By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Overall revenue from slot machine play at Pennsylvania casinos experienced a moderate decline in 2013.

Gross revenue from slots was down 3½ percent in Pennsylvania compared to 2012.  The decline would be closer to four percent on a same-casinos basis, factoring out the revenues generated by the casino at the Nemacolin resort that opened last year.

But Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board spokesman Doug Harbach contends the decline needs to be put in perspective, with increased competition from neighboring states.

“When Pennsylvania’s industry started a number of years ago, there was very little competition,” Harbach says.  “So you saw pretty quick-escalating numbers, in many cases above what projections were once competition settled in.  So this is somewhat of a natural downgrade of the volume.”

Presque Isle Casino, in Erie, experienced the biggest drop in gross slots revenue — more than 13 percent — followed by Harrah’s Philadelphia, down almost 10 percent.  Parx, in Bucks County, was down more than four percent; Sugarhouse, in Philadelphia, dropped almost five percent.

Harbach notes that table games revenue in the Pennsylvania continues to be robust.  The final tally for 2013 will be released later.