The Keystone State’s gambling expansion plans were very ambitious, to say the least. Many of the developments that arose as a result of it have, thankfully, paid off. Sports betting in the state has been setting records ever since its launch. The online gambling sector has also proven that it is very capable. Its growth was partly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic but it was already taking shape in several notable ways.
Brick-and-mortar or retail gambling has been around for the longest. The rise of other verticals was speculated to be bad news for the sector but this was not necessarily true. While the pandemic certainly impacted the sector’s profitability, it is nowhere near being on its knees. This brings us to some of the ways that Pennsylvania had in mind with regards to expanding the retail gambling sector. That is, mini-casinos which are otherwise known as satellite casinos.
Mini casinos were one of the most notable aspects of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s broad expansion law of 2017. There were some very high hopes for that space, and many eyes were on it for that reason. A total of 10 mini-casinos would be coming to the state. The first of these arrived in November, 2021 at the Westmoreland Mall.
Still in Good Shape
Despite all the complications that arose due to the pandemic, Sean Sullivan who is the Live! Pittsburgh’s general manager says that the operation is in pretty good shape. To put this into perspective, during the first half of 2021, the mini-casino generated a whopping $45.1 million in gaming revenue. It is also well on its way to making nearly $100 million in its first full calendar year.
This strong performance certainly paints a picture of what the sub-sector would look like. It took quite a bit of time for the first mini-casino to go live and this might be proof that the concept may work.
Most times when we are measuring success, revenue is the default point of reference. However, it goes well beyond that. Other aspects can show just how successful the launched mini-casino projects have proven to be this far.
For instance, the mini-casino in Westmoreland has created hundreds of jobs, boosted revenue for the local government, and is often involved in charitable courses. That is just one of the projects. Once all the other planned satellite casinos finally go live, we should expect even further increases in the figures listed here. Pennsylvania is onto something here.