A second casino cannot be supported by Philadelphia’s waterfront, according to gambling analysts. These claims are based on SugarHouse’s revenues in its first four months of operation as a measure of the demand. The first casino of the city opened up on the 23rd of September, which is nearly four years after the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board gave it a slots license, making it the 10th approved casino of the state. The average of the weekly revenue from the slots, that constitute almost 70% of the casino’s total revenue, is $2.3 million. These revenues are lower than half of the figures that were projected last May; these are even below 50% of what SugarHouse’s owners promised the state gambling regulators before they got the license.
According to the state gambling law constituted in 2004, the state is entitled to receive 55% o the gross slots revenue of the casino and 16% of its revenue from table games. Hence the slots revenue is absolutely critical from the point of view of the state. If the gambling revenue is lower than initially expected, it means that the tax revenue distributed in the counties and cities that approved the casinos is lower.
Thus the question that should now be asked of the authorities is, if a shiny new casino which is situated at one of the plushest areas of the city, right in front of the waterfront and near a high traffic area is so drastically underperforming against popular expectations, why should a new casino be approved in wake of such failure? The general manager of SugarHouse, Wendy Hamilton , said that it may take a while to establish marketing programs, player databases and create a general awareness of any new property.