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Pa. overall casino revenue sees record year; Bethlehem Sands and Mount Airy want online gambling

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The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is among the bricks-and-mortar casinos petitioning the state for online gaming licenses. (File photo)
The Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem is among the bricks-and-mortar casinos petitioning the state for online gaming licenses. (File photo)

The 2017-2018 fiscal year saw record overall revenue for Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos, according to the state Gaming Control Board.

The board said combining table and slot game revenue, the casinos took in $3.25 billion in 2017-2018, which ended June 30. That’s 1.4 percent higher than fiscal 2016-2017 and breaks the previous state gaming revenue record of $3.23 billion in 2015-2016.

Both slot and table game revenue were up, with slots taking in $2.35 billion and table games taking in $895.25 million during the last fiscal year, compared to $2.34 billion from slots and $866.51 million from table games the prior year.

The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem saw a 0.24 percent year-over-year increase, with a total of $470.86 million in overall revenue.

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono saw a 2.67 percent decrease in overall revenue when compared to the prior year. It took in $91.51 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

Meanwhile, Sands and Mount Airy are among the casinos looking to get into internet gambling.

The Gaming Control Board said it received nine petitions from casino license holders requesting approval to conduct interactive gaming or iGaming.

Other applications came from the operators of the Parx Casino, the planned Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Valley Forge Casino Resort, SugarHouse Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack and Rivers Casino.

By submitting petitions by the July 16 deadline, casinos pay a discounted $10 million fee to apply for licenses to conduct gaming in all three categories:

  • Non-peer-to-peer interactive games, which simulate slot machines.
  • Non-peer-to-peer interactive games, which simulate table games.
  • Peer-to-peer interactive games, which simulate poker.

Casinos can still submit petitions through Aug. 14. If so, they must pay a fee of $4 million for each category of gaming they seek to be licensed.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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