CEO of Parx Casino, Eric Hausler recently testified before the House GOP policy committee, shedding light on the contentious issue of skill games in Pennsylvania. His presentation revealed compelling statistics suggesting that these games are indeed impacting the state’s casinos.

Debating regulation: 

Skill games have long been a subject of debate within the Pennsylvania gambling industry. While Pace-O-Matic, a prominent skill games manufacturer, advocates for regulation, claiming their games have no adverse effects, Hausler’s testimony suggests otherwise. Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposed 42% tax in the upcoming fiscal year budget indicates a push toward regulating these games.

Hausler’s presentation included a comparative analysis of slot revenue growth in Pennsylvania and neighboring states where skill games are not prevalent. The data revealed that Pennsylvania’s slot revenue increased by a mere 4% since 2018, significantly lower than the average 21% growth observed in neighboring states like Ohio and Maryland. This stark contrast underscores the potential impact of skill games on the Keystone State’s gambling revenue.

The regional dynamics of skill games’ proliferation are also of interest. Unlike Pennsylvania, neighboring states such as Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, and New York have not seen a significant proliferation of skill games.

According to Play Pennsylvania, Virginia’s recent ban on skill games offers a pertinent case study. Following the ban, slot revenue in Virginia surged by 11% per day. Hausler emphasized the potential financial gains for Pennsylvania, citing an 11% increase in slot win per day, translating to over $150 million in additional tax revenue annually. This comparison underscores the potential economic benefits of regulating skill games in Pennsylvania.

Parx’s stance: advocating for regulation:

Despite the industry’s realization that skill games are here to stay, Parx Casino remains steadfast in its advocacy for regulation. Hausler reiterated the need for a robust regulatory framework, emphasizing the importance of sensible limits on the location of these games. While acknowledging the complexity of the issue, Parx CEO remains committed to ensuring that any regulation addresses the concerns surrounding skill games’ impact on the state’s gambling industry.

With proposals from Governor Shapiro and support from legislative bills, it’s increasingly evident that regulation of skill games in Pennsylvania is not a matter of if but when. Hausler’s testimony underscores the urgency of implementing stringent regulations to address the impact of these games on the state’s casinos. As discussions progress, stakeholders will need to collaborate to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework that balances industry interests with consumer protection.

Eric Hausler’s testimony before the House GOP committee highlights the pressing need for regulation in the face of growing concerns surrounding skill games’ impact on Pennsylvania’s gambling industry. As the debate continues, stakeholders must work together to ensure that any regulatory measures are effective in mitigating the negative effects of skill games while fostering a fair and competitive gambling environment.