After a significant drop in revenue during the COVID-19 shutdown, Pennsylvania’s gaming revenue is gradually picking up. In October 2020, it was up by almost 13% from October 2019.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, in October 2020, Pennsylvania fantasy and gaming contests generated $320.2 million. It was a major rise from 2019’s $283.7 million. The state generated $105.7 million in both local and state taxes. In 2019, the authorities only collected $87.4 million.
Taking a close look at the numbers, you will notice that the coronavirus has caused a change in gambling behavior. The preference for online sites over land-based casinos continues to increase.
Online Casinos Lead the Market
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the revenue for in-casino games like tables and slots has dropped by $42 million from 2019. On the other hand, the revenue for online gaming has boomed and it now accounts for about a third of the state’s gaming revenue.
On the second month after land-based casinos were closed down, retail gaming generated little income. However, online gaming surpassed expectations and softened the blow for the industry.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, online casinos further rose to $55.8 million revenue in May. In that month, online casinos recorded the following numbers:
- Table games generated $12.4 million in revenue and $778.5 million as wagers
- Poker generated $4.6 million as revenue
- Slots attracted about $38.8 million as revenue and $1.1 billion in total bets
Slots attracted a rise of 40.5% and table games wagers recorded a 23.1% month-over-month rise. However, poker recorded a 12.5% month-over-month decline. Together, the three brought in about $24.0 million in local and state taxes. Even though PA’s online casino market is young, it has done a lot for the industry.
The Journey to Recovery
Even though gaming revenues in Pennsylvania have been affected as casinos go online, the journey to recovery has started. The industry has been through three rough months as the coronavirus-induced lockdowns caused an economic downturn. Unfortunately, recovery cannot happen overnight.
Land-based casinos recently opened and most of the big names are already welcoming their guests back. Even though it may be too early to tell, the demand for online gaming seems to be building up pretty fast.
The PA online casino guide found on bestcasinosites.net goes into more details on how the iGaming industry works. Hint: new operators must acquire a license from the Gaming Control Board.
Getting the Revenue Back
With normalcy returning, PA’s gaming industry is starting to get its revenue back. Part of what is required is that casinos reopen at capacity of no more than 50% capacity to promote social distancing.
Even though it is a great start, the limited seating also means less revenue and traffic. According to Rivers Pittsburgh general manager, Bill Keena, casinos can be profitable even at 50% capacity. He expects that the casino will regain a sense of normalcy within a short time.
The gradual return of major sporting events will be helpful as well. As sports and sporting events continue to be added to the calendar, Pennsylvania’s online sports betting is quickly picking up. The signs of recovery started being apparent in June and there was an even bigger rebound in July.
Online Casinos Achieve a Steady Pace
The online casinos in Pennsylvania are now hitting their stride. Even though it is slightly over a year since the first site was launched, they have generated lots of revenues and more operators are trickling in.
Many of them have beautiful web designs and lots of gaming option. They also give out bonuses to welcome new customers. Add the lockdown’s impact and you’ll discover why the iGaming sector is growing so fast.
The NJ online casino industry, for example, started in 2013 but didn’t cross the $50 million revenue threshold until years afterward. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, hit that mark in just a few months.
Here is an overview of the iGaming growth in PA for the first months of 2020:
- In February, the total play was $703.6 million and the revenue was $17.7 million
- In March, the state iGaming sites generated $21.1 million in revenue with a total play of $871.6 million
- In April, the total play was $1.4 billion and the revenue was $37.8 million
- The total play in May was $1.8 billion with revenue of $51.2 million.
Sports betting in Pennsylvania generated revenue of $36.8 million in October which is beyond double the $15 million from the previous year. This surge is mostly attributed to casino loyalists who shifted their wagers to online sites during the lockdown. Other reasons for the growing popularity of online casinos in PA include the following tech-inspired features, affordability and the reasons below:
This is one of the biggest contributors to the popularity of online casinos. They allow players to enjoy their favorite games whenever and wherever they please. One does not need to deal with the stress of traveling to a casino, waiting for appointments, or even leaving their home.
- Promotional Offers
After recharging, players are likely to get extra cash or rewards to play with. By playing multiple gaming titles, players accumulate more points leading to more rewards and a bigger bankroll. There are offers that allow players to enjoy their favorite games without depositing a cent.
- Having All Games Under One Roof
Even though land-based casinos have a wide gaming catalogue, they are no match for online casinos. Online sites offer an extensive range of titles. With modern technologies, users can access live dealer games as well. There is something for everyone online regardless of their gaming needs or preferences. Users never run out of games to play.
- Control Over the Stakes
Online casino sites give users the chance to play at whatever level they prefer. Land-based casinos, on the other hand, often have strict limitations. They impose these levels to cover the cost of maintaining their establishments. With online casinos, there are options to play with small wagers or free. Players can advance slowly if they like.
In conclusion, online gambling legislation in PA has had plenty of benefits. It has boosted the economy and given players a variety of options. Pennsylvania has set the pace and other parts of the country are slowly catching up.