Pennsylvania Casinos Recovering After Pandemic Down Years Thanks to Younger Players and Table Games
In 2020, PA Casinos closed their venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After several months, the gaming industry suffered many ripple effects and still feels the consequences.
While some casinos haven’t fully recovered, others rebounded completely, even topping pre-pandemic revenue for slot machines, table games, or both. The critical question is, what separates the best from the rest?
The answer is straightforward. Investment in upgraded casino floors, bringing on new machines and space for table games, inviting Pennsylvania online sports betting, and new amenities in dining and entertainment options helped the revenue growth.
Casino venues that succeeded made several upgrades geared toward younger target groups between 21-44 years old. Each demographics has unique gambling behaviors and spending habits. Some casinos detected those early, while others must catch on to follow the trend.
Pennsylvania is among the most competitive gaming markets, and we’ll go into specifics about which companies evolved and grew in this dynamic environment.
Younger Players Turned to Table Games Instead of Slots
Casinos make the most revenue from slot machines. However, the recent trend shows younger players are growing in a more comprehensive experience, like sports betting, bars, restaurants, and concert venues. Gaming providers are feeling the pulse of the visitors.
Chris Imperiale from PlayPennsylvania claims that slots audience is found in the older demographic, and casino managers think younger customers like social gaming behavior. Therefore, they will try all games in the PA casino, with more attention on sports betting and table games.
Wind Creek and Rivers Philadelphia, among other casinos, found a way to accommodate client wishes. Interactive table games like live dealer stadium gaming, where more players can sit at the “same table” and communicate, are a step in that direction. In addition, electronic tables are replacing traditional ones because they give clients more flexibility.
Imperiale stated that aiming for a younger audience is clear from amenities like bars with lawn games, fire pits, and Topgolf Swing Suites.
Another way to relate to younger audiences comes from slots with larger machines and more advanced audio and visual features.
Parx and Wind Creek Lead the Way in Rebounding from Pandemic Troubles in 2022
Pennsylvania’s 2022 gaming revenue from table games and slots surpassed 2019 figures. The second half of 2022 brought high $1.2 billion revenue, which is 3.6% more than in 2019. Table games had more substantial growth of 8.4%, netting $487.5 million in that time frame.
The Keystone State’s largest casino, Parx and Wind Creek, had better results in the second half of 2022 than in 2019. With $23.6 million in July, Wind Creek broke the PA table games revenue record. This casino had $122 million in 2022, which is a clear upgrade from $119 million in 2019.
Slot machines had slightly worse results, with 1% less revenue than in 2019.
Parx’s 2022 second-half table games results were up 4.8%, with total revenue of $100.9 million.
Other casinos that managed to return to pre-pandemic income are Mohegan, Pennsylvania, and Valley Forge. But, unfortunately, not all had such success, and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and at The Meadows, Harrah’s Philadelphia, and Rivers Philadelphia still haven’t rebounded.
New Casinos and Increased Growth Will Change the Market in 2023
In the Keystone State, the retail casino industry is growing steadily by more than 10% if we compare November numbers between 2022 and 2021. PA is second only to Nevada in terms of commercial casinos revenue.
The Pending Parx Shippensburg mini-casino opening will add to the competitive market. All indicators point to more growth in 2023, but the market dictates that casinos will have to innovate and invest to keep up with the growth.
Casinos in big cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh can expect more retail sportsbooks, high-limit rooms, upgraded bars and restaurants, and entertainment options.