It has just been a little over a fortnight since the new year began and already a lot has happened in the Keystone State’s gambling industry. Needless to say, much of this was expected especially considering the meteoric growth of the sector over the past year and the big promises that gaming operators gave to their customers in the market. A lot of things have been working out quite well for the industry and the customers but there have also been a few notable lows.
Hollywood Casino Fined for Gambling Violations
Yes, we are starting with one of the lows of the industry this month.
On Wednesday, January 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) slapped the operator of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course with a $20,000 fine. This fine was issued because the gambling operator was found to have help unapproved poker tournaments. As per the state’s gaming laws, the gaming control board is required to approve a number of things before a poker tournament is held. These include the staffing plans, tournament schedules, dealer training programs, as well as the schematics of gaming guides, signage, table layouts and equipment among others.
As it turns out, Hollywood Casino failed to abide by these rules on four separate occasions. This prompted the gambling regulator to take action.
2019 Revenue Figures Released
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has also recently released the revenue figures for the just-concluded year. In 2019, the industry set a new record by posting a whopping $3.267 billion in revenue. This was up from $3.249 billion in 2018. A modest but significant chunk of the gambling revenue was from the newer forms of gambling in the state. These included retail and digital sports betting, truck stop video lottery terminals, online casinos as well as daily fantasy sports.
Naturally, there are very high hopes for the industry in 2020 with a number of gaming operators set to join. Gamblers in the state will have more variety and the state will be able to significantly benefit from more tax revenue.
Skill Games Continue to Thrive
Despite the controversy surrounding them, Pennsylvania skill gaming machines have continued to spread rapidly across the state. For now, they are able to enjoy operating freely but this may not be the case for too long. Already, several gambling companies and stakeholders of the gaming industry have moved to court to challenge the legality of the skill games.
The courts have already arranged hearings and they will be what determines whether the skill game machines get to survive or not.