Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, there have been a lot of predictions regarding how badly it would affect the economy. Most of these were rather obvious since it goes without saying that lots of businesses depended on the movement of people. Without that, there has been a significant drop in revenue and one of the best examples of this is the Keystone State’s gambling industry.
According to the revenue report for March 2020 that was released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), there was an overall drop of 51 percent in gaming revenue compared to the same period last year. While this is certainly a significant drop, experts still believe that if things continue as they are right now, revenues could drop even further.
Retail Gaming Takes Hit
In mid-March, Governor Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania asked all non-essential businesