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Pennsylvania Casinos Showing Profit, Harrah’s New Orleans Smoke Ban Difficulties

Zachary Gleason

Pennsylvania Casinos showing profit in March 2016

The Pennsylvania casinos had a great month in March this year, as their overall gaming revenue increased from last year during the same month. This is great news for everyone in the state, as they provide over 17,000 jobs and taxed revenue gets put to good use funding other programs that lack the budget; which they generate over $1.4 billion in tax each year. On the other side of things, Harrah’s New Orleans is showing a big loss for the month of March, and they are blaming the smoke ban that took effect last year.

Comparing Casino Revenue Figures

The overall gaming revenue for the month of March increased when compared to the same month in 2015, with an increase of 4.21%. This is thanks to the increase of 1.7% in slots revenue coupled with the whopping 11.67% increase in table games revenue. This is the breakdown by casino:

Casino Total Gaming Revenue (March 2016) Total Gaming Revenue (March 2015) % Change
Parx Casino $49,994,112 $44,682,526 11.89%
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem $46,918,830 $43,344,923 8.25%
Rivers Casino $30,241,006 $30,460,711 -0.72%
SugarHouse Casino $26,519,098 $25,461,527 4.15%
Harrah’s Philadelphia $26,129,301 $25,606,034 2.04%
Mohegan Sun Pocono $23,529,527 $23,346,717 0.78%
The Meadows Casino $22,949,317 $21,703,239 5.74%
Holywood Casino $22,014,374 $22,591,559 -2.55%
Mount Airy Casino Resort $16,285,829 $15,996,923 1.81%
Presque Isle Downs and Casino $11,517,348 $11,806,003 -2.44%
Valley Forge Casino Resort $10,031,452 $9,434,213 6.33%
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin $3,037,311 $3,048,461 -0.37%
State Total $289,167,505 $277,482,836 4.21%

There were a couple of casinos that posted losses for this month, but with the majority increasing their revenue, this could mean that they will bounce back. Parx Casino showed the greatest improvement, getting $5,311,586 bump in profits. These numbers are promising for a good 2016 for Pennsylvania casinos.

Smoking Ban Hurting Harrah’s New Orleans Profits?

Louisiana casinos, specifically Harrah’s New Orleans seem to be struggling to get any profit this month. According to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, the casino’s gross gaming revenue for March was $23.9 million, a big drop from the $30.2 million they generated the same month in 2015; that is a 20.8% drop. Harrah’s is blaming it on one thing, the smoking ban that went into effect last year.

Many believe it is not the ban’s fault, and that the casinos are simply striving to get an excuse as to why business is down. However, a Harrah’s spokeswoman stated,

“Slot revenue, Harrah’s largest source of revenue, has been impacted the most with slot revenue down 17 percent in the period following the ordinance’s effect compared to prior year. In the 12 months impacted by the smoking ban, Harrah’s has experienced gaming revenue declines in 10 of the 12 months.”

This may have something to do with the fall in revenues, but it doesn’t really account for such a huge shortfall. The overall statewide gaming revenue for March is $214 million, a decrease of 9.7% over 2015’s $237.1 million. It would be far-fetched to say that the smoking ban affected all casinos in the state so harshly, so there are other factors affecting the revenue stream.

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