The Pennsylvania online lottery began back in June and after one month of operation, over $21 million has been earned from game play.
On the 4th of June, the state of Pennsylvania launched online lottery gaming. Known as the PA iLottery, the new online lottery industry has seen almost a full month of operation by the end of the month. In total, the new offering was able to produce $21.6 million in earnings with $18.7 million paid in prize money. After removing the prizes paid, the state was able to generate close to $3 million in revenues from this new gambling option.
The online lottery in Pennsylvania offers instant win games with such titles as Volcano, Big Money SLINGO and Super Cash Buster. These games and many more offer prizes as large as $250,000. Drew Svitko, the Executive Director of the Lottery, recently spoke with the Times Leader, stating that the online lottery games are a fun and new way to play and win while at home or on the go. According to Svitko, the new games are a way for the lottery to meet players where they are, while also generating new funds that will be used for the older residents of the state.
The revenue numbers for the month are quite impressive. According to the lottery, 45,000 players signed up during the month of June to take part in online gaming. Players seemed to be ready for the online gaming option and wasted no time in getting started with game play.
Casinos Not Happy
While the state Lottery is celebrating, the casinos of the state are not as happy. Twelve casinos are currently in operation while a 13th will be coming soon. Each of the operators of the gaming venues have penned a letter to the Revenue Department of the state to state that they feel the online lottery is violating state law. The casinos feel that the games are too much like the slot games that they offer.
The casinos say that the games function like their slot games and advertising by the lottery seems to show the games playing in a slot-like manner. The gaming venues want to see the online lottery games suspended and if not, the casinos will consider all options.
Online casino gaming is also under consideration with licensing already up for grabs. Not one single operator has applied for a license, so it seems that the casinos may not be as interested in online gaming, especially if they feel that online lottery games will take away from their revenues.
Right now, an online casino license is $4 million with a tax rate of 54%. Operators can choose to obtain a license for online poker games, slots or table games, with each license having a price tag of $4 million each.
Also, in the mix is sports betting. Casinos have not applied for sports betting licensing as well, which is yet another category where the state could be earning money but are not. A license for sports betting operations costs $10 million with a much lower tax rate of 36%.
So far, the online lottery is the only new gaming option that has taken off and seen positive results. We will have to wait and see if the casinos take any legal action against the Lottery based on the slot-style games and if any will begin to show interest in online casino or sports betting operations. For now, it seems no one is going to get started in either category, which will only see the state fall behind if other states legalize and get started with online gaming and/or sports betting.