he nine casinos in August 2009 generated us$ 186,936,232 in gross revenue compared to us$ 156,052,262 in August 2008 when seven casinos were in operation. Taxes in August, based on the 55% rate, were us$ 102,789,443, an average of us$ 3.32 million per day returned to Pennsylvania taxpayers. The casinos collectively retained us$ 84,146,789.07 of the gross revenue for the month.
Board Chairman Greg Fajt says the ability for the Commonwealth to bring two more casinos online over the past three months contributed to this continued increase. "With the opening of both the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem and the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh during the summer, tax revenue from slot play that is earmarked toward lowering property taxes for our homeowners is accelerating," says Fajt.
Fajt also notes that the opening of these two casinos created 2,045 new jobs, with the vast majority going to Pennsylvania residents. "In a period where Pennsylvania has lost a tremendous amount of jobs, legalized gaming has been a job creation bright spot now employing over 8,000 individuals with an additional 8,000 construction jobs created to build these facilities," Fajt says.
Fajt adds that the Board will continue to work over the next two years to open the two licensed Philadelphia casinos and license two other facilities allowed under the Gaming Act that will result in continued increases in both revenue and job numbers.
The overall increase in revenue occurred even though the amount of gross revenue generated in August 2009 through the play of slot machines at the seven casinos that were also operating in August of the previous year declined -3.54%. The average number of operating slot machines at these facilities was 16,794 in August 2008 and 24,329 in August 2009.