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US – Harrah’s Philadelphia wins approvals to reduce slot quota by 563 machines

By - 8 July 2021

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has approved Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino’s unusual request to reduce its slot machine quota by 563 machines because of ‘significant oversupply and underutilisation of existing slot machines.’

The casino’s slot number will fall from 2,263 to 1,700 with Harrah’s saying it wanted to remove underperforming machines and reconfigure the slot floor to create better flow and spacing.

Chris Albrecht, SVP and General Manager of Harrah’s Philadelphia, said: “We believe this reduction will be a great improvement to the customer experience at our property.”

He added that it would allow the property to create ‘a more comfortable gaming environment’ that the slots to be removed were ‘all fully owned units and some of the oldest and least profitable on the gaming floor’ with an average age of 10.3 years, and that pods of machines would replace long rows of slots. The square footage of the gaming floor remains unchanged with there being no impact to table games or other gaming floor amenities, no loss of tax revenue and no loss of jobs. The majority of the slots up for removal, 338 of the 563, will be taken from smoking areas.

Mr. Albrecht believes that company projections indicate that the remaining quota of 1,700 slot machines could ‘adequately and comfortably’ handle peak occupancy.

The are now five casinos in Philadelphia with Live! Philadelphia, Rivers Philadelphia, Parx Casino, Valley Forge Casino all bringing competition to Harrah’s. Slot revenue has fallen from $215.1m in 2015 to $136.1m in 2019 before the pandemic.

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