Gambling expansion in the Keystone State has been moving at a pretty steady ever since the bill that facilitates it was passed in October 2017. Needless to say, the gambling expansion plans has seen several different projects through since the beginning of 2018 and this is set to continue in 2019. As it stands, the state authorities and its gaming regulator are preparing to add sports betting operations to the already vibrant gambling sector.
Sports betting has always been in the state’s agenda as proven by its inclusion in the gambling expansion bill in October 2017 – the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling was just a confirmation of the inevitable and since was made, the state’s lawmakers and gambling regulator have worked extensively to add the sports wagering option. In fact, a couple of sports betting operations have already been launched in the Commonwealth since early December 2018. Furthermore, there are still extensive plans to further expand the gaming sector by allowing more online gambling options as well as more satellite casinos.
Pennsylvania found a gap in its budget in 2018 and it tried to compensate for this deficit using proceeds from gaming revenue and it turned out quite well. The overall gaming revenues were higher than expected but this was easily attributed to the fact that it was a year when there was a lot of money coming in in the form of licensing fees and auction fees for mini-casinos. However, industry experts are confident that the revenue figures are certainly bound to go up especially considering the huge gaming market or population that the state boasts of.
Gaming activities in Pennsylvania brought in a whopping $385 million to state coffers, which as mentioned above, was way higher than what analysts expected. A major portion of this money was contributed this was from taxes – this is just a glimpse of the potential of the state’s gambling industry.
In early 2019, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board authorized online casinos games, online slots and online pokers – operators who were interested in offering these were required to pay a $4 million license fee for each of the gaming products or discounted $10 million fee for a license that included all three. Several casinos applied for the licenses and they will be going live sometime this year.
Sports betting, even though it is already live, is expected to keep growing this year. It is projected that the market may become a little crowded especially because there are several operators working on their sports betting venues ahead of their launch dates within this quarter of the year. Still, it is great to see that after more than a year since the gambling expansion bill was passed, the residents are already enjoying some of the perks that it promised.