Penn National comes to defense of Plainridge

Jan 25, 2016 10:08 AM

Penn National officials contend they have been treated unfairly in news media coverage of the gaming revenue generated by its Plainridge Park since the facility opened last summer with about 1,200 electronic gaming machines.

Plainridge is the first casino to open in Massachusetts and although it enjoyed a “robust” first month with revenues in excess of $18 million they have been declining each month since then.

A top Penn official has come to the defense of Plainridge and it is a good bet the issue will get some attention when Penn hosts a conference call next week to discuss a number of issues.

Timothy Wilmott, CEO of Penn National Gaming, complained in a letter to state gambling regulators that media coverage of the slot parlor and harness racing track has been “overly negative” since its July opening.

Monthly revenues at the facility have steadily declined from a July peak of $18.1 million. It posted $11.3 million in gross gambling revenues in December.

Wilmot said such as decline is “quite common” in the casino industry following a “robust opening.” He said slot machines at Plainridge Park have the highest average revenue among the Pennsylvania-based company’s 27 gambling locations.

The facility is Massachusetts’ lone slot parlor. MGM and Wynn are slated to open full service resort casinos in late 2018.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. Email: [email protected].