Pennsylvania gambling surpasses $385m in first year of new law

By Nathan Joyes

Gambling has brought Pennsylvania more than $385m during its first year since a gambling expansion bill was passed.

Since late 2017, Pennsylvania has brought in over $1m a day from gambling. This has been down to upfront licensing fees for casinos, sportsbooks, tax revenue from lottery expansion and daily fantasy sports, among others.

The estimates were put together by PlayPennsylvania.com using official statistics. However, Pennsylvania has estimated the state is set to generate over $34bn in general fund revenues in its 2018-19 fiscal year.

Jessica Welman, analyst for PlayPennslvania.com, said: "The most notable aspect of the significant revenue that has been generated is that this is almost completely from fees, rather than tax revenue gained from gamblers.

"Clearly there is enough interest in Pennsylvania’s enormous market so far to generate the fees."

With the recent opening of a sportsbook in November at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, more sports betting openings are also expected over the next couple of months.

Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, said: "The addition of retail sports betting should help buoy a slowing Pennsylvania casino industry. 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."


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