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:

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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.

Things started well thanks to the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP). Buoyed by a surge of 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 generated from slots last month was $1.9 million by Rivers-Philidelphia, with Hollywood Casino ranking second with $1.5 million. 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, perhaps the best effect good revenue numbers out of Pennsylvania can have is to serve as an illustration of how much money states can generate in tax revenue from the regulation and legalization of online poker.

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 2019 figures had the benefit of the first results from online gambling, sports betting and video gambling terminals at truck stops.

Online gambling through the licensed casinos contributed almost $34 million, while sports betting contributed $84 million. Video gambling terminals at truck stops contributed $2 million while fantasy sports contests contributed almost $26 million, up by $10.5 million from 2018.

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

Pennsylvania casinos rake in more gross revenues than any other state except Nevada, according to figures from 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.

While lawmakers also saw a gambling expansion as a way to bring tax revenue to their districts and pet projects, Wolf had focused on ensuring 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.”

 

 

Oklahoma Ranks As One of the Top Gambling States in the Country

States around the country are beginning to embrace the casino industry. Some areas allow only tribal gambling. Others allow commercial casinos to operate. This week, a study was revealed that shows Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.State Map Of Oklahoma

It’s interesting news, yet not entirely unexpected. Now is the perfect time to look at this state’s current gambling regulations. We’ll also look at some of the issues that Oklahoma’s gambling industry has faced over the past few months.

Let’s get into it!

Gambling Laws in Oklahoma, Explained

Nowadays, Oklahoma is known for having one of the biggest casino industries in the country. The first casinos began operating here back in the 1800s. In 1890, lawmakers here passed legislation that banned all forms of gambling.

In 1992, the state began allowing Native American tribes to begin operating Class II casinos. 10 years later, lawmakers began allowing bingo games to be offered inside these gambling venues. For decades, the tribes here pushed lawmakers to allow Class III gambling which includes traditional casino games and slot machines.

Eventually, the tribes took the issue to court. They managed to win and in the year 2002, casinos in this state were granted permission to officially offer Class III games. This decision proved to be highly profitable for the state.

More than 100 land-based casinos now operate in Oklahoma. They’re hugely popular with locals and tourists and help to generate millions of dollars for the state every single month. The huge number of casinos helped to make Oklahoma one of the top gambling states in the country.

Tribes here have begun to fight with lawmakers over potential changes to the state’s tax structure. Fortunately, gambling venues here continue to be highly popular.

Oklahoma is One of the Top Gambling States in the Country

Everyone knew that Oklahoma was a major gambling destination. It draws in a huge number of individuals from states such as Texas and Tennessee who want to gamble inside casinos. This week, a report surfaced that proves Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country.

The American Gaming Association recently held a study that shows Oklahoma is one of the highest states in the nation when it comes to the average amount each resident gambles. Only Nevada has a larger gambling market, according to the study.

Here is the breakdown of the top five gambling states’ average annual resident gambling spending.

  • Nevada: $3,928
  • Oklahoma: $1,141
  • Mississippi: $717
  • Louisiana: $674
  • Rhode Island: $620

This is obviously good news for Native American tribes operating casinos here. Many of these tribes are working to open new venues every single year.

As we mentioned earlier, there have been some issues between the tribes and lawmakers. Let’s look at what the problem stems from.

Tribes and Lawmakers Continue to Negotiate Tax Structure

For many years, a harmony has existed between Oklahoma’s state officials and Native American tribes. The two parties have agreed on a tax system that works. Earlier this year, however, the state’s governor began calling for changes.

Governor Kevin Stitt believes that the current structure is outdated. He wants the tribes to begin paying the state more for the profits they earn from the gambling industry. To say this didn’t sit well with the tribes here would be an understatement.

For months, these tribes refused to negotiate with lawmakers. In October, things took a turn and the tribal leaders finally agreed to speak about the proposed changes.

This has helped to move things forward in a positive light. The Shawnee Tribe recently opened a new gambling venue in September. More casinos are scheduled to open over the next few months.

Oklahoma is one of the top gambling states in the country. Hopefully, it stays this way for years to come.

Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few months!

Nevada’s Gambling Revenue in October Hits $1 Billion Once Again

Nevada continues to post impressive revenue figures. According to new reports, last month was a major success for gambling venues here. Nevada’s gambling revenue in October surpassed $1 billion. It’s a major accomplishment that the state has now achieved several times this year.

