As odd as it sounds, fewer slot machines may boost revenue at two Pennsylvania casinos.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin gained approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to reduce the number of slot machines on their gaming floors.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown to cut 30 slot machines
At the most recent PGCB meeting, Hollywood Casino Morgantown presented its plans to reduce its number of slot machines from 147 to 117. The slots slated for removal are located on the casino’s gaming porch and are chronic underperformers.
The machines’ occupancy rate (playing time by customers) is less than 33% of the rates of the indoor machines. As a result, the slots generate 75% less revenue than their indoor counterparts, according to documents Hollywood Casino Morgantown presented to the PGCB.
Moving the slots indoors was not an option because it would put the casino’s indoor gaming floor out of compliance with ADA standards.
Interestingly, the casino projects the reduction will increase slot revenue. The cash that Morgantown’s slot machines generated spiked in early 2022 when the casino moved 17 porch slots inside. Then another spike after they removed 14 more porch slots this past November.
Reviewing Pennsylvania’s July gaming revenue, Morgantown’s slot machines generated $62.4 million, which resulted in $4.7 million in revenue. With a reduction in the number of machines, it’s possible we could see the casino’s slots revenue spike up to $65 million in September.
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin to drop 19 slot machines
Lady Luck Nemacolin told the PGCB that it plans to remove 19 slot machines from its gaming floor. Unlike Morgantown, the casino will lower its slots count through a swap rather than a removal.
The property temporarily leased 100 slot machines from Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) as the casino navigated an ownership change from CDI to Woodlands Fayette LLC.
With that management transition settling down, the casino will return the 100 machines to CDI and bring in 81 machines this fall. Of those 81 machines, 53 will be new, 22 will be under lease, and six will be pre-owned, John Gibboni, Nemacolin’s general manager, told the PGCB.
The presentation by Lady Luck Nemacolin to the PGCB did not include anywhere near the level of detail that Morgantown’s did, so it’s hard to tell what impact the drop in slots totals will have on the casino’s slots revenue.
However, the reduction may be a good thing, Michael Fabius, a lawyer from Ballard Spahr, said on behalf of Nemacolin. CDI didn’t emphasize new slot titles, so the addition of 81 new machines may lead to more betting.
“Under prior management, the slot machines were not as refreshed; it wasn’t new slot product put out on the floor as frequent or [on a] regular basis as much as the industry does,” Fabius said. “There’s a desire to replace older slot product with new slot product.”