Pennsylvania has taken a tumble in terms of gambling results in the 2019/20 fiscal year, buoyed up by online gaming as much as possible.
The Fiscal Over Finishes on a Low Point for Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is reaping big benefits from its decision to issue iGaming licenses in 2019, yet adoption hasn’t been quick enough. While there may have been some merit in pushing for the brick-and-mortar market with priority, iGaming has proven the lifeline for so many properties in 2020 amid the state-wide shutdown of non-essential businesses and by extension, casinos.
The fiscal year for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has proven fairly strong. The PGCB collects fiscal data from July 1 through June 30 every year, analyzing online and brick-and-mortar gambling as well as fantasy and sports betting contests.
Overall, the revenue from all gambling for the 2019/2020 FY amounted to $2,724,785,117, or down 18% from a year before. The good news is that the results were affected not because of lack of interest, but a complete closure of the majority of brick-and-mortar betting and gaming venues in the Keystone State.
Since mid-March, Governor Tom Wolf has been gung-ho against reopenings that are not backed by expert data. His decision was right given the fits-and-starts in Nevada and New Jersey.
Today, Pennsylvania has ten casinos operating in the state and offering gambling options. Online gambling brought in $240,894.852 in terms of gaming revenue for the PGCB. Now, comparing the 19/20 results with previous years, and specifically with 2015/16, when revenue was $3,227,835,635, the results were more or less paltry.
Poker Remains Strong in the Keystone State
One of the biggest winners since the lockdown has been poker. With PokerStars reporting some steady revenue. The platform hit $3.2 million in poker revenue in June alone and has been steady, with the segment seeing a strong spike in the players as well as revenue.
PokerStars’ had a field day because Pennsylvania only currently allows the Mount Airy-affiliated card room to offer online poker options in the state, with partypoker and 888poker both expected to arrive soon enough.
Having access to online gaming and betting opportunities has proven crucial for sports fans and poker aficionados who have been regular at the digital gaming frontier. With the lockdown letting up, though, player numbers have fallen a bit, and so have revenues.
Pennsylvania has mostly reopened its casinos, giving an official go-ahead, but not all properties have been quick to rush back to business, assessing the situation cautiously. The good news is that poker will get a boost in the coming months in terms of tournament and brand variety.
Whether online poker would take over the brick-and-mortar segment is another matter altogether, though, but we will keep an eye nevertheless.