Expanded Gambling in Pennsylvania Scores Nearly $400M

Expanded Gambling in Pennsylvania Scores Nearly $400M

Expanded gambling scene in Pennsylvania truly took off last year when the legislation was passed to allow changes that would lead to a much more well-integrated, regulated market that has opened up for numerous forms of gaming since.

As 2019 approaches, so does sports betting for the 13 million inhabitants state which is slowly becoming one the most thriving and lucrative gambling markets in the US.

According to PlayPennsylvania.com, in the first year since the gambling expansion law was passed, the state has raked in almost $400 million – a little over $385 million, to be more precise, which quite exceeds the state budget forecasts.

The Legislation That Works

Since late 2017, when expanded gambling came to fruition, more than $1 million was generated daily via upfront licensing fees for land-based and online casinos and sportsbooks…

…Other sources of revenue were mini-casino auction profits, lottery expansion tax revenue and daily fantasy sports.

Broken down by sources, this is how the revenue gained from the change of law looks:

  • Mini-casino auction profits, $128 million
  • Interactive gaming petitions, $94 million
  • Casino licensing, $78 million
  • Sports betting petitions, $60 million
  • Online lotto, $23 million
  • Keno, $3.6 million
  • Daily Fantasy Sports tax revenue, $1.4 million
  • Virtual sports, $87,000

All About the Fees

A curious and most encouraging fact is that this significant revenue was generated “almost completely from fees” and not from gambling tax revenues, as PlayPennsylvania analyst, Jessica Welman, explains.

“Clearly there is enough interest in Pennsylvania’s enormous market so far to generate the fees,” she adds.

Welman went on to say that the gambling expansion has got to be considered a success story so far, if the point of it was to fill short-term gaps in the state’s budget.

“We believe that the gambling expansion will eventually prove to be a winner for the state’s budget, but the long-term picture is less certain. More casinos and sportsbooks must open before we get a clear picture of whether Pennsylvania’s relatively steep tax rates and license fees will produce the desired outcome.”

New Sources of Income Incoming

In November, sportsbooks have begun operating at Hollywood Casino and more are on their way, with expected rolling out scheduled for this month as well as January. In early 2019, PA will be amassing revenue from online gambling as well, whereas mini-casinos will also be entering the picture.

Sports betting analyst, Dustin Gouker, is of the opinion that the retail sports betting will assist the slowing casino industry in Pennsylvana. “If New Jersey is any indication, though, the more significant revenue generator will be online sports betting. A successful rollout there should generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.”


“Pennsylvania Gambling Expansion Nears $400 Million for the State in First Year”, prnewswire.com, December 7, 2018.

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