Revenue figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) are staggering, with total revenue from all forms of regulated gambling generating more than $403.1 million in March.
That’s a 162% increase compared to March a year ago when anti-virus protocols mandated by the state shut down many forms of wagering.
The March 2021 figure is the first month the combined revenue exceeded $400 million. The previous high was October 2020, when revenue was $320.2 million.
Combining the first three months of 2021, this was the first time PA gaming revenue topped $1 billion in a single quarter.
Online casino and sports betting continue strong in PA
Placing the numbers in the COVID-19 context, this March’s revenue figures were 27% above March 2019, when the total revenue was nearly $316.3 million.
PA sportsbooks took $560.3 million in bets while earning about $29.3 million in revenue. Of all sports wagers placed in March, 91% were made online.
The aggregate revenue number includes slot machines, table games, internet gaming, retail and online sports wagering, fantasy contests, and video gaming terminals.
With record revenue, comes a record tax haul
The huge revenue number also meant a record month for total taxes, with state and local entities claiming $166.8 million.
Of that massive haul, land-based slots account for the majority, but iGaming is also pulling its weight, responsible for nearly a quarter of tax revenue.
PA tax breakdown by gaming vertical in March
- Slots (land-based): 61.0%
- Tables (land-based): 6.9%
- iGaming: 24.5%
- Sports betting: 6.3%
- VGT: 1.1%
PA slots revenue dropped compared to 2019
March’s gross revenue from slots was nearly $199.3 million, a 127.6% increase in revenue compared to the more than $87.5 million generated a year ago when the virus restrictions closed casinos for half the month.
But when comparing pre-pandemic slot revenue from March 2019 to this March, there was a 12% decrease with nearly $226.6 million two years ago.
The number of slot machines operating in March 2021 was 19,727 compared to 24,104 the year before.
Tax revenue from slots this March was more than $101.7 million.
Table games revenue also down from two years ago
Table games revenue was more than $71.3 million, an increase of 115.6% from the previous March when revenue topped $33.1 million.
But the March 2019 comparison to March 2021 shows a 14% decrease with $82.5 million two years back.
Total tax revenue from table games play this March 2021 was nearly $11.5 million.
Online casino revenue
PA online casino games including online poker generated gross revenue of nearly $97.7 million this March compared to nearly $24.9 million in March 2020 when there were far fewer gaming sites. In March, the revenue for iGaming was the highest to date, eclipsing the previous record $80.4 million in January 2021.
Tax revenue generated from internet gaming during March 2021 was nearly $40.9 million.
Sports betting, VGTs and DFS pitch in too
Taxable revenue during March 2021 for sports wagering topped more than $29.3 million. In March of last year, the amount was around $6.9 million, thanks in part to the sudden shutdown of the sports calendar. Sports betting contributed $10.6 million to the tax revenue for the month.
Total adjusted revenue for March 2021 for VGTs was more than $3.6 million. By the close of March, four VGT operators had the maximum permitted five machines at 44 truck stops.
VGT revenue in March set a new record, eclipsing the previous high of more than $2.5 million in February of this year.
Daily Fantasy contests revenue was nearly $1.8 million, an increase of 148.5% over March 2020, when revenue was $724,000.
Lead image via Dreamstime.