Revenue growth slows at B.C.’s top casinos

Slot machines are the primary revenue generators at most of B.C.’s gambling houses

Revenue at B.C.’s largest casinos fell an average of 0.1 per cent in 2018 from 2017 compared with the 4.4 per cent one-year growth experienced five years ago, according to data on Business in Vancouver’s “Biggest Casinos and Bingo Halls in B.C. list.”

Despite slowing growth, the average revenue of the province’s top 20 casinos has grown 7.5 per cent over the past five years, increasing to $85.6 million in 2018 from $79.7 million in 2014.

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Over the past five years, slot machines have generated a larger share of casino revenue. Of the B.C. casinos that offer table games and slot machines, table games made up 20.3 per cent of total revenue in 2018 compared with 28.7 per cent in 2014. Slot machines generated 79.1 per cent of revenue in 2018, up from 71.3 per cent in 2014.

While table games contributed a smaller amount of revenue than slot machines, table games generated significantly more revenue per game than slot machines.

On average, table games generate $644,900 annually per table; slot machines generate an average of $97,725 annually per machine.

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River Rock Casino Resort recorded the highest casino revenue in B.C. ($323.7 million) in 2018, but that was down 22.9 per cent from the $420 million it produced in 2014.

River Rock earns 52 per cent of its revenue from slots and the rest from table games. In 2018, its table games generated an average of $1.7 million per table, more than any other casino in the top five.

Parq Vancouver had the highest-earning slot machines among the top 20 casinos: an average of $145,741 per machine compared with River Rock’s $134,245.

Parq Vancouver is also B.C.’s only casino to generate more revenue from table games than from slot machines. However, its average revenue per slot machine outperforms the average for the top five casinos, in part because Parq Vancouver has roughly half the number of slot machines of its top five counterparts.

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Hard Rock Casino Vancouver and Cascades Casino Langley are both heavily reliant on slot machine revenue. It makes up 77 per cent and 80 per cent of their revenue, respectively.

Despite being more reliant on slot machine revenue, their machines generated less revenue on average than other casinos in the top five. In 2018, the average slot machine at Hard Rock generated $109,930 while Cascades Casino generated an average of $113,269 per slot machine.

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