Casinos across the United States have seen their health restrictions change dramatically over the last few years. Many have been debating whether or not to continue allowing smoking inside various gambling venues across the country. New reports confirm that smoking in Pennsylvania casinos will still be allowed, for now.
Most of the casinos in the state will be pleased with this news. Now is a great time to talk about how Pennsylvania’s gambling industry might fare over the next year.
Here’s what you need to know.
Officials Continue Allowing Smoking in Pennsylvania
2020 was without a doubt the most unusual year in history for the US casino industry. All of the world’s major gambling hubs were essentially shut down for months out of the year. After reopening, various state gaming commissions implemented intense health restrictions inside casinos.
Many felt that smoking would be permanently prohibited inside major casinos. This did not happen in some of the country’s largest gambling hubs, due largely to the efforts of major casino companies. Banning smoking usually results in major drops in visitation rates and that was the last thing casinos needed at a time when revenue was at an all-time low.
Many anti-smoking groups continue working to ban smoking inside casinos. Several bills were filed in Pennsylvania that, if approved, would permanently prohibit this activity. None have been approved and most casinos in the state still allow smoking in 50% of the gaming floor. Hollywood Casinos, a major gaming operator in Pennsylvania, released a statement on this situation to the media this week.
“The real power at the end of the day on this issue rests with our customers who can vote with their pocketbooks if they feel like we’re not doing a good enough job catering to their needs,” the statement said. “It’s a balance, and one that we feel the marketplace should determine, particularly in such a competitive environment with other gaming facilities nearby and in neighboring states.”
Certain lawmakers will continue working to ban smoking in Pennsylvania casinos. For now, it will be up to individual casinos to allow or ban it. Stay tuned for more updates on this situation as the year continues.
Pennsylvania’s Gambling Revenue Hit Record-Highs in 2021
The US gambling industry thrived throughout 2021. Both casino and sports betting revenue surged around the entire country. Pennsylvania is home to one of the largest gaming industries in the country and saw its revenue figures from this industry surge over the past twelve months.
Pennsylvania’s gaming industry broke monthly records on several occasions last year. November proved to be one of the best months for this industry. Statewide gambling operators reported $432.5 million in total gross gaming revenue.
Certain forms of gambling proved to be more popular than others. Revenue earned from the state’s land-based casinos was just 3.6% higher than it was in 2019. That is surprising when considering how many new gambling venues have opened in the state over the past two years.
This state set a new monthly sports betting handle record in November. This handle came out to $761.6 million over the course of the month. Sports betting GGR came out to $63.7 million over the month, up 70% when compared to the same month in 2020.
Most analysts expect to see gambling revenue in Pennsylvania reaching new record-highs in 2022. Online casino gambling seems to be growing particular popular here. We’ll be sure to continue offering revenue reports here as the year goes on.
Major Gaming Hubs Brace for Revenue Surges
Pennsylvania is home to a huge number of casino and sports betting options. This state is not necessarily thought of as one of the country’s true gambling hubs, though. Places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City certainly fit that bill.
Las Vegas thrived throughout 2021. Gambling revenue broke records on several occasions over the course of the year. Casino companies here are expecting to see massive revenue surges in 2022 and some casino executives are pushing for online casino gambling to become available here.
Atlantic City also had a fantastic year. It helped to establish New Jersey as the sports betting capital of the country. Lawmakers here approved a PILOT bill in 2021 that helps to lower the tax rate for the casinos here and some feel this will help some of them to undergo major renovations.
Nearly every state with regulated gambling options is likely to experience revenue surges this year. Many states are likely to begin regulating sports betting, too.
Are you surprised to see that smoking in Pennsylvania is still allowed? Will this change in the future? Let us know in the comments section below.