Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Brings Additional Funds to State Coffers
A little over a year has passed since Pennsylvania expanded gambling, and the results have exceeded the initial estimates.
On October 26 last year, the House passed a bill that legalised online gambling, while Governor Tom Wolf signed that bill into law four days later.
Since then, gambling has brought the state more than $385 million, while licensing fees for casinos, online casinos, and sports books, along with auction profits made by mini-casinos, lottery expansion, and daily fantasy sports revenue have helped the Keystone State earn more than $1 million on a daily basis.
Commenting on these impressive results, Jessica Welman, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, said the most notable aspect of the significant revenue that had been generated was that this was almost completely from fees, rather than tax revenue gained from gamblers. Welman added there was enough interest in Pennsylvania’s enormous market so far to generate the fees.
According to estimates made by PlayPannsylvania, using RTP rates of the games, Pennsylvania earned more than $23 million in revenue from online games, of which lotto games accounted for $19.6 million, keno took home $3.6 million, while virtual sports were far behind with $87,000.
When it comes to other sources of revenue, mini-casino auction profits reached $128 million, followed by interactive gaming petitions with $94 million. Casino licensing and sports betting petitions earned $78 million and 60 million respectively, while tax revenue form daily fantasy sports reached $1.4 million.
In fiscal 2017-18 Pennsylvania collected nearly $800 million in taxes from slot revenues, while estimates made earlier this year say the state could generate over $34 billion in general fund revenues for the current fiscal year.
More Revenue to Come Next Year
Welman said the gambling expansion could be considered a success so far if its main goal was to fill short-term gaps in the state’s budget.
She pointed out that although the gambling expansion would eventually prove to be a winner for the state’s budget, the long-term picture was less certain, as more casinos and sportsbooks need to be opened before anyone could get a clear picture of whether Pennsylvania’s relatively steep tax rates and license fees would produce the desired outcome.
Last month, a sportsbook was opened at Hollywood Casino at Penn National. This move represents the beginning of the sports betting expansion, as more openings are scheduled to take place this month and in January next year.
In early 2019, Pennsylvania will be adding revenue from online gambling, while mini-casinos should become part of the whole story along the way.
Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, said the addition of retail sports betting should help buoy a slowing Pennsylvania casino industry.
He stated that if New Jersey was any indication, the more significant revenue generator would be online sports betting, and added a successful rollout there should generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.
PlayPennsylvania estimated revenue using a combination of official statistics and other sales data. You can visit their site, where you can find detailed information on the revenue generated so far.