Some of us around here were concerned about the impact the new casino right up the road on I-95 would have on Harrah’s Philadelphia located in Chester. The numbers are in and according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, it does not look good. 

Delaware County’s casino, located in Chester, but named after Philly, had taken a huge hit as either Philly folks aren’t coming to Chester to gamble anymore or Delco folks are swinging a left to Philly and not a right down to Chester. 

Today’s Inquirer reports…

The opening last year of the Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia in the city’s stadium district has apparently cannibalized customers from Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester. Slot machine revenue is down 32% and table games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps fell 25% at Harrah’s.

The fact that the Inquirer used the word ‘cannibalized’ hints of the horror of this issue. 

Almost all of the growth over the last two years has been in new online forms of gaming, including such casino games as slots and blackjack, and also sports betting. One percent of the online gaming revenue is funneled back to Delaware County and turned into grants for organizations across the county by the Delaware County Interactive Gaming Revenue Authority – DCIGRA. Quarterly payments from the State to DELCO have increased each period as internet gaming becomes more popular. 

The online app that funnels revenue to Harrah’s is Caesar’s Casino and Sportsbook which has those funny TV commercials featuring J.B. Smooth as Caesar. That’s the one you want to download to make sure your internet betting money stays in Delco. Hollywood Casino at Penn National uses DraftKings and Valley Forge Casino Resort uses FanDuel. 

Some of the amenities at Harrah’s have gone away thanks to the pandemic and may be tough to replace with the decrease in foot traffic at the Chester location. What do you think they need to do to bring more people in: restaurants, night clubs, events, or something else? I’m sure they’ll welcome your suggestions.