US Cash Bills

Some forms of gambling managed to bring in more money than others last month. Overall, things are looking good here.

Let’s get into it!

Las Vegas Casinos Are Thriving in 2019

For almost all of 2019, gambling revenue in Nevada has increased. Las Vegas, in particular, has experienced a major surge in revenue for most of the year. It’s great news, as many casino companies here have recently considered selling some of their biggest properties.

In the past, casino sales indicated that a company was struggling. This is not the case here. A huge number of companies are now selling properties in order to invest more money overseas.

MGM Resorts International is one such company. Just last month, the company officially sold Circus Circus and The Bellagio. The latter sale was the largest in history. Eldorado Resorts is also interested in putting some Las Vegas Strip venues up for sale.

Eldorado is in the process of acquiring Caesars Entertainment for an astounding $17.4 billion. To help make up for this acquisition, the company is looking to sell some of its hotel-casinos. Exactly which hotels may go for sale is still unknown.

Fortunately, casinos in Las Vegas are thriving right now. Most are experiencing massive revenue gains. This is especially true in October, where revenue once again surpassed $1 billion.

Nevada’s Gambling Revenue Surges Again in October

In September, news surfaced that Nevada’s gambling revenue had surpassed the $1 billion mark. Incredibly, the state had reached this goal for the second straight time. Reports from the state Gaming Control Board show that Nevada’s statewide win total came in at $1.022 billion last month.

Clark County gambling revenue came in at $879 million. Revenue from the Las Vegas Strip totaled $538.5 million. Despite the incredible amount of money that came in, revenue is still down 3.85% compared to October of 2018.

When looking at the state’s three-month trend, you see a clear surge in gambling earnings. The months of August, September, and October brought a 2.3% increase in revenue. Downtown Las Vegas experienced the largest increase at 8.85% compared to the same period last year.

Michael Lawton, a senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board, commented last month’s figures to the media this week.

“Game and table win of $322.8 million decreased by 12.6 percent, $46.5 million, compared with a 10.8 percent increase in October 2018,” he said. “Baccarat win was impacted by decreased volume and a poor hold percentage. Baccarat win of $56.7 million was down 25.7 percent, $19.6 million.”

It may not have been as good a month as September, yet Nevada’s gambling revenue in October was still impressive.

New Casinos Set to Open in Vegas Over the Next Few Years

As we’ve already mentioned, several casinos in Las Vegas are set to be sold. There are also a few major casino-resorts scheduled to open here over the next few years. One of the most exciting is Resorts World Las Vegas, which is slated to open sometime in 2021.

Recently, officials within Resorts World gave an update on this new venue. It’s plans have changed considerably over the past few months. It will no longer have an entire “Asian theme” to it. Two huge video screens are also being placed on the hotel towers. Based on what’s being reported, this will become one of the city’s coolest new properties.

The new Virgin Hotel is also scheduled to open soon. If all goes well, this venue will begin operating in mid-2020. The former Hard Rock Las Vegas Hotel should be another exciting addition to Vegas’ venues.

These new gambling venues are likely to help boost gambling revenue in the state even more. That’s saying a lot, considering Nevada’s gambling revenue has surpassed $1 billion for two straight months.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!

Convention Attendance in Las Vegas Could Set Records in 2019

Las Vegas is known for being the convention hub of the United States. This year, convention attendance in Las Vegas could set new records. It’s clear that individuals continue to value this city as a business center.

Las Vegas Convention Center

There’s a lot to be excited about in Las Vegas right now. Today, we’re going to look at how much rates of tourism and convention attendance have increased this year.

Gambling Revenue Continues to Surge in Las Vegas

At the beginning of the year, casinos in Las Vegas were struggling to increase their gambling revenue. For several reasons, visitors to the city were not gambling as much as initially projected. This led some to claim that Las Vegas’ best days were in the past.

Much of this has to do with the rise in competition around the country. In the past, Vegas was one of the only areas of the country that allowed full gambling and sports betting options. This is no longer the case.

Many states now have fully operational commercial casinos and sportsbooks up and running. New Jersey, in particular, is experiencing a huge surge in tourism and revenue thanks to its expanded gambling options. Amazingly, New Jersey’s sports betting revenue has even surpassed Las Vegas’ on several occasions this year.

