Golden Nugget Casino’s Fiery Debut Ignites Record Revenue

But data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) suggest the vertical will fall short of $2 billion in revenue in 2023.
a gold rocket blasting off over stacks of gold coins of increasing size. Golden Nugget Casino's Fiery Debut Ignites Record Revenue
October 23, 2023

Golden Nugget Casino PA took the Keystone State by storm in September and helped lift the Pennsylvania online casino market to record revenue of $157.1 million.

Data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) show Golden Nugget, which just launched inPA in August, had $4.9 million in revenue in September — up from about $192k the month before, an increase of more than 25-fold.

It ranked sixth in terms of revenue after only one full month of operations (it was only live in August for 11 days, having launched on August 21). And it has quickly bested many operators who have been in the state for years.

Golden Nugget is one of two Qualified Gaming Entities (QGEs) in the state, the other being Bally Casino. Both are considered out-of-state operators by the PGCB and are not tethered to a land-based casino.

The PGCB awarded QGE status to Bally Casino in March and Golden Nugget in June. The regulator still has eight certificates, each of which costs $4 million, available to potential QGEs — six for online poker, one for online slots, and one for online table games. QGEs are not authorized to offer online sports betting.

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More Records Could Fall in 2023

PA’s online casino market was lifted to a new revenue record with the two QGEs now on board — Golden Nugget and lBally Casino, which launched in June).

Overall revenue was up 10.2% month-over-month ($142.5 million) but was nearly 43% up from revenue one year ago ($110.1 million).

More records are possible before the end of the year. Consider that online casinos set their last record high in March ($145.3 million), meaning the vertical has now set two records in 2023. By comparison, the vertical set record highs five times in 2022 — in January, March, October, November, and December.

Whether the vertical can top the $2 billion mark for revenue for the full year 2023 remains to be seen, but it appears on pace to fall just short.

Through September, PGCB data show the market has generated $1.2 billion in revenue. By comparison, the market had made $950.7 million through September of last year. The last three months of the month are among the largest for revenue, with December taking that title in 2019, 2020, and 2022 (it was second in 2021).

But even if the vertical managed to replicate its $157.1 million performance from September through the end of the year, total revenue would come out to $1.7 billion — about $300 million short of the $2 billion mark.

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Valley Forge Up Big from 2022

Golden Nugget wasn’t the only PA online casino operator to set a record in September.

Operators on the Hollywood Casino license — Barstool (for now), BetMGM Casino, DraftKings Casino, and Hollywood Casino PA — posted a record $64.5 million in revenue and remained far ahead of other operators.

Hollywood was up 7.5% month-over-month ($60 million) and 33.6% from 2022 ($48.3 million). But Valley Forge Casino, which is partnered with FanDuel Casino PA and Stardust Casino, was even more impressive by that metric — up nearly 81% from 2022 ($19.6 million).

Valley Forge also hit a record in September with $35.4 million in revenue, which was 9.3% higher than in August ($32.4 million).

On the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack license, Caesars Casino PA had a record $6.8 million in revenue in September.

Operators on the Rivers-Philadelphia license — BetRivers Casino PA, Borgata Casino PA, and SugarHouse Casino PA — made $29.1 million in September, which was up 4.1% from August ($28 million) and nearly 12% year-over-year ($26 million).

The Rivers group failed to clear the $30 million mark for revenue for a sixth consecutive month and is showing signs that its fortunes are directly tied to March Madness. That’s because the group made $30 million or more twice in March — specifically, in 2022 and 2023.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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