Parx Leads All Pennsylvania Casinos Despite New Competitors

Thanks to gaming expansion, COVID shutdowns, and increased competition, Parx Casino continues his reign as Pennsylvania’s most profitable casino.

Not only does the Bensalem casino retain first place, but it has retained a stable market share for income from slot machines and table games over the years. Also, Parx has completely disappeared smokeless which turns out to be a case study for other casinos, showing that banning smoking has no impact on a casino’s bottom line.

Parx Casino Revenue and Market Share Over the Years

2018-2019

Total number of casinos in PA: 12

During fiscal year 2018-2109, the gaming industry in Pennsylvania was very different. Sports betting apps and online casinos didn’t start coming to Pennsylvania until the summer of 2019. There were no mini-casinos in Pennsylvania and Live! The Philadelphia casino had not opened.

Parx was in the lead for slot machine revenue with $416.9 millioncapturing a 17.5% share revenue from AP slots. Table games revenue for the year was $190.5 million (a 21.5% market share), second only to Wind Creek.

2019 -2020

Total number of casinos in PA: 12

In 2020, all PA casinos closed from March to early June and Parx Casino was closed 106 days during the Fiscal Year. More and more online casinos began to arrive in the state, which served as a source of tax revenue while land-based casinos were closed.

Parx led all casinos in slot revenue with $300.4 million (a 17.7% market share). They finished second behind Wind Creek for table games revenue with $137.8 million and one 21.3% market share.

2020-2021

Total number of casinos in PA: 14

The COVID shutdowns had less of an impact, only closing most casinos for about two weeks. Live! Casino Pittsburgh opened in November 2020 followed by Live! Casino Philadelphia in February 2021. Aside from Valley Forge Casino which once had a resort fee to enter, the 700 million dollars live! philadelphia cream represented the first close competition (22 miles) for Parx.

Parx remained the slot revenue leader in the state with $373.4 million during the Financial year 2020-2021. Slot machine revenue market share fell slightly to 19.7%.

Parx took over the #1 in Table Games Revenue of Wind Creek for the year reaching $174.4 million. Parx’s market share for tabletop games has grown to 24.1%.

2021-2022

Total number of casinos in PA: 16

The first mini-casinos opened in Pennsylvania. The closest, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, is an hour from Parx Casino.

Of the 16 casinos in Pennsylvania, Parx was in the lead with $407.9 million in slot revenuerepresenting approximately one 17% market share.

Wind Creek reclaimed the top spot for table game revenue and Parx finished second with $213.7 milliona market share of 21%.

Parx CMO talks economics, market share and what lies ahead

(Parx does not provide any commentary to PlayPennsylvania on the stories).

Marketing DirectorMarc Oppenheimer recently joined the host of Casino Update Tino Magnatta to discuss various topics around the casino industry, including inflation and its impact on customer spending.

Oppenheimer said:

“We probably see the same thing as everyone else. Business is down for us, mainly on the slots side. We do not lose visits. Spending per trip, especially for certain segments, has dropped significantly, and that’s where the revenue loss is coming from. People need to have discretionary income and discretionary time for us to do well and right now they don’t have discretionary income.

Usually, when a casino notices a drop in activity, it’s when the marketing department increases promotions. However, Oppenheimer says that’s not the current situation.

“We are now in a situation where this is counterproductive. It’s not about attracting more people. We don’t believe we are losing people to a competitor or other forms of entertainment.

In June 2022Parx led all casinos with $31.7 million in slot machine revenue, approximately one 9% decrease over one year. They finished second for table games with $16.4 milliona 7.8% year-on-year decline. June figures showed Parx held 16.4% of the slots revenue share, and Parx’s table games market share of 21.6% in June accounted for the highest market share in last five months for Parx.

“The raw numbers weren’t good but the market share was strong,” Oppenheimer said.

Summer is always a slower time for Pennsylvania casinos. However, over the past three weeks, Oppenheimer has seen some encouraging signs.

“The unemployment figures are good. Gas prices have fallen. The stock market has recovered a little. If we get a few more weeks of that over Labor Day weekend, I think there’s a chance we’ll pick up.

“For us, we will be well positioned in 2023 compared to other players. I have no idea what the overall market will be in 2023.”

Parx Casino becomes non-smoking

Due to PA’s COVID mask mandate, smoking was banned in casinos until June 2021. However, some casinos like Parx have chosen to remain smoke-free. Smoking is permitted in Parx on the terraces outside the Beer Garden. Guests do not need to leave the building to access the smoking terraces.

Oppenheimer said CDC Gaming Reports in Nov. 2021:

“We did this for the health and comfort of our guests and team members. We received significant positive feedback from both groups. And (we) continued our strong performance and market share gains in the region. Going forward, we hope to continue to be a non-smoking indoor facility. We will do so as long as the feedback and results remain as they were.

At a Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board meeting in January 2022, John Dixon, COO of Greenwood Gaming said the mini-casino Parx Casino Shippensburg, which is scheduled to open in November 2022would be smoke free.

“We’ve found that our customers actually prefer a smoke-free environment, so we plan to do the same in Shippensburg,” Dixon said.

Parx plans to open a hotel

PlayPennsylvania exclusively reported in January 2022 that Parx planned to add a hotel at his property in Bensalem. An internal email from fall 2021 obtained by PlayPennsylvania declared:

“At this time, we are looking at a 250-300 room hotel with a bar, restaurant, nightclub, pool/spa complex and flexible meeting space,” the email states. “It should take about 18 to 24 months.”

Sources say PlayPennsylvania that the Parx casino is still under construction with a target date of end of 2023.

Currently, the closest hotels to Parx Casino are Holiday Inn Bensalem (0.4 km) and Courtyard by Marriott (0.4 km).

Main image by Katie Kohler.

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