Gambling revenue has been increasing in Las Vegas for months now. September was one of Nevada’s best months in recent memory. Overall, casinos here generated more than $1 billion.

Unsurprisingly, Las Vegas generated the vast majority of this money. Clark County, in which Las Vegas lies, brought in $913.6 million. Baccarat helped to generate serious revenue for casinos in the city.

New reports now claim that convention attendance in Las Vegas is reaching an all-time high.

Tourism and Convention Attendance in Las Vegas Are Increasing

An increase in gambling revenue generally indicates an increase in tourism, as well. This theory is proving to be correct. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority has just released reports that show tourism in this city is strong.

As of the end of September, more than 31.9 million people have visited Las Vegas this year. It’s 0.6% higher than the visitor volume in 2018. There’s still a chance that 2016’s record of 42.9 million total visitors will be broken this year.

Convention attendance in Las Vegas is where things get really surprising. New reports indicate that as of now, more than 5.165 million convention attendees have visited Las Vegas this year. There’s a great chance that Las Vegas manages to break 2017’s total record of 6.646 total convention attendees.

Hotel occupancy numbers are also looking solid so far this year. The current room inventory in this city stands at 149,050. That’s not too far behind 2013’s record of 150,593. Currently, Las Vegas’ hotel occupancy level is at 89.2%. This could indicate that another record is set to be broken.

Overall, Las Vegas is having a fantastic year. We’ll simply need to wait and see how 2019’s fourth-quarter plays out.

Las Vegas Property Sales Continue

Never before have so many major Las Vegas hotel-casinos gone up for sale. It’s a fascinating time in the city. Amazingly, more major property sales are likely to take place over the next few months.

MGM Resorts claims that it’s still interested in putting properties up for sale. Not long ago, this company sold both the Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and the Bellagio Casino-Resort. The latter proved to be the largest hotel-casino sale in Las Vegas history.

Caesars has also been looking to sell some of its LV venues. The company sold its Rio Hotel & Casino to Imperial Companies earlier this year. Caesars Entertainment is scheduled to merge with Eldorado Resorts sometime in 2020.

Officials within Hard Rock International have recently claimed that they’re interested in purchasing a Las Vegas Strip property. It would be fitting, considering the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas has now been taken over by Virgin Hotels.

There’s clearly a lot going on here. Convention attendance in Las Vegas is up and could soon break the all-time record.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!

Non Gambling Options in LV Hotels Are Growing More Popular

Las Vegas is home to many of the biggest and best casinos in the world. Interestingly, non-gambling options in LV hotels are generating more revenue than ever before. It appears that many individuals are choosing to visit this city for reasons other than gambling.

Famous Las Vegas Sign

Some don’t want to admit it, but Las Vegas is changing. Now is the perfect time to look at the amount of revenue that non-gambling activities are bringing in. Let’s get into it!

Tourism Numbers in Las Vegas Are Increasing

At the start of 2019, things didn’t look great for Las Vegas. Tourism numbers were dropping and casinos were struggling to generate revenue. Fortunately, things have begun to turn around in this famous city.

More visitors have begun heading to Las Vegas. The summer months, in particular, drew in a wave of tourists. There’s still a chance that tourism numbers are going to break records here.

Hotel occupancy was at 89.3% in August. This was the highest in the city since 2007 when hotel occupancy was at 90.7%. Many analysts still believe that more than 43 million individuals will visit in 2019, setting a new record.

It now appears that many are visiting this city for reasons outside of just gambling. That’s great news for hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, many of which are beginning to invest more in their non-gambling amenities.

Revenue From Non-Gambling Hotels in LV Casinos Grows

Back in 1999, Nevada began earning more from its non-gambling amenities than it makes inside casinos. Since that year, non-gambling options in LV hotels have gotten even more popular. According to David Schwartz, a gaming research analyst with the UNLV, claims the average Las Vegas tourist spends $434.70 per day. $285.41 goes to activities outside of gambling and $142.29 goes towards gambling.

Interestingly, the largest percentage of visitors to this city are millennials. Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, claims millennials simply don’t gamble as much as the older generations. Those that choose to gamble generally enjoy social games like craps.

“The other thing that is tricky with the casino audience is there’s a perception of what a casino is,” Schorr said. “The Generation X, Z and millennials are all a little off on the betting part. They’d rather see themselves on TV or in a big Instagram or YouTube rush, sharing with their friends, not sitting by themselves playing slots. The question is how do you make it social for many in gambling without it being craps,” he said.

