Following shutdowns due to the pandemic, the US’s number two gambling state, Pennsylvania, has been slammed, with casino revenue plummeting 18 percent.
According to a Thursday report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), revenue from regulated gambling in the Northeastern state decreased to $2.7 billion for the fiscal year 2019/20, which runs from July 1 to June 30. The decline “primarily as a direct result of casino shutdowns and other factors related to Covid-19 restrictions,” according to state regulators.
iGaming & sports betting save:
The combined total would have been considerably less had it not been for online gambling and sports betting, which accounted for over $240 million and $113 million, respectively.
The discouraging figure was reportedly down from fiscal year 18/19 new record high of more than $3.3 billion when iGaming was not a factor.
Slots & table games:
Meanwhile, slot machine and table games revenue were both down by nearly 30 percent, with the former experiencing a $680 million drop and the latter, a $240 million plunge. However, as mentioned, online gambling and sports betting added a combined $353-plus million to the tally in the very first full year for both in Pennsylvania casinos.
Online gambling was uninterrupted in the state, while during much of the spring Pennsylvania’s 12 commercial casinos were shut down. And while online sports betting retained its operational status, the cancellation of sporting events during the COVID-19 pandemic saw the vertical hobbled.
On October 30, 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed a comprehensive gambling expansion bill making the ‘Keystone State’ the fourth in the nation to permit legal online gambling. The bill, which was approved the week prior to the signing, allows for intrastate online casino and poker products, as well as online lottery sales, daily fantasy sports, and new satellite casinos and video gaming terminals (VGT) at select truck stops.
The measure also legalized daily fantasy sports and enabled the Pennsylvania Lottery to expand its portfolio to include instant and raffle games alongside keno. Meanwhile, the state’s existing casinos can pay a $10 million fee in order to secure a license to offer on-site or online sports betting.
The Associated Press reports that in 2019, Pennsylvania ranked second in the nation, behind Nevada, for commercial casino revenue, according to figures from the American Gaming Association (AGA). And while last year it was 1st in tax revenue from casino gambling, the PGCB estimates the state’s take will dip from the last fiscal year’s $1.4 billion to $1.1 billion.
In other news for the state, officials for the new $150 million Live! Casino Pittsburgh are looking to fill more than 500 positions at the 100,000 square foot complex located approximately 30 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. Situated in the Westmoreland Mall, the venue is expected to open before Thanksgiving and will reportedly include 750 slot machines and 30 table games, a full-service sportsbook, and a variety of dining options. Find out more HERE!