April 16, 2024 3 min read

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Pennsylvania Reports Surge in Online Gambling Participation

Highlighting a nearly 30% increase in online gambling revenue, a newly released report uncovered a 5% uptick in the participation of iGaming activities in 2023

A newly released report uncovered insights regarding the impact of online and offline gambling activities on Pennsylvania residents. The report was funded by the gambling regulator in the state, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), and developed by Penn State’s Criminal Justice Research Center in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP).

Released Monday, the Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment: Online Gambling Report 2023 outlined a worrying trend about an uptick in the rate of problem gambling, primarily associated with online gambling activities. Moreover, the report highlighted a growth in the participation in iGaming activities when compared to previous years.

Per the new report, the percentage of participation in online gambling in 2023 increased to 16%. This data came after 2021 and 2022, the participation rate in iGaming activities was flat at 11%.

What’s more, the report revealed that the iGaming revenue last year marked a solid 27% increase to $2.1 billion, when compared to the prior year. “Its popularity places the state among the top three online gambling revenue-generators in the nation,” Penn State’s Criminal Justice Research Center explained.

More concerningly, the newly released report revealed that approximately half of the Pennsylvania residents who engaged in online gambling activities reported a gambling-related problem. Those problems were associated with different factors, including increases in the money or hours spent gambling, gambling frequency or motivation, among others.

Online Gamblers Spend More Time, Money

The Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment: Online Gambling Report 2023 identified people who gambled both offline and online as “dual-mode gamblers.” The research found that the dual-mode gamblers participated in gambling activities once a week, while the people who only gambled via brick-and-mortar venues engaged in two or three gambling sessions per month.

When it comes to duration, dual-mode gamblers spend significantly more time when compared to offline-only gamblers. While gamblers who participated in retail activities spent some 1.5 hours per month gambling, dual-mode gamblers spent a whopping 15 hours per month.

Not unexpectedly, the dual-mode gamblers also spent more money gambling. While offline gamblers spent an average of $103 per month, dual-mode gamblers spent $708 per month.

Per the new report, sports betting was the gambling activity that was most popular within the online gambling format.

As we see increased revenue and advertising for online gambling, this report serves as a way for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to understand the potential impacts on individuals, families and communities.

Glenn Sterner, lead author of the report

Glenn Sterner, lead author of the report, assistant professor of criminal justice at Penn State Abington and Social Science Research Institute co-funded faculty member, revealed that the new report shares valuable insights about the impact of iGaming advertising on families and communities across Pennsylvania. Finally, he said that the Institute remains committed to identifying issues related to iGaming activities, including monitoring of problem gambling.

Co-editor

William Velichkov is a research-driven writer. His strengths lie in ensuring factual accuracy, vetting government documentation and reaching out to regulators and other officials. He is particularly fond of financial reporting, the sports betting industry, B2B partnerships and esports betting developments. William is a strong asset to the GamblingNews team as he adds a bedrock to our reporting.

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