Some believe that Esports betting will grow extremely popular in this city. Esports grow more popular every single month. Others believe that entertainment centers that feature virtual reality and other tech innovations will help to bring in non-gambling revenue here, as well.

More Casinos Are Coming to Las Vegas

Non-gambling options in LV hotels continue to grow more popular. That doesn’t mean casino companies are choosing not to invest here, though. Several major casino projects are set to open in Las Vegas over the next few years.

One that many are excited about is Resorts World. This new casino-resort, being constructed in the northern area of the Las Vegas Strip, is expected to be a major success. It will officially open in 2020.

The new Virgin Hotel is opening up next year, as well. Virgin Hotels purchased its first Las Vegas property from Hard Rock International this year and is working to renovate and update the casino and hotel.

It’s clear that non-gambling options in LV hotels are growing more popular. This will likely continue, as millennials simply aren’t as interested in gambling as the older generations.

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few weeks!

Casino Revenue in Maryland Falls in September

  • Casino revenue in Maryland fell last month.
  • National Harbor Casino and Rocky Gap Casino experienced revenue increase.
  • Many lawmakers are still pushing for sports betting regulation in MD.

Maryland is now home to several top casino venues. These casinos have helped to bring the state serious money over the years. Unfortunately, casino revenue in Maryland dropped last month.

Revenue Decline Image

It’s not any major cause for concern. Gambling revenue is always fluctuating around the country. Today, we’re going to look at how much casino earnings fell last month. We’ll also take a quick look at the state of Maryland’s casino industry.

Maryland’s Road to Casino Legalization

Maryland has a fascinating history of gambling regulation. Back in the 1800s, a huge number of gambling venues were operating in this state. Lawmakers began to get concerned over the growing rates of crime associated with the gambling industry, and eventually implemented a complete gambling ban.

Over the next century, the state government began taking a closer look at gambling legislation. In 1920, the state formed a Racing Board to oversee the state’s horse race gambling industry. In the 1940s, lawmakers here legalized slot machine gambling and before long, there were slots everywhere.

Slots were once again banned in 1963 and eventually, all traditional forms of gambling were banned in Maryland. In 2010, this all changed once again! Lawmakers here allowed Maryland residents to vote on casino legalization. The voters approved these casino plans and by 2012, several casino venues began operating in this state.

Casino revenue in Maryland quickly began to increase. Gambling proved to be extremely popular here and casinos helped to draw in tourists from nearby states. Unfortunately, revenue from this industry dropped last month.

Casino Revenue in Maryland Falls Short in September

On Monday, the Maryland Lottery and Gaming regulatory board released the state’s gambling revenue figures. According to this report, the state’s six casinos brought in a combined $142.2 million in September. This represents a 1.1% decline from the same month in 2018.

Slot machines brought in $93.5 million last month, not far under the norm. Table game revenue brought in just $48.7 million.

Interestingly, only two casinos in this state managed to increase their revenue in September. The National Harbor Casino, which reported a 6% revenue increase, and Rocky Gap Casino Resort, which saw its revenue grow by 3.2%. The other four casinos operating in this state saw their revenue decrease in September.

Overall, the state managed to bring in $59.2 million last month. Much of this revenue will go to keep the state’s horse racing industry up and running.

There isn’t much to be worried about. Gambling revenue here fell by just 1.1%. It’s very likely that gambling earnings will bounce back in October.

Legal Sports Betting Push Continues in Maryland

Maryland is now heavily invested in its gambling industry. The state uses its casino revenue to fund various projects. Unsurprisingly, several lawmakers here are now working to open up additional forms of gambling.

In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA. Now, every state in the country can set laws on sports gambling. 19 states have begun regulating their sports betting platforms. Many more have legislation pending to open their sports betting markets.

Maryland House Bill 989 was presented in the state’s legislature in February of 2018. This bill allows for the creation of a task force to “study the implementation of sports gaming in the state.” Unfortunately, it failed to pass in the 2018 legislative session and it seems unlikely that sports betting will be made legal here in 2019.

Many believe that Maryland will choose to regulate sports gambling next year, though. It would help to generate millions of additional dollars for the state every single year.

There are many fantastic online casinos in MD operating right now. Most of these sites offer a massive range of different gambling options. Feel free to check them out today!

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