Pa. gross slots revenue rises to $2.5 billion in 2012

Posted: January 04, 2013

Pennsylvania's gambling industry continues to grow, even as new casinos proliferate in nearby states.

The state Gaming Control Board reported Thursday that gross revenue from slot machines for the 2012 calendar year was nearly $2.5 billion, or 2.7 percent higher than the previous year's $2.41 billion total.

Parx led the state's 11 casinos with $384.6 million, up 2.1 percent from 2011. It finished ahead of Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem ($291.5 million) and Rivers in downtown Pittsburgh ($282.1 million).

Harrah's Philadelphia rounded out the top four at $259.8 million. SugarHouse on Penn's Landing came in eighth, with $190.2 million in gross slots revenue.

Gaming board chairman William H. Ryan Jr. noted that it was the sixth year in a row Pennsylvania had seen an increase in revenue from slot machines. The state's first casino opened in late 2006.

"While competition for gaming dollars from bordering states will continue to escalate, the revenue results from legalized casino gaming in Pennsylvania continue to be strong," Ryan said in a statement.

The state reported gaming-revenue growth last year despite the opening of the $2.4 billion Revel in Atlantic City in early April and additional casinos in Maryland and Ohio.

The industry currrently employs more than 16,000 in Pennsylvania, according to the board.

The state taxes gross slots revenue at 55 percent and table-games revenue at 14 percent. It generated more than $1.3 billion in tax revenue from the play of slots in 2012, which goes toward statewide property-tax relief, purses for the horseracing industry, and funding for major economic development and community-based projects.

As revenue continues to surge statewide, six groups are currently vying for the right to build the second casino slated for Philadelphia. Applicants for that license include casino mogul Steve Wynn, gambling powerhouse Penn National Gaming Inc., and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which owns Parx.

The groups will make their first pitches to the seven-member Gaming Control Board Feb. 12 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, in what is likely to be a yearlong application and vetting process.

Contact Suzette Parmley at 215-854-2855 or

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