February 2021 was a pretty solid month for the Keystone State’s gambling sector. Despite all of the difficulties most of which arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the gambling entities performed quite well. This was one of the signs that the state was beginning to see some resurgence not just in the gambling sector but in the entire hospitality sector as a whole.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has recently released the revenue figures for March 2021. According to the revenue report, the gambling sector recorded a 162.7 percent year-over-year increase in revenue as well as a month-on-month increase of 22 percent from the previous month.
As for the actual revenue figures, the total gaming revenue was a whopping $403 million – this is a record amount that makes March the biggest month for the state’s gambling industry. As expected, this massive surge was propelled by the performance of different gaming verticals currently present in the state. Here is a brief breakdown of these:
|Type of Gaming Revenue||March 2021||March 2020||% Change|
|Retail Slots Revenue||$199,290,530||$87,562,756||127.60%|
|Retail Tables Revenue||$71,358,265||$33,105,591||115.55%|
|iGaming Slot Revenue||$66,424,794||$12,969,655||412.16%|
|Sports Wagering Revenue||$29,352,345||$6,889,255||326.06%|
|iGaming Tables Revenue||$28,863,178||$8,782,156||228.66%|
|Video Gaming Terminals Revenue||$3,641,470||$934,004||289.88%|
|iGaming Poker Revenue||$2,401,772||$3,133,019||-23.34%|
|Fantasy Contests Revenue||$1,798,983||$723,942||148.50%|
|Total Gaming Revenue||$403,131,336||$154,100,378||161.60%|
iGaming Takes Centerstage
Now, even though there are verticals such as retail slots and retail table games that performed well and have retained their leading position, the meteoric rise of iGaming is mind-blowing, to say the least. This is, of course, a good thing for state coffers as there is more revenue that is certainly going to be very important in helping the state on its journey towards recovery.
Unfortunately, another aspect that cannot be overlooked when talking about online gambling in Pennsylvania is the rising number of people who have experienced gambling-related harm. Most people gamble responsibly but there is a worrying number of Pennsylvanians who have not been able to control their gambling habits.
“It is obviously increasingly easy for people to access this new type of activity. When everything stops, when you are out of work, when your businesses close temporarily, when there is isolation, when you are bored, when you’re stressed, when you are anxious, it certainly serves as a very easy-to-access coping tool for a lot of people.”Josh Ercole, executive director at the Council on Compulsive Gambling of PA.
Online gambling is here to stay but this should not be at the expense of some members of society. That said, hopefully, this is something that the gambling operators and the state gaming regulator are looking into.