Hollywood Casino Morgantown and Lady Luck Nemacolin have received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to modify their gaming floors and reduce the number of slot machines. Hollywood Casino Morgantown is set to remove 30 slot machines from its gaming porch, leaving 117. Lady Luck Nemacolin has received permission to install 81 new slot machines and remove 100, owned by Churchill Downs.
During the latest PGCB monthly meeting, representatives from Hollywood Casino Morgantown and Lady Luck Nemacolin asked the gambling watchdog for permission to modify their gaming floors. General manager Marc Guastella and legal representative Michael Fabius of Ballard Spahr told PGCB that Hollywood Casino Morgantown wants to remove 30 slot machines from its gaming porch because they had an occupancy rate of less than a third of other slot machines on the gaming floor and generated almost 75% fewer wins per unit per day than other games.
Hollywood Casino Morgantown has already removed 17 slots in January 2022 and another 15 in December, which led to a tax revenue increase of approximately $400,000 and $1 million in March 2023, respectively. The casino’s tax revenue is expected to continue growing, and the new reduction would bring the casino’s total number of machines to 697. Gaustella told PGCB that the reduction is unlikely to have a negative effect on the casino, which continues to grow every year. The gambling venue is to add non-gaming options to fill the space. Gaustella explained that there will be no layoffs.
Unregulated Skill Games to Be Blamed for Casinos Wishing to Reduce Their Number of Slots
Fabius and Lady Luck Nemacolin’s general manager, John Gibboni, also spoke at the meeting regarding the proposed changes to the gaming floor. Gibboni explained that Lady Luck Nemacolin wants to refresh its offerings by removing 100 slot machines, which are owned by Churchill Downs, and adding 81 new slots to its gaming porch. This means that the gambling venue will reduce the number of slot machines by 19.
Gibboni told the PGCB that more slots could be added following the redesign of the gaming floor. Lady Luck Nemacolin has been operating seven days a week since renewing its license in June and has several property renovations in the works. Lady Luck Nemacolin is expected to add a coffee bar and an entertainment area to its property. However, the staffing will not be affected.
In 2021, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and the Hollywood Casino at the Meadows also announced that they would reduce their total number of slot machines due to the proliferation of unregulated “skill games” across the Keystone State, which have negatively affected the industry. Casino officials also explained that the growing popularity of online gambling reduced the need for slot machines.