Earlier this week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released the April revenue figures for the state’s gambling industry. As expected, the downtown that began on the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has continued to wreak havoc on the sector. Most of the state’s land-based casinos have had to remain closed as part of statewide directives that led to the closure of a plethora of businesses that are considered to be non-essential.
The overall revenue from the gambling industry in April was just a little over $46 million. While this is still a pretty significant amount, the implications are very different for the Keystone State especially considering the fact that this an 85 percent decrease from January. This was the last month before the pandemic hit the United States and revenue during the period was over a whopping $301 million.
Naturally, the fact that both retail casinos and sportsbooks have remained closed for the past couple of months had something to do with the revenue drop. Even online sportsbooks have been feeling the pinch due to suspension and postponement of a ton of sporting activities not just in the United States but many other parts of the planet as well.
iGaming Revenue Surges
Despite the drop in overall gaming revenue in the Keystone State, the online gambling sector has been performing quite well. While this has not been enough to completely pad the industry from the massive revenue drop, the uptick in online casino traffic has been a breath of fresh air for the nascent but rapidly growing iGaming sector.
iGaming revenue in the state rose 77.5 percent to $43.1 million in April up from $24.3 million in the previous month. There has been a lot more interest in the online gambling sector over the past few months and many operators have been trying to get a piece of the lucrative market. That said, online gamers now have more options and the state still benefits from tax revenue.
The pressure to reopen various businesses across the country is beginning to build up. In Pennsylvania, no date has been specified for the reopening of the land-based gaming facilities. Even so, it seems like there are already plans underway.
Pennsylvania’s gaming regulator has recently laid out guidelines for reopening despite the fact that the directives that forced the casinos to close down have not been lifted.
“As conditions throughout the Commonwealth improve and the reopening of casinos is authorized, the PGCB desires to assure that reopenings occur in a manner which promote the safety of casino patrons and employees alike as well as assure an environment conducive to proper regulatory oversight.PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole
Anyone who will want to visit the casinos will need to wear protective gear which can only be taken off temporarily for facial recognition cameras. In the facilities, they will be required to stay six feet apart. It seems that this is just a way of giving the casinos a head start in terms of developing safety measures before reopening is on the table.