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Jackpot: Pa’s casino revenue hit an all-time high in March | Thursday Morning Coffee

Internet casino-type gaming broke the $110M mark for the first time, officials said

April 21, 2022 7:06 am

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Pennsylvania’s gambling revenues hit an all-time monthly high in March, with the industry raking in $462.7 million, state gaming regulators said this week.

The haul shatters the previous, single-month record of $432.4 million which was hit in November 2021, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said in a statement.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National in Dauphin County led the industry statewide, taking in a whopping $63.7 million last month, an increase of 11.44 percent, over its March 2021 tally of $57.1 million, state data showed.

Two sectors, table games and online casino-gaming, helped drive the increase in revenues in March, state regulators said in their statement. Revenues for the former exceeded $90 million for the first time ever last month, while online gaming revenues soared past $110 million for the first time in March, regulators said.

In all, the industry took in nearly $94.3 million from table games last month, a 32.1 percent increase from March 2021, when revenues were $71.3 million, according to state data. The previous monthly high was $89 million, which the industry hit in October 2021.

Online gambling, meanwhile, generated $118.1 million in gross revenues last month, compared to nearly $97.7 million in March 2021, an increase of 20.9 percent, gaming regulators said. The previous high was $108 million in January of this year, state data showed.

The casinos’ combined haul generated more than $187 million in tax revenues for the state last month, the data showed.

A roulette wheel spins
(Image via pxHere.com)

After slumping in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, Pennsylvania’s casino operators took in in $4.7 billion in combined revenues in 2021, the Tribune-Review reported in January, citing state data.

That was a $2 billion increase compared to 2020, when the industry, slammed by the pandemic, took in $2.6 billion in combined revenues, the newspaper reported, again citing state data.

The state took in $2.2 billion from slot machines; $924.9 million from table games, $1.1 billion from internet gambling; $340.1 million from sports betting; $29.2 million from fantasy sports contests and $39.8 million from video gaming terminals last year, the newspaper reported. That generated $1.93 billion in tax revenues, officials told the newspaper.

In an interview on Wednesday, Gaming Control Board spokesperson Doug Harbach told the Capital-Star that last month’s bounce in revenue was attributable to two factors: Eager consumers and the continued growth of online gaming and sports betting.

“People, after two years of not being able to frequent casinos, or to go at all, are delighted to do so,” Harbach told the Capital-Star. The addition of three casinos to the state’s already vigorous market also added to the consumer choice, he noted.

And as online gambling and sports betting has become more common, people “have grown more comfortable” with those options, Harbach added, which helped drive the growth in that sector.

The industry took in $30 million in sports betting revenue last month, up from the March 2021 tally of $29.3 million, an increase of nearly 3.6 percent, state data showed.

The bounce in Pennsylvania’s casino revenues reflects broader trends across the industry.

After plunging during the early days of the pandemic in 2020, the industry saw a boom in 2021, as it took in more than $44 billion nationwide, shattering a previous record set in 2019, the Washington Post reported.

Nationwide, the gaming industry took in $30 billion in 2020, a drop of more than 31 percent, and the lowest level since 2003, Forbes reported, citing data compiled by the American Gaming Association.

Harbach told the Capital-Star on Wednesday that the state expects to break $2 billon in tax revenues in 2022, based on current trends.

Abortion rights supporters rally at the Pa. State Capitol on Tuesday, 5/21/19, as part of a national day of action (Capital-Star photo by John L. Micek)

Our Stuff.
States are rushing to revise their abortion laws as a potentially landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling nears, Capital-Star Washington Reporter Jennifer Shutt reports.

A group of more than two dozen statewide advocacy groups submitted a letter to state environmental officials this week, asking them to adopt a more stringent set of guidelines for protecting Pennsylvania’s drinking water from commonly found, man-made PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, Cassie Miller reports.

Tribal nations across the country have the opportunity to receive funding to address the unique impacts climate change has within their communities, Shondiin Silversmith, of our sibling site, the Arizona Mirror, reports.

The federal bribery case against Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson has ended in a mistrial, our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune report.

On our Commentary Page: A transgender sports ban? Here’s what Pa. lawmakers could be doing if they really want to help women, activist Colleen Kennedy writes. And an environmental advocate explains why we need to end our reliance on synthetic fertilizer — and how to do it.  

(Photo via Getty Images/Colorado Newsline.)

Elsewhere.
The Inquirer looks at Philadelphia’s gun violence epidemic through the eyes of people who live it every day.

Pittsburgh Police say multiple weapons, including an AR-15 style long gun, were used in an Easter weekend shooting on the city’s North Side, the Post-Gazette reports.

Two Pennsylvania State Police troopers fired at two fleeing drivers last week after a traffic stop, prompting questions about the agency’s use-of-force policy, PennLive reports.

Despite an avian flu outbreak, you don’t have to take down your backyard feederLancasterOnline reports.

And hummingbirds are on their way back to northeastern Pennsylvania, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

Some 40,000 people are expected to attend this year’s Pa. Cannabis Festival in Kutztown, the Morning Call reports.

WHYY-FM considers whether the feds will have a better chance of convicting Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson at a second trial.

Athletic teams at six state-owned Pennsylvania universities will still compete against each other despite merging into two regional institutions, state officials said Wednesday. The Associated Press has the story.

Erie’s planning director, Kathy Wyrosdickwill leave her city post in May for a consulting job in Harrisburg, GoErie reports.

PoliticsPA takes a look at Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Josh Shapiro’s fundraising.

In Washington, lawmakers and advocates are hopeful for more efforts to curb maternal mortality, particularly among Black women, Roll Call reports.

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
The Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate meet tonight at 8 p.m. for a debate that will be broadcast statewide. You can find your local station here.

WolfWatch
Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Pittsburgh today for the grand opening of TCS Hall on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to Ed Mahon, of Spotlight PA, who completes another trip around the sun today.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s some music from Swedish House Mafia. From their new LP ‘Paradise Again,’ it’s ‘Calling On.’


Thursday’s Gratuitous Baseball Link
Baltimore pulled out a squeaker over Oaklandwinning 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.

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