While Tennessee celebrates officially launching online sports betting, Pennsylvania remains one of only a handful of US states which has authorized online casino gaming.
While brick-and-mortar casinos across the United States suffer from the bite of COVID-19 and the necessary restrictions that the pandemic brings, online casinos in the Keystone State are raking it in. Autumn has seen the largest ever rise in online casino revenue in Pennsylvania, and there are clear reasons why.
Record Revenue Announced
Go back to last fall, and you will note that online casino gambling in the United States’ thirty-third largest state was responsible for $2.5 million in revenue. Jump forward a year, and you are looking at just shy of $55 million. The COVID-19 pandemic cannot claim sole responsibility for seeing revenues rise. Indeed, in February (before it genuinely had an effect), Pennsylvania’s online casinos were already reporting $19.4 million in revenue, a clear rise from six months earlier. However, fast forward to the summer, and the average was around $52-53 million.
Despite the slot machine tax rate of 54% and table game taxes of 16%, the internet outlets in Pennsylvania are doing exceptionally well. This is especially true when you compare those returns with the revenue generated from the ailing land-based betting industry.
Live Casino Games Make an Impact
The Pennsylvania scene is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, things are only set to get bigger and better in the Keystone State. Just last month, Evolution Gaming’s live dealer casino games were given a two-day trial run at Pennsylvanian sites, with much acclaim. While the authorities in the state weigh up whether to make the inclusion of live games permanent, it seems incredibly unlikely that the move will not stick. The availability of live dealers would be a further boost to the industry, as it hammers its land-based counterparts into the ground.
Pennsylvanian Revenues Climb
Land-based casinos are not just suffering in Pennsylvania. As a matter of fact, there have been several sales (and or two closures) across the US. Even the mighty Las Vegas Strip is not performing anywhere close to normal. The surge in gambling has helped Pennsylvania catch up with local rival, New Jersey. The Garden State reported a $3.4 billion income from all forms of gambling in 2019, with Pennsylvania close behind at $3.38 billion. Only Nevada stands in the way, at $12 billion.
What’s Next for Pennsylvania Casinos?
As rapid as the rise in gaming in Pennsylvania has been, new rivals are emerging. Tennessee recently became the latest state to approve legal sports betting, and several other states are toying with the idea of legalizing online casino gaming. However, any of the US states which legalize online casino games are not likely to be a threat to Pennsylvania, whose residents are only legally permitted to play at casinos licensed by their state. That ensures the considerable crowds playing from home at the moment are tied for the foreseeable future.