70% compared to the previous year.
  • One of the biggest growths in the industry happened in sports wagering.
  • Online sports wagering is more popular than ever.
  • Online poker revenues continue to increase.

Land-Based and Online Gambling Statistics in Pennsylvania

2020 Was the Worst Year for Land-Based Gambling

(Gaming Control Board, Statista, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

2020 was the worst year for casino hotels - revenues of all land-based casino chains fell sharply. Even the most optimistic forecasts do not expect a return to 2019 figures before 2023. Below you can see the industry revenue of casino hotels from 2017 to 2020:

  • 2017 - 1317.29 (in a million U.S. Dollars)
  • 2018 - 1392.79 (in a million U.S. Dollars)
  • 2019 - 1460.84 (in a million U.S. Dollars)
  • 2020 - 832.96 (in a million U.S. Dollars)

While the numbers between 2017 and 2019 were constantly increasing, there was a decrease of almost 45% in 2020. Regardless of the industry, a 45% revenue loss is a very serious situation. This loss is predictably due to land-based business shutdowns due to the pandemic, but there were ways to overcome this situation: Pennsylvania was just too late to put some things into practice.

So, what were these ways? For the answer to this question, we can look at New Jersey. In 2020, New Jersey's land-based gambling revenue also decreased by 44%, but its internet gambling revenue increased by 970 million dollars. Online gambling in PA, unfortunately, started much later than New Jersey and was still in its early stages during the pandemic. New Jersey was able to tolerate its losses in land-based gambling thanks to online gambling, but Pennsylvania could not. This shows how important online gambling is for the healthy operation of the industry.

Casino Hotels Chains Won't Recover Before 2023

(Statista)

When we look at the casino hotels revenues since 2012, we see a steady rise. This continues into 2020, and each year is getting better than the last. In this regard, we can say that Pennsylvania casino hotels reached their peak in 2019. As we mentioned above, revenue this year was 1460.84 million dollars. And up until 2019, the revenue figures (in a million US dollars) were as follows:

  • 2012 - 814.15
  • 2013 - 939.66
  • 2014 - 1052.73
  • 2015 - 1153.36
  • 2016 - 1241.54

You can see the 2017 – 2019 figures above. Recovery after the decline in 2020 does not seem to be that easy. Analysts predict that there will be no return to the “good old days” before 2023. Even the most optimistic forecasts show the future revenue figures of the casino hotels industry as follows: 

  • 2021 - 1006.85
  • 2022 - 1285.75
  • 2023 - 1677.09

So, before 2023, it will not be possible to reach 2019 revenue figures. This means that the casino hotels industry will enter a stagnation period of about 3 years. But for gamblers, this may not be all bad news. Because the online gambling industry continues to serve without being affected by real-world conditions and without interruption. Even the most conservative bettors may decide to use a PA sports betting site instead of going to a casino to place their bets - in such a case, future revenue estimates will also be subject to change.

2024 Will Be the Most Profitable Year for Casino Hotels

(Statista)

Although it has entered a period of stagnation between 2020 and 2023, we can say that the future of the casino hotels industry is quite bright. Experts predict that industry revenue will reach 1719.56 million dollars in 2024. This will be the highest revenue figure since 2012 and is a positive development for the land-based casino industry.

The problem is, this forecast is based on an optimistic scenario, i.e., the assumption that by 2024 the pandemic problem will be completely resolved, mask restrictions will be lifted, and businesses will not shut down again. These are things everyone wants, but as we've seen over the past few years, our expectations with the real world sometimes don't match. If we enter 2023 with a new shutdown, the casino hotels industry may suffer once again. By then, the state won't suffer heavy tax losses as online gambling will become much more widespread and mature, but the casino hotels industry may not be able to afford another shutdown. 

Online Gambling in PA Up More Than 70%

(Gaming Control Board)

The pandemic only affected physical services: online services were almost unaffected and even managed to achieve higher profit rates. This includes online gambling services in Pennsylvania. During and after the pandemic, internet gambling reached record revenues. This is not just a case of online casinos: online poker sites and mobile casino apps have both grown and become much more popular compared to 2020.

Official figures show that this growth was 71.50% from September 2020 to September 2021. Online gambling revenue was $57,041,936 in September 2020, compared to $97,828,447 in September 2021. The state of Pennsylvania earned $41,675,667 in tax revenue.

Overall, the most profitable casino from internet gambling was Hollywood Casino at Penn National: this business raised $38,633,001 from iGaming. Rivers Casino Philadelphia and Valley Forge Casino Resort are among other casinos that have generated over $10 million in revenue from internet gambling.

