The state’s gaming expansion enacted in the fall of 2017 is about to kick into high gear, with online casinos promising to riase the floor for gaming revenue in the state. That will mean more money for both gaming interests in the form of additional revenue, and the state in the form of tax receipts.
March was a particularly good month for casinos in Pennsylvania, as gaming revenue eclipsed $300 million for the first time in the history of the state.
But still, the days of revenue growing in a meaningful way on a regular basis — without the introduction of the changes from 2017 — ended quite a while ago. As you can see below, gaming revenue has been pretty much flat since 2011:
March was a welcome upward blip, especially after slot revenue has been mostly stagnant in the preceding year. But the blips may evolve into an upward trend soon.
The bottom line for PA casinos likely to change in the near future, as the equation is being changed in many ways:
But the most proximate way for revenue to increase in the short term will be the introduction of online casino and poker to the state. The PA Gaming Control Board had previously intimated that existing casino licensees could start applying for the ability to conduct online gambling last week. Platform providers can start turning in applications starting in June.
All of that means we’re still on a timeline of an online gambling launch sometime later this year, or perhaps early 2019 in a worst-case scenario.
But when it does, PA will hope to get the NJ effect.
There are two key ways PA casinos should benefit once online casinos arrive:
Pennsylvania is a different market than NJ for online gambling, and there are lots of differences.
How it will all shake out in PA is still to be determined. But the bottom line should be a positive one for PA gaming interests, and the state.