In July of 2021, Pennsylvania’s gaming industry reported revenues totaling $423.7 million, a record for the state. Just a few months later, the industry would break that record with a reported $425.9 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the month of October.
Total revenue was not the only monthly record that was broken last month. Other notable records include:
- iGaming Revenue: $102.9 million ($70.7 Million from Online Slots + 32.2 Million from interactive tables)
- Fantasy Sports: $3.7 Million
- Video Gaming Terminals (VGT): $3.3 Million
- Onsite Table Games: $89 Million
In March of 2021, the GGR surpassed $400 million in one month for the first time. October marked the fourth consecutive month of over $400 million in monthly revenue. As the iGaming industry continues to grow, the GGR will likely grow with it.
For more on iGaming in Pennsylvania, check out our page about the best online casinos in PA.
Sustaining Growth of PA Casino Industry
This boom in the PA casino industry can be traced back to 2017 with the passing of a gambling expansion bill. The bill, passed in October of 2017, made PA the 4th state to offer online gambling. It also made PA the first state to allow online options for its state lottery and commercial casinos.
These new betting options are designed to attract new, young players that can potentially keep the industry afloat for years to come. The need for online options during the pandemic has also contributed to the growth. In neighboring states that do not allow for online operations, such as New York, casinos suffered heavy losses during shutdowns. Without online components, casinos had little to no way to recuperate their lost revenue.
The recent surge in online revenue can be attributed partially to the ongoing pandemic and its restrictions. However, officials from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) believe that the GGR numbers will continue to grow. This optimism is fueled in part by the scheduled opening of a new brick-and-mortar casino, Hollywood Casino Morgantown, later this year. This newest casino will mark the 4th new site-based casino opened in PA since March of 2019.
Areas of Concern
While there has been plenty of positives relating to GGR, there have been some negatives regarding the industry as of late. Namely, a decrease in sports betting revenue and an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
The decrease in sports betting revenue is not necessarily a result of fewer people placing bets. Rather, the sportsbooks in PA simple did not win as many bets this October as they did last year.
The other major concern facing PA casinos is the increase in COVID-19 cases within the state. Despite boasting a high vaccination rate, the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise, increasing 79% in a week. According to USA Today, the latest numbers from Johns Hopkins University indicate that PA is 5th fastest on a per-person basis.
At this time, PA’s Governor Tom Wolf has not announced any plans to increase COVID restrictions on businesses. However, it is reasonable to assume that if the numbers continue to rise, fewer people will be willing to go to onsite casinos. Luckily, PA is one of the dozens of states that allow online casinos and sportsbooks. As we stated earlier, revenues from iGaming, fantasy sports, and VGT have been on the rise and are a large part of the recording-breaking GGR last month.