March exceeded previous year by 9.4 percent. Upcoming expansions and grand openings are expected to increase tax revenues by an additional 40 percent in the future

Slot machine play at Pennsylvania seven operating casinos during March generated more than $155 million in revenues, a 9.4 percent increase over March of 2008, according to figured released by the state’s Gaming Control Board. 

Based on the Pennsylvania 55 percent tax rate on gross terminal revenue from slot machine play, Commonwealth citizens saw a return of $85,315,707 in tax revenues during March. Casino operators' revenue was $69,803,761. In March 2008, those figures were $77,984,150 and $63,803,761 respectively. 

"Our expectations are that two new casinos and two expansions of existing casinos will occur in 2009, so we should continue to see an increase in needed tax revenues coming back to the Commonwealth," Chairman Mary DiGiacomo Colins said. "In light of this growth, the Gaming Control Board, which has gained a national reputation for strict regulation, will also need to continue diligent oversight that is strong but fair in order to make sure that Pennsylvania's casinos are world-class and equipped with the latest technology, while also assuring that patrons enjoy a fair and predictable gaming venue."  

The planned expansions are at two casinos currently operating in temporary facilities, The Meadows and Philadelphia Park. The Meadows has a target opening date of its new facility and 109,000 square feet of gaming space on April 15, while Philadelphia Park is targeting an opening in December of its casino with 120,000 square feet of casino floor. 

The two new facilities will open in Bethlehem and Pittsburgh. The Sands Resort Casino Bethlehem plans a May 22 opening in a facility with 110,000 square feet of gaming floor, while the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh is aiming for an August opening of its facility with 123,000. 

The result of these openings is expected to increase the Commonwealth's tax revenues by an estimated 40% while also significantly increasing the number of living-wage jobs. Currently, the seven operating casinos employ approximately 6,200 persons with 94% of those jobs being held by Pennsylvania residents. 

An additional five casinos are permitted to open under Pennsylvania's Gaming Act, including two that have already been licensed in the city of Philadelphia. 

The monthly comparison used figures from seven casinos for the first time, since Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Court had it first full month of operation in March 2008. In addition, revenues from Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack, Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack, Presque Isle Downs and Casino, The Meadows Racetrack and Casino, and Mt. Airy Resort and Casino are used in the comparison. 

Comparative revenues for each of the casinos operating in both March 2008 and March 2009 are as follows: 

Casino/March 2008/March 2009/% change 
  • Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs/$13,884,467/$18,874,445/35.94% 
  • Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack/$30,772,918/$32,706,513/6.28% 
  • Harrah's Chester Casino and Racetrack/$31,595,072/$29,269,145/ -7.36% 
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino/$13,837,484/$15,698,326/13.45% 
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino/$20,246,082/$21,165,966/4.54% 
  • Mount Airy Resort and Casino/$15,226,354/$16,314,108/7.14% 
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse/$16,226,989/$21,090,966/29.97% 
The average number of slot machines operating daily at these facilities was 15,027 in March 2008 and 16,635 in March 2009.