These are bigger and more important numbers than you might think because they show a change in the casino hotels industry. Hollywood Casino at Penn National had total revenue of $55,898,340 through September 2021. As we mentioned above, $38,633,001 of this revenue comes from internet games. This just means that over half of this casino's revenues come from iGaming and a similar situation applies to all other casinos. The fact that there is no interruption in the service due to real-world conditions and that the service can be accessed from anywhere is among the most important reasons for the growth of iGaming. 

Sports Wagering Breaks Record in Taxable Income

(Gaming Control Board)

Looking at the taxable income figures, we can see that the biggest growth has been in the sports wagering industry. As of September 2020, the taxable revenue of this industry was $6,269,883. As of September 2021, that figure was $28,253,790: a 351% growth. There are very few industries that can grow 350% in just one year, and this alone shows how important legal sports betting is. The top 5 PA casinos (*) with the highest revenues from sports wagering (**) in 2021 were: 

  1. Valley Forge Casino Resort - $14,431,541
  2. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh - $2,391,998
  3. Rivers Casino Philadelphia - $2,237,477
  4. Hollywood Casino at the Meadows - $2,164,418
  5. Parx Casino - $1,821,646

Compared to 2020 data, we can say that almost every casino has increased its sports wagering revenue incredibly. Official figures show that every casino, with the exception of racetracks, achieves very high revenue values. For example, in the list below, you can see the percentage increase in sports wagering revenues of some casinos between September 2020 and 2021:

  • Valley Forge Casino Resort – 425.57% increase
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh - 219.40% increase
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort - 93.98% increase

(*) Total of online and offline sports wagering

(**) In Pennsylvania, sports wagering services can only be offered by casinos and racetracks.

Online Sports Wagering is Growing

(Gaming Control Board)

If you are looking for an online bookmaker in PA, you will like this statistic, as the casino hotels industry has found that it is more profitable to offer online betting. This could mean that we will see more poker sites in the near future, meaning we will have more options. The sports wagering revenues we shared above were the sum of online and retail. If we examine them separately, it turns out that online sports wagering has much more revenue than retail. 

  1. Valley Forge Casino Resort: $419,656 (retail) - $14,011,885 (online)
  2. Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: $1,122,164 (retail) - $1,269,834 (online)
  3. Rivers Casino Philadelphia: $1,221,530 (retail) - $1,015,947 (online)
  4. Hollywood Casino at the Meadows: $170,569 (retail) - $1,993,849 (online) 
  5. Parx Casino: $1,101,949 (retail) - $719,697 (online)

This list shows that even after the pandemic and the opening of casinos and sportsbooks, gamblers preferred to use online services to place their bets. A similar situation applies to mobile casino apps: mobile and online gambling is becoming more and more common.

Online Poker Revenue is Increasing Too

(Gaming Control Board)

We mentioned above that online services have not been particularly affected by the pandemic: this also applies to online poker. When we examine the revenues of online poker websites, we see that the total was $2,376,045 in 2020. In 2021, this figure was $2,924,846. The difference isn't huge, but it's still on the rise, showing that online poker is growing in popularity. In some casinos, online poker alone generated more revenue than other online table games. Internet poker revenue figures are as follows:

  • Mount Airy Casino Resort - $1,956,788
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia - $603,466
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National - $270,816
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia - $93,775

For example, at Harrah's Philadelphia, all other online table games generated $455,465 in revenue. Online poker alone has generated a higher revenue than this. A similar situation applies to Mount Airy Casino Resort: the overall revenue of online table games is $1,174,848 in this casino, and the revenue numbers for online poker are much higher. These data can be interpreted as we will see more poker sites in PA in the near future.

FAQ About PA Casino Gambling Data

What Year Did the Pennsylvania Casino Hotels Industry Achieve the Highest Revenue?

Official statistics show that since 2012, the casino hotels industry has generated a larger revenue each year than the previous year. In this regard, the largest figure was 1460.84 million dollars in 2019. In 2020, the revenue of the casino hotels industry suffered a serious loss. It is estimated that it will not be possible to reach the figures for 2019 before 2023.

How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted the PA Casino Hotels Industry?

Casino hotels, like many other businesses, had to remain closed for most of 2020 when the pandemic began. Predictably, this resulted in a record decrease in revenue figures: compared to 2019, casino hotels revenue decreased by almost 45%. The effects of this decline would not have been as great if online gambling had become a little more widespread and mature (as in New Jersey), but at the beginning of the pandemic, online gambling was still in its infancy.

What Does the Future of the PA Casino Hotels Industry Look Like?

In general, we can say that the expectations are quite high. After the sharp decline in 2020, the casino hotels industry quickly recovered and is expected to generate revenues of 1006.85 million dollars in 2021, 1285.75 million dollars in 2022, 1677.09 million dollars in 2023, and 1719.56 million dollars in 2024. These are big and satisfying numbers, but a new variant of COVID-19 and an accompanying new shutdown could shatter all expectations.

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