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Ahead of gambling expansion, Pa. casinos generate record revenue

As Pennsylvania wades into online gambling, sports betting and new mini casinos, casino operators are raking in record gaming revenue from their existing operations.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday said casino gaming revenue from slot machines and table games at the state’s 12 casinos totaled about $3.25 billion in the 2017-18 fiscal year, up from $3.2 billion, or about 1.4 percent, in 2016-17.

The previous record was set two years ago, with nearly $3.23 billion in revenue.

The board said table games revenue grew about 3.3 percent to $895.3 million, while slot machine revenue inched closer to $2.4 billion with a 0.7 percent increase last year.

Tops in revenue growth for table games was The Meadows Casino (up 22.2 percent), followed by Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (up 14.7 percent) and Valley Forge Casino Resort (up 10.3 percent). Valley Forge also grew slots revenue by 8 percent last year, the highest of the 12 casinos, according to the board.

Meanwhile, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in East Hanover Township saw slight declines in both areas. Slots revenue at Hollywood was down 1.1 percent with about $207.4 million in revenue last year, while table games revenue dipped 1.3 percent to $35.5 million.

Future gaming revenue in Pennsylvania is likely to see a bump from recent casino expansion efforts. 

State lawmakers and the governor last year approved both online casino gaming and lottery games. The online lottery has already started in Pennsylvania. 

On Tuesday, the board fielded nine petitions from casinos seeking online gaming licenses.

The board also is awaiting more details from five casino operators awarded mini-casino licenses, including potential sites and final applications.

Berks County-based Penn National has two mini-casino licenses, including one for York County and another for an area around the border between Lancaster and Berks counties. Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc. has a license for Cumberland County.

Legalized sports betting also is in the works for Pennsylvania, though no casinos have applied for a license yet.

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