iGaming Boosts Pennsylvania Gaming Revenue Amidst Pandemic
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (GGB) reported a hefty year-on-year revenue increase in July this year despite strict social distancing norms. These miraculous figures are the result of a stark increase in the demand for igaming.
Not only did the state’s gaming industry report total revenue of $281.5 million, at par with pre-quarantine levels, but igaming and sports betting accounted for 22% of the entire figure. With the pandemic raging through the crucial fiscal quarter, most casinos offered players a chance to access their favorite card or slots game from their smartphones.
And this decision hit the jackpot with the top ten Pennsylvania online casino operators reporting a $54.35 million Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) this year, compared to $813,206 recorded in the same period last year. Online casinos played a crucial role in boosting Pennsylvania’s revenue stream in 2020, with help from physical casinos, sports betting, fantasy sports, and the video gaming industry.
COVID-19’s Impact on Pennsylvania’s iGaming Industry
Internet gaming barely generated $4 million in revenue back in 2019. But the picture transformed entirely after Rivers Casino Philadelphia, formerly SugarHouse Casino, set up shop around May of the same year. COVID-19 further aggravated the situation by confining people at home for nearly six months!
With habitual and recreational gamblers stuck indoors, the demand for online casinos skyrocketed in the last few months. This could not have arrived at a better time for the operators, since revenue from slots were down 17% from last year. While card games suffered 32% losses during the same span.
The demand for online casinos seems to have reached its peak. With brick-and-mortar establishments slowly reopening their doors, it’s yet to be seen if the igaming industry takes a hit. As sports betting slowly gets back on track, with major-league baseball and the NBA resuming in late July, online sports betting reportedly generated 84% of total revenue.
Winners vs. Losers
Out of the 12 licensed online casinos in Pennsylvania, not all are successful, although overall business is good. Among the winners is Parx Casino in Bensalem, generating around $59.9 million. Followed closely by Valley Forge Casino Resort, reporting a mammoth 57.7% year-on-year revenue increase.
There are a few big names among the losers too, including Wind Creek Bethlehem, which recorded a steep downfall in its revenue stream compared to 2019. To be fair, Bethlehem only launched its igaming app in July 2020, which isn’t a fair comparison, as some of its rivals have been in this business since 2018.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia recorded a massive decline in profits this year following a four-month lockdown. The only saving grace was $15.5 million in igaming revenue. These high numbers haven’t gone unnoticed, with the state’s 13th casino announcing its foray into online gambling last week.
Although casinos do not report non-gaming revenue to the Pennsylvania GGB, earnings from food and beverage sales went down to zero during the quarantine. And although the Government is slowly easing lockdown norms, people are yet to flock to physical establishments in the next couple of months. It’s safe to assume igaming is here to stay!