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Rachael Price December 10, 2018 3 min read
Pennsylvania’s Gambling Expansion Pays Off $400m
Pennsylvania’s Windfall on Online Gambling
Pennsylvania has managed to achieve solid results following the expansion of gambling in the state back in 2017. With the legal cogwheels tweaked last year, the state has introduced a number of highly-yielding activities, including online lotteries and daily fantasy sports, to speak nothing of sports betting, which has been gaining momentum.
Gaming expansion initiatives move forward. Approvals from today's PGCB meeting include: 3 casinos for sports wagering (total now of 5) plus a sportsbook operator, 2 casinos for iGaming (total now of 9), 4 VGT establishments (total now of 20) plus 3 VGT operators (total now 9).
— PGCB (@PAGamingControl) October 31, 2018
In purely monetary terms, the state has achieved $400 million since the expansion began, a rather impressive number. The measure was passed in October 2017 when Governor Tom Wolf signed an approved bill, which led to today’s numbers. With this in mind, Pennsylvania has been generating over $1 million with each day gambling operations have been running.
To achieve the number, experts have used official data provided by license application fees and an estimate of the revenue generated across multiple sectors, including virtual sports sales, keno, online lottery, and other segments.
The most notable aspect of the significant revenue that has been generated is that this is almost completely from fees, rather than tax revenue gained from gamblers – PlayPennsylvania.com Jessica Welman
Pennsylvania has managed to add a significant sum to its state coffers, but the majority of the sum had come from licensing deals, enabling operators to start catering to people interested in putting a wager or participating in a lottery, noted Jessica Welman from PlayPennsylvania a media outlet specializing on following the state’s legislation up close.
The revenue generated from the activities themselves varied, but it was estimated at $23 million from lottery games and $19.6 million from the so-called “draw-based” products. Keno also proved highly lucrative with $3.6 million in turnover.
Lastly, virtual sports manged to achieve $87,000 which puts them well on the bottom of the list for the state, but still a fair number.
Licensing Drives Growth
Understandably, the bulk of the revenue was achieved by licensing deals estimated at $128 million for satellite casino licenses and $94 million for interactive gaming fees. All of this has happened at a time when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is still undecided as to when it would give the official go-ahead of these activities to actually launch. Parx and SugarHouse have been among the establishment to push for licenses as well.
An additional $78 million was provided by casino license fees and another $60 million came as a direct result from licensing sports betting apps. Daily fantasy sports betting saw a modest growth to $1.4 million, but still remains an activity that is brimming with potential.
The state managed to rake in $799.8 million in taxes from slot revenues during the fiscal 2017/2018, and Pennsylvania is headed to top the results even further by adding $34 billion in general fund revenues during the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
Now, Pennsylvania’s ailing casino sector is preparing to benefit from the newly legalized sports betting activity, estimates Dustin Gouker from PlayPennsylvania. As to the expansion itself, it has been highly successful – if the point was to bolster the short-term results of the stats generated through gambling, the measure has hit its mark.
Creating long-term growth, though, would require the state to find a way to engage customers and legalize the activities that would generate the highest interest.