PA Casino Revenue Up 4.5% In 2019, Thanks Largely To Sports Betting And Online Gambling

Posted on January 15, 2020 - Last Updated on January 16, 2020

With official December gaming revenue numbers for PA due out later this week, one key number has been released. Officials at Wednesday’s Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) meeting shared the unofficial number of $3.27 billion for total brick and mortar slot and table game revenue for 2019.

Initial reports stated that this number also included revenue from new forms of gaming, like online casinos and sports betting. However, this number only accounts for slots and table games.

Growth is certainly good. It also flies in the face of the notion that expanded gambling would eat into existing casino revenue streams.

The overall revenue numbers for PA casinos are even more promising. Thanks to the launch of online casino and retail and online sports betting, casinos took in $3.41 billion. That is a bump of almost 4.5% from 2018.

PA brick and mortar gaming not cannibalized in 2019

With the addition of so many verticals and operators to PA online gambling in 2019, an increase in revenues was mostly a given. The real question was by how much would they beat the previous year’s totals.

In 2018, gross slots revenue came out to $2.37 billion while gross table games revenue was $878.8 million. Pennsylvania sports betting launched in November of 2018 and brought in $2.5 million in revenue during its first two months. Combined, GGR for 2018 was $3.25 billion.

All told, there was a $16 million bump in overall revenues from 2018 to 2019, looking at slots, table games and the start of retail sports betting.

Looking at revenue change over the five years prior to 2019, the increase from 2018-19 seems on par. While it is only a one-year sample size, it seems to indicate that these new markets are not growing at the expense of existing casinos.

Year
Gross slot revenueGross table games revenueGross total gaming revenueChange from previous year
2014$2,319,534,380$749,543,217$3,069,077,597-$44,850,993
2015$2,365,651,659$808,137,112$3,173,788,771$104,711,174
2016$2,360,184,122$853,238,055$3,213,422,177$39,633,406
2017$2,336,212,902$890,697,914$3,226,910,816$13,488,639
2018$2,369,885,203$878,796,174$3,248,681,377$21,770,561

New gambling markets led to big market boost

A lot happened in terms of growing PA’s gambling industry in 2019. Sports betting growth exploded with the addition of PA online betting apps beginning in May. The addition of online casinos in July also added to the state’s gaming revenue flows.

For 2019, PA sports betting revenue came in at $84 million. Total handle trailed only New Jersey and Nevada, with $1.49 billion in bets.

Online casinos contributed as well, but not at the same scale of sports betting. Between slots, table games, and the newly launched online poker, the sites produced $33.6 million in revenue.

Combined, that means, of the $3.4 billion in casino revenue, 3% (roughly $117 million) came from expanded gaming. That does not include revenue generated by non-casino products like video gambling terminals and daily fantasy sports. Those took in $2.3 million and $25.9 million, respectively.

PA gaming industry happy with growth

For PGCB director of communications Doug Harbach, the steady overall growth PA gaming has experienced in recent years is a good sign. Harbach told Play Pennsylvania:

We continue to see growth within the brick-and-mortar casinos and some of that has to do with bringing in new customers for types of gambling specifically sports wagering in almost all the casinos. We’ve seen a continued ramp-up of the numbers over the past few years. There continues to be a build up of the customer base at brick-and-mortar casinos and I think with the interjection of online games it’s spurring more individuals to participate in whatever form of gambling they like, whether it’s online or at the casinos.

The growing number of gambling options in the state should continue to drive increased revenues. The complete numbers, once available, should give a more clear picture of the breakdown.

Valerie Cross Avatar
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Valerie Cross

Valerie Cross is the managing editor of PlayPennsylvania. Valerie taught English as a Second Language before transitioning full-time to poker media. She has a B.A. from Furman University and MA and PhD degrees in language education from Indiana University. A former associate editor at PokerNews, Valerie currently resides in Northern California.

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