Pennsylvania’s Casinos Will Reopen Without Poker

With all of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos closed, poker players used to tournaments and cash games in card rooms have been left to duel online. While possibly a socially distanced home game or two might have taken place during quarantine, former poker room residents are clamoring to get back to playing cards the old fashion way.

Casino in Pennsylvania

Unfortunately, poker-playing casino patrons will have to wait a little while longer before they can return to card rooms. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has outlined a new set of health and safety protocols for casinos to follow to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In a 10-page document released today, the PGCB states:

Poker rooms are not authorized to operate due to players handling cards and chips. Poker room operations will be re-examined based upon changing CDC and PA DOH guidance.

Pennsylvania’s Reopening Protocols for Casinos

Governor Tom Wolf has outlined a three-phase, color-coded plan for reopening the state of Pennsylvania.

  • Green signifies an area is ready to reopen without restrictions.
  • Yellow denotes an area where businesses are operational and restrictions on large social gatherings are in place.
  • Red means only stay-at-home orders are in effect and only “life-sustaining” businesses are permitted to operate.

Stay-at-home orders are slowly being lifted throughout the state. But as legislators weigh the risk of crowds gathering in confined spaces, casinos have cautiously remained on the backburner. The governor’s color-coded plan prevents casinos from reopening until the counties they’re located in reach the “green” phase.

Bad Beat for Pennsylvania’s Poker Players

The PGCB’s restrictions may seem over-the-top, but considering how frequently cards and chips change hands during just an hour’s worth of play, it’s a reasonable policy to implement. Whether Pennsylvania’s casinos find an alternate method to distribute cards and chips could determine how long the poker ban continues.

The new health and safety protocols also specify casino patrons in Pennsylvania are required to wear a mask covering their nose and mouth. To prevent customers from completely concealing their identity, the PGCB’s policy specifically outlines casinos should discourage patrons from wearing hats inside. If a patron insists on wearing a hat inside the casino, they will be asked to temporarily take off their hat and lower their mask to be captured by security cameras for identification.

Tough break if you’re a poker player who likes wearing hats.

Online Sports Betting in PA Continues to Bring in Revenue

Sports betting first became available in Pennsylvania in late 2018. Over the past couple of years, this industry has grown extremely popular here. New reports show that online sports betting in PA makes up for about 90% of all sports wagers placed.PA State Seal

This isn’t much of a surprise. Online gambling is growing more popular around the entire country. Now is the perfect time to check out how much revenue Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry is managing to bring in.

Let’s get into it!

Pennsylvania’s Gambling Revenue Continues to Fluctuate

Not long ago, Pennsylvania took a somewhat hardline stance towards the gambling industry. This is no longer the case. Today, just about all forms of gambling are available here. Revenue from this industry has fluctuated since these new gambling options became available.

In May of 2018, the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. This gave every state in the country the ability to legalize and regulate sports betting. Lawmakers in Pennsylvania immediately began taking steps to open this sports betting industry and by November of that year, it became legal.

That wasn’t the only form of gambling to recently become available here. In November of 2019, lawmakers here started allowing online poker. This form of gambling has grown extremely popular in just a few months.

Pennsylvania’s gambling industry is growing bigger every single month. It has a lot of competition, though. New York, New Jersey, and Delaware all have surging gambling industries, as well.

This week, sports betting revenue reports became available here. Let’s take a look at how much this industry is managing to bring in.

Revenue From Online Sports Betting in PA is Surging

Sports betting is growing more popular every single month. This is especially true in Pennsylvania. Last month, sports betting revenue here hit a new record.

More than $384 million was spent on sports wagers last month. These wagers were placed through the state’s eight online sports betting sites and 12 land-based betting venues. Revenue from this industry came out to $31.6 million in January.

Many believe that Super Bowl bets placed in January helped to increase revenue here. Interestingly, close to 90% of all the sports wagers placed in Pennsylvania last month were done online. FanDuel’s online sportsbook continues to be the biggest revenue earner for the state.

Land-based sports betting revenue actually dropped last month by 11.8%. This is the lowest revenue from brick and mortar sports betting venues since September. It’s clear that online sports betting in PA is beginning to take over.

