Parx still dominates Pennsylvania casinos, despite market fluctuation
August 6, 2022
Parx Casino continues to be the highest-grossing casino in Pennsylvania by recording $407,9 million in slot revenue and $213,7 million in table game revenue, according to a recent fiscal report.
The casino has also maintained its position despite the fluctuating market caused by COVID-19 shutdowns and increased competition. With this, Parx has been leading the market in the last four fiscal years.
Parx and other land-based casinos in the state had shut down business for about three months in 2020 and during that period, people resorted to online casinos that were still operating in Pennsylvania. The number of land-based casinos in Pennsylvania had also increased after the pandemic.
The casino’s chief marketing officer Marc Oppenheimer explained that Parx kept a good market share even if “the raw numbers were not good”.
He also talked about the impact of the economic situation on the casino market, especially about the inflation following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The spend-per-trip, especially for certain segments, is down significantly, and according to Oppenheimer, that’s where "the loss in revenue is coming."
“People have to have discretionary income and discretionary time for us to do well and right now they don’t have discretionary income," he said.
Despite the situation, Oppenheimer said that Parx did not increase its promotion to attract consumers. Parx considered increasing marketing activities during this period as “counterproductive” because the casino did not lose customers to competitors.
Plan on expansion
According to Oppenheimer, there are positive signs that the business will “pick up” in the upcoming fiscal year. Parx will be going to the next fiscal year in a better condition compared to the competitor.
However, Oppenheimer said that the company could not predict what the situation would be like in 2023. Thus, the company plans on having an expansion.
The first activity on the plan is building a hotel in the Bensalem property. The casino’s chief executive officer, Eric Hausler, spoke about the plan during an interview on the SeventySix Capital Sports Leadership Show.
“We are in the process of designing a hotel,” Hausler said. ”It’s amazing, given the size of the facility and the location, that we don’t have a hotel here so we are starting to work on that. It’s a few years out.”
The hotel will reportedly have 250-300 guest rooms. Additionally, the management will add a nightclub, a restaurant, a pool/spa complex, and a meeting hall. The project was predicted to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
The parent company of Parx Casino has been preparing to establish a mini-casino, Parx Casino Shippensburg. The scheduled opening is in November 2022. Like the original casino, it will implement a smoke-free rule.
Parx’s smoke-free regulation has been effective since the start of the pandemic. Guests are only allowed to smoke at the patios located outside of the Beer Garden. It still maintains the regulation even after the federal government lifted the ban on smoking on casino property.
“We’ve done it for the health and comfort of both our guests and team members,” Oppenheimer said in an interview back in 2021. “We have received significant positive feedback from both constituencies.
“And (we) have continued our strong performance and gains of market share in the region. As of now, we hope to be able to continue to remain an indoor non-smoking facility. We will as long as feedback and results stay as they have been.”