Gambling expansion leads to $385m boost for Pennsylvania

Gambling expansion leads to $385m boost for Pennsylvania

Monday, December 10, 2018 Posted by News Team
Majority of new revenue has come through licence fees

The gambling expansion bill signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in October 2017 has generated more than $385m for the state General Fund.

The bill, which legalised satellite casinos, online gambling, online lottery sales and sports betting, has generated around $1m a day since October 2017, according to a new report by industry news portal PlayUSA. 

PlayUSA collated the figure using official statistics and data published by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), coupled with estimates on lottery sales. 

This has revealed that around $23m has been generated from online lottery, comprising $19.6m from online draw-based games, $3.6m from keno and $87,000 from virtual sports. 

However, the vast majority of new revenue has come via licence fees. Around $128m has been generated through the auction for satellite casino licences, with a further $94m coming from iGaming licence fees. 

Land-based casino licensing has brought in an additional $78m, while sports betting applicants have paid a total of $60m. A further $1.4m has been generated through the regulation of daily fantasy sports, with the market opening in May this year. 

"If the point of the expansion was to fill short-term gaps in the state's budget, then the expansion would have to be considered a success so far," PlayUSA analyst Jessica Welman said. "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.”

Welman said that an expanded roll-out of sports betting and the launch of iGaming would give a clearer picture of the effect the high tax rate on products and hefty licence fees would have on the market.

While the PGCB has yet to confirm the launch date for online gaming and sports betting, it is widely expected to take place early in 2019. 

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