Gambling competition remains very high in the northeast of the country. New York, in particular, is working hard to improve its gambling industry.

New York Continues Looking at Gambling Expansion Plans

New York is another state that’s only recently begun to embrace the gambling industry. Over the past decade, a huge number of casinos have opened in the Upstate area of New York. Unfortunately, the large number of gaming venues in this state is making it hard for the casinos here to be profitable.

To help with things, lawmakers in this state decided to legalize sports betting. Hope was that it would draw in more people to the state’s land-based casinos. That hasn’t necessarily been the case.

Things do seem to be improving, though. Each of the four casinos in Upstate New York is starting to see revenue increases. Resorts World Catskills, one of the biggest casinos in the state, saw its revenue increase by 48% last year. Lottery ticket sales are decreasing here.

State officials continue discussing the possibility of allowing sports bets to be placed online. Lawmakers in New York are beginning to see how much revenue is being earned from online sports betting in PA. Many believe that online sports wagering will become legal here within a year or two.

Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry continues to grow. Other states are beginning to take notice. We’ll need to wait and see how much revenue from this industry grows for the rest of the year.

Stay tuned for more Pennsylvania gambling news over the next few months!

Pennsylvania’s First Month of Online Poker Generates $2.5 Million

Playing Cards on Top of Keyboard, Poker Chips, Red DiceFollowing a soft-launch in early November, December was the first full month of online poker in the Keystone State. The rollout came two years after the legislature legalized online gambling in 2017. With  early reports indicating that interest in poker was high in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has supplied some evidence:

Publishing its December 2019 revenue report, the regulator showed that monthly online earnings were up 10.3 percent. Pennsylvania online poker, in total, generated $2.5 million in revenue during December 2019. Nearly $400,000 of that revenue was collected by the state as tax revenue.

PokerStars PA Boosts Revenue

In November, online gaming revenue was $9,655,811. One month later, Pennsylvania’s five licensed operators earned $10,624,699. The jump was somewhat expected thanks to launch of PokerStars PA. Although the site went live in November, December was its first full month of activity.

Currently, PokerStars PA is the only Pennsylvania online poker room in operation and there has been no official word that a competitor is on the verge of entering the market. In less than two months, online poker revenue in the state totaled more than $4.4 million and added $710,000 to state coffers.

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP), everything started off pretty well. Held afloat by the increase in activity during the event’s opening week, PokerStars PA increased the overall guarantee from $1 million to $1.2 million.

The total payout eventually surpassed $1.5 million; a figure that helped PokerStars rake $2,473,173 in December.

While impressive, the $2.5 million in revenue made in December only made up less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s gross gambling revenue, but online gambling is steadily taking up a bigger percentage of market share than in years past.

Online Poker Compared to Other iGaming Verticals in the State

Like its first month, online poker compares favorably in terms of revenue when considered alongside other iGaming verticals in the state.

The highest amount ever generated from slots last month was $1.9 million by Rivers-Philidelphia. Hollywood Casino ranked second and brought in about $1.5 million in profits. For table games, once again Rivers-Philidelphia led the market with $1.1 million in revenue. Mount Airy was the next highest with $805k.

When combining slots and table games, poker still fares well, out-earning all but the market-leading Rivers-Philidelphia.

Poker compares favorably when compared to the highly lucrative sports betting vertical, too. When compared to land-based sports betting, poker generated more than any single operator. In fact, poker almost outgained all land-based sports betting in the market last month which combined for just under $3 million.

It will be interesting to see the trajectory of Pennsylvania online poker revenue over the course of its first year. It’s uncertain whether the hype may wear off, or if it will continue to gain more and more traction. We may more operators enter the market and it is even possible that the state may begin sharing liquidity with other states should the Wire Act case be settled favorably.

For now, though, the good amount of revenue coming out of Pennsylvania demonstrates just how much money a state can truly generate in tax revenue from the regulation and legalization of online poker. It won’t be long before other states begin it to follow in its footsteps after seeing the numbers.

