Big money at Pocono Downs

Slot machines are wonderful things, if only for their power to transform formerly obscure sites into hotly-debated centers of finance. Seriously. Five years ago, if you had said that the goings-on at a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania racetrack were going to be front-page news anywhere, people would have said you were nuts. Well, thanks to the almighty Slot, Pocono Downs has its moment in the sun. From the The Citizens Voice:

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs officials can’t really say if the numbers they’re seeing out of Pennsylvania’s first slots parlor are better or worse than expected.

“We really didn’t know what to expect as the first casino in the Commonwealth,” said Robert Soper, president and CEO of the facility.

Still, financial figures coming out of the facility are eye-popping on a local level.

Gamblers pumped $39.3 million into slot machines at the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in just the first week of operation. They won back $35.3 million, as the machines have been paying out an average of 90 cents on every dollar waged.

Of the $4.08 million left in the machines after all the winnings were paid out, the state has taken $1.4 million for property tax relief, $163,000 for local government, $204,000 for economic development and tourism, and roughly $490,000 for the state’s horse racing industry, according to figures provided by the state Department of Revenue. That left the casino with weekly slots revenues of $1.83 million, before operating expenses.

Few expect the casino to keep up that pace.

“We’re pleased with the first week, but we’re cautiously optimistic, as we know that the high volumes will smooth out over time as the novelty wears off,” Soper said.

The Citizens Voice – $39.3 million wagered at Mohegan Sun in first week

My very rough calculations show that the slots’ average win/day was around $529–better than casinos in Atlantic City and Connecticut. For that matter, it’s better than just about everywhere in the country.

By the way, if you want to see something moderately amusing, click over and keep reading the story–you’ll see that your humble blogging friend quoted.

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