Pittsburgh Casino’s Rough Beginning Continues

Pittsburgh Casino’s Rough Beginning Continues

In its sixth full week (Sept 14 to Sept 20) of operations, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh turned in its worst week to date with gross terminal revenue (casino’s take from wagers) falling to $3.584 million. This continues a pattern of decline since the grand opening week when the casino had $5.3 million in terminal revenue.

Bear in mind that the owners’ projection for their first year of operation showed gross terminal revenue of $420 million. The latest week’s take, if continued for the next twelve months, would bring in only $186 million. Undoubtedly, at this level, the casino would have a lot of trouble paying all its bills, starting with the $108 million in gaming taxes it is required to pay before any other expenses are met.

The bad news for the casino is that the fall season is the weakest part of the year for wagering. So the next few months hold little promise of a substantial turnaround in the casino’s revenues.

If it is any solace for the Pittsburgh casino, the other casinos across the state face the same slowdown in gambling activity. However, the owners cannot be very happy about the fact that their latest weekly decline at 14.4 percent was nearly double the drop in play at the nine casinos currently operating in Pennsylvania.

And the Rivers Casino still owes $7.5 million to the Sports and Exhibition Authority for Penguins Arena bonds and at some point will be hit with a big property tax bill when the County gets around to assessing the property. All told, this cannot be what the owners and managers had envisioned or hoped to see.