Gambling Revenue in Pennsylvania Skyrockets to Over $3.4 Billion

Bright Colored Slot Machines Inside of a CasinoThanks to a major boost as the result of the aggressive new expansion of gambling authorized by state lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, Pennsylvania’s commercial casinos have reached an all-time high in revenue.

Pennsylvania, the nation’s second-largest commercial casino state, took an even deeper plunge into gambling that allowed people to bet online, in airports and at truck stops for the first time. The major expansion of gambling in the state was largely due to government leaders searching for money to plug holes in Pennsylvania’s tattered finances.

Their plan worked. According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, revenue at the state’s 12 casinos, as well as through fantasy sports contests and video gambling terminals at truck stops, rose in 2019 by $146 million, or 4.5%, over 2018 to above $3.4 billion.

For the fifth straight calendar year, casino revenue in Pennsylvania has grown.

A Breakdown of the Revenue Figures

Slot machine revenue was the lion’s share of the revenue at almost $2.4 billion, but shrank about $7 million. Revenue from table games rose by about $25 million to above $900 million.

The fiscal year 2019 demonstrated revenue coming in from the initial excitement of offering online gambling, sports betting, and video gambling terminals at truck stops.

Sports betting contributed over $84 million in profit, while online gambling through several licensed casinos contributed nearly $34 million. Over $2 million in revenue was achieved at video gambling terminals available at truck stops throughout PA. Daily fantasy sports contests brought in a whopping $26 million. This is over $10.5 million more from 2018, and a clear indication that sports gambling is on the rise.

Online Sports Betting Continues to Heat Up

The most lucrative online gambling vertical in Pennsylvania is sports betting. Last December, operators collected $14.5 million in revenue from online sports betting, dwarfing the $2.2 million generated in the market from land-based (retail) sports wagering.

Despite the fact that the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is technically gambling on sports, and the biggest operators also offer sports betting in Pennsylvania, sports betting figures reported by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board do not include revenue from DFS operators.

Protecting Pennsylvania’s Tax Revenue

Apart from Nevada (of course), Pennsylvania casinos bring in more gross revenues than any other state in the US. This is a statistic according to figures gathered by the American Gaming Association. But Pennsylvania is the No. 1 state in tax revenue from the casino industry, netting $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year.

Pennsylvania’s lottery is also one of the nation’s biggest, delivering $1 billion in profits on $4 billion in sales, though its revenue has flattened.

Lawmakers saw the casino gambling expansion as a way to bring in more tax revenue to their districts and pet projects. Wolf had also focused on ensuring that a gambling expansion would not damage the state’s existing tax collections from casino revenues or receipts from the struggling Pennsylvania Lottery.

When talks of the gambling expansions were still taking place, Wolf told reporters this:

“There’s been a lot of pressure from a lot of places in the commonwealth to actually expand this and we do need some recurring revenue. Again, the goal has been all along to do what’s prudent, not cannibalize existing gambling revenue coming to the state, and I think what we’re settling on will actually do that.”



Pennsylvania Satellite Casinos Are Not Gaining Interest

Back in 2017, lawmakers in Pennsylvania approved a new plan to significantly expand the state’s gambling options. Under the new laws, 10 new satellite casinos, or mini-casinos, can open in various parts of the state. Unfortunately, these Pennsylvania satellite casinos are failing to gain much interest.

Casino Floor Picture

A recent auction took place for the sixth mini-casino here. Unfortunately, no bidders took part. Let’s take a quick look at why this is.

More Mini-Casinos Are Coming to Pennsylvania

It’s clear that Pennsylvania is looking to cash in on its gambling industry. For more than a year, this state has been actively expanding the number of gambling options available to residents. It all started in 2017 when the state government passed an aggressive new gambling expansion plan.

Initially, the state approved plans for five mini-casinos to open up. Under the expansion plans, land-based casinos already operating in this state can bid to run these mini-casinos. The satellite casinos can hold up to 750 slot games and 40 table games.

Five of these mini-casino licenses have already been handed out. Recently, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved plans to open an additional five satellite casinos. The same regulations apply to these gaming venues. The state’s Gaming Control Board is currently working to auction off these casinos.

