Sports betting may be a big business in Pennsylvania, but its online casino industry appears to have smashed it. As the latest figures come in from the end of year reports, 2020 saw a massive increase in the amount of revenue taken by the Keystone State’s online casinos. Upwards of 21% of the total revenue made from all forms of gambling in Pennsylvania have come from betting at the state’s licensed internet casinos.
The All-Important Details
In terms of revenue, Pennsylvania is the USA’s third-largest online gambling market, beaten by only Nevada (of course) and New Jersey. While the state’s thirteen land-based casinos suffered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of which were forced to close or run with a reduced capacity; the state turned to online gambling to keep the influx of cash coming in.
Reports released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) showcase that across 2020, the total amount generated from online casino gambling was $556.77 million. This accounts for some 21% of the total $2.6 billion raised in gambling revenues in total throughout the year.
Sports Betting’s Small Margins Smashed
As Pennsylvania pressed ahead with its licensing of online casinos, internet sports betting is set to be left behind. Before the introduction of internet casino gameplay, sports betting was seen as a significant revenue source for the state. However, coming in at just $189.7 million, it pales in comparison to casino games.
Land-based slots still lead the way, generating some $1.3 billion in funds for the state, followed closely by online casino games, then brick-and-mortar casino table games, at $504.3 million. The other entrants in the list were fantasy sports betting at a cool $21.1 million and VGTs at a paltry $16.6 million.
Of course, this does not mean that sports betting is less prevalent. The primary reason for the lack of revenue raised via sports bets compared to online casino gaming is mostly down to the lack of turnover. Sports betting is, after all, a business which typically has small margins.
More Competition on the Way
Any online casinos that think that they will have it all their own way in 2021 may be set for disappointment. Loosened restrictions and the incoming COVID-19 vaccines will see the brick-and-mortar casinos in the Keystone State reopen this year. Moreover, additional online casinos are set to go live. While this may be bleak news for the sports betting industry and will likely see a continued rise in casino gambling revenue; there is no guarantee that Pennsylvania’s punters will continue to use online sites once the land-based casinos return to the table.