Unfortunately, the state is having a difficult time finding bidders for the five additional Pennsylvania satellite casinos. Many casino operators have raised concerns over how profitable these small gambling establishments will be.

Pennsylvania Satellite Casinos Struggle to Find Bidders

This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board held an auction for the sixth mini-casino. Minimum bids for this casino were set at $7.5 million. It was a failed attempt, as not a single casino operator bid to host this new gaming venue.

There are a few reasons why this is. First, Pennsylvania has set exclusion zones around many of the state’s metropolitan areas. This means that the new mini-casinos can only open in rural areas in Northern Pennsylvania or small cities such as Altoona and Williamsport.

The high tax rates set on casino companies is also pushing casino operators to stay away from the satellite casinos. Joe Weinert, a gambling consultant for Spectrum Gaming Group, recently gave his take on why these new mini-casinos are failing to pique casino operators’ interest.

“You have to look at the constraints posed by the regulating jurisdictions, you have to look at what can be built in what area, what’s the tax rate, what’s the licensing fee and you have to put all those ingredients into a big pot of stew and see whether it’ll turn into a palatable product,” he said. 

Under the expansion plan, the state would cease all auctions if no bidders were interested in opening a sixth mini-casino. Interestingly, House Gaming Oversight Committee Chairman Jim Marshall believes that lawmakers may continue to push for additional Pennsylvania satellite casinos to open. He’s keeping his eye out for any casino operators that express interest in hosting another one of these gaming establishments.

Sports Betting Proves Successful in Pennsylvania

Satellite casinos aren’t the only new addition to Pennsylvania’s gambling industry. Shortly after PASPA was struck down, the state officially legalized sports betting. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course took the state’s first legal sports bets in mid-November of 2018.

Today, every casino in the state has a fully-functioning sportsbook. There are now several online sportsbooks available here, as well. Fortunately, sports gambling is proving to be an incredibly lucrative industry for the state.

More than $300 million has already been spent on sports bets here. Overall, the state has earned $8,849,233 in sports betting tax revenue. In time, this state’s sports betting revenue may compete with New Jersey and Nevada.

Pennsylvania has even begun to allow online casino gambling. In July, three casinos in this state officially launched their internet casino gambling options. Much like sports betting, the online casino industry is earning the state millions of dollars in revenue already.

Pennsylvania satellite casinos aren’t taking off the way that lawmakers initially anticipated. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on this state’s gambling laws over the next few months!

Penn National Gains Approval for Mini-Casino Near York, PA

Pennsylvania’s casino industry is getting a major upgrade! This week, Penn National Gaming has officially gained its first approval to open a brand new mini-casino near York. It’s fantastic news for fans of casino gambling in this state.

The Word Approved Written In Red

Not long ago, Pennsylvania approved 10 new mini-casinos to open up. Hope is that these gambling establishments help to bring move revenue to the state. Let’s look at how Penn National gained approval to open the casino near York County.

Pennsylvania Approves Plans for 10 New Satellite Casinos

Pennsylvania’s lawmakers have been working hard to revamp the state’s gambling industry. Not long ago, politicians here approved five satellite casinos, also known as mini-casinos, to open in the state. They can only be operated by casino operators which already have gaming licenses here.

Several companies have already paid new licensing fees to launch the mini-casinos, which will soon open in Morgantown, York County, the Westmoreland Mall outside of Pittsburgh, an area just north of Pittsburgh, and Shippensburg. The mini-casinos can only offer players 750 slot machines and 30 table games.

Lawmakers here quickly determined that just five new satellite casinos weren’t enough. Another bill was approved last month to allow five additional mini-casinos to open up. As of now, it’s unclear which companies will request a license for these gaming venues.

Fortunately, companies are beginning to gain approval for these small casinos to open. This week, Penn National Gaming, one of the top casino companies in Pennsylvania, received permission to launch a mini-casino near York. Let’s look at how this came about.

Mini-Casino Near York Receives Township Approval

Penn National Gaming was one of the first companies to bid for a mini-casino license. The company paid $50 million to open a satellite casino in York County. Unfortunately, Springettsbury Township Board of Supervisors seemed unwilling to approve a casino to open.

This week, things took a turn. The Board of Supervisors here approved Penn National’s plan to open a casino at the York Galleria Mall. Justin Tomevi, a supervisor with the Springettsbury Township, states that the approval is the sign that the town is “comfortable with the project moving forward.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Penn National can immediately open a new mini-casino near York. The company still needs several more approvals from the supervisory group before any construction can begin. Many York County residents are now voicing their concerns about a new casino opening up.

One local questioned whether smoking will be allowed in the casino. Penn National Gaming claims that 50% of the casino will permit smoking, while the other 50% will not. Another local claimed that she was worried about the traffic that this new gaming venue will produce here.

Regardless of the local concerns, Penn National has gained its first approval to open the mini-casino. It’s likely that within a couple of years, the gaming venue will officially open its doors.

Sports Betting Proves Successful for Pennsylvania

Allowing additional casinos isn’t the only change to this state’s gambling industry. A new gambling bill approved in 2017 allows the state to regulate sports betting. Once PASPA was struck down in 2018, lawmakers immediately began working on plans to allow sports betting inside the state’s casinos.

The first land-based sportsbook opened here in late 2018. In May of this year, several Pennsylvania casinos also began offering online sports betting services. It’s already proving to be a hugely successful industry.

This past June, more than 40% of all sports bets here were made over the internet. Online sports betting operations brought the state $46.3 million that month. Now, many are calling for internet casino gambling to become legal here, as well.

A number of states now offer legal internet casino gambling options. New Jersey earns millions of dollars each month through this industry. There are several amazing PA online casinos available right now, yet none of them are regulated by the state.

Based on the success of the online sports betting industry, it’s likely that lawmakers in Pennsylvania will soon regulate internet casino gaming. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates to this state’s gambling industry over the next few months!

Harrah’s Philadelphia Set to Offer Legal Sports Betting

Pennsylvania has begun allowing a variety of different casinos to offer online casino gaming and sports betting operations. Several of the state’s top gaming venues now have live internet gambling options available to players. Today, Harrah’s Philadelphia have announced they will have live online sports betting before the upcoming NFL season begins. Sports Betting Inside A Casino

The NFL is the most-watched and bet-on sports league in the United States. It makes sense for Harrah’s to begin offering sports wagering before the next season. Let’s take a look at what this popular casino will offer, and how Pennsylvania’s sports betting market is performing.

Online Sports Betting Is a Major Success for Philadelphia

For many years, only one US state was legally allowed to offer sports betting odds. In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, allowing every state to set laws on sports gambling. Today, ten states have outright legalized this industry and many more have pending legislation to open this industry.

Pennsylvania technically agreed to legalize sports betting in October of 2017. After PASPA was removed, this state finally had the right to offer sports wagers. It’s proving to be a massively successful industry.

More than $244,000 has already been spent on sports wagers in this state. The government has earned nearly $8 million already. As we just mentioned, this is in less than a month of sports betting becoming legal.

Many casinos in Pennsylvania now offer online sports betting. In just a month of allowing internet sports wagering, this market has brought in nearly $400,000 in revenue. Many analysts believe that this will become one of the East Coast’s top online gaming hubs.

Harrah’s Philadelphia is the Next Casino to Offer Online Sports Betting

There are currently four state-regulated sports betting operators in Pennsylvania. Many wondered when Harrah’s Philadelphia, one of the most popular casino venues in the state, would begin offering online sports wagers, as well. Today, we got the answer.

Officials at Harrah’s announced that they plan to roll out sports betting operations by August. This casino wants to have their online sportsbook ready before the start of the 2019-2020 NFL season. It’s exciting news for football fans here.

“It’s always been about that magical date of getting things up and running before football season, so we expect to launch online sometime in August,” said Chris Albrecht, Senior Vice President of Harrah’s Philadelphia. “Everything’s been going great so far [with the brick and mortar sportsbook], we opened earlier this year and we’re really excited to get into our first football season to really see what the sportsbook can become for us.”

Albrecht also claims that the casino will begin offering a variety of new promotions before the online sportsbook launches. Others have raised concerns that the online sports betting platform may take away from the land-based sportsbook. Albrecht believes it will only help to boost the casino’s overall revenue.

Pennsylvania Casinos Begin Offering Online Casino Services

Harrah’s launching an online sportsbook isn’t the only exciting news for this state. Just last week, three major casinos in Pennsylvania announced that they were launching internet casino operations. The Parx, SugarHouse, and Hollywood Casino all offer online casinos.

These casinos provide a variety of different internet gambling options. Each one offers slots, table games, and poker. Interestingly, some here prefer to play through the websites not directly regulated by the state.

There are a range of online casinos in Pennsylvania that have operated for years. Many of these are hugely popular. Competition in this industry is fierce, and as a result, most of the online casinos operating throughout the US work to offer their members safe payment options and a wide variety of different gambling options.

Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on Harrah’s Philadelphia. If all goes according to plan, this casino will have internet sports betting operations up and running by August.

Online Gambling in Pennsylvania Continues to Improve

Back in 2017, lawmakers in Pennsylvania approved a bill to significantly expand the state’s land-based and online gambling operations. Last week, several of the casinos here officially began offering casino games online. Online gambling in Pennsylvania is improving every day and is helping to make this state one of the hottest gambling destinations in the country. Pennsylvania Street Sign

Over the past few days, we’ve seen several new developments here. Today, we’re looking at the changes to Pennsylvania’s internet gaming market. We’ll also talk about how much this state’s gambling has grown this year.

Pennsylvania Casinos Roll Out Online Gambling Services

Online casino gambling in Pennsylvania has been talked about for years. Ever since this industry was legalized in 2017, lawmakers have worked on creating a legal framework for casinos to officially offer internet casino gaming options. On July 15th, the first online casino went live here.

The Parx and Hollywood Casino both began a three-day trial period for their internet gambling operations. Pennsylvania’s Gambling Commission wanted to monitor these activities to ensure everything worked according to plan. Based on all accounts, these casino’s online gaming services were a major hit.

Pennsylvania casinos with online gaming licenses now have free reign to offer their services. Today, news came out that the Parx Casino and Penn National Hollywood Casino can offer online casino gambling to players 24 hours a day. It’s great news for casino fans around the state looking to place some late-night wagers.

Only three other states have legalized online casino gambling. It’s clear that Pennsylvania is investing heavily in this industry. Let’s look at how the state is profiting from its expanded gambling operations.

Online Gambling in Pennsylvania Helps Boost Revenue

Throughout 2019, we’ve seen a major increase in Pennsylvania’s gambling revenue. Much of this has to do with the legal sports betting options now spread around the state. The gambling bill signed in 2017 that legalized online casino gambling also legalized sports betting. In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, allowing every state to officially regulate sports gambling.

The first land-based sportsbooks began operating here in late 2018. In May of this year, several casinos also began offering mobile and online sports betting gambling services. It’s clear that online operations are significantly more popular than the state’s brick and mortar sports betting options.

In June, more than 40% of all wagers made here were made over the internet. Online sports betting helped earn the state more than $46.3 million that month, the most profitable month in the state’s history. That’s impressive considering June is not typically thought of as a major sports month.

It’s an exciting time for fans of online gambling in Pennsylvania. With internet casino gambling now available, revenue earnings will significantly increase.

Other Online Gambling Options in Pennsylvania

In the next few months, we’re likely to see a major increase in online gaming sites opening up in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, many are unaware that online casino sites in Pennsylvania have been available for years! Most of the top gambling companies in the world are available here, some of which offer even more gambling options than the state-regulated websites.

Some gamblers prefer playing through sites not directly regulated by the state government. Others prefer to know that the gambling site they play at is monitored by Pennsylvania’s Gambling Commission.

The great thing is that online gambling in Pennsylvania is constantly improving. The state is certainly happy with the massive revenue gains. Within a few years, this could be one of the most profitable gambling destinations in the United States.

Things are changing fast. Make sure to stay tuned for more updates on Pennsylvania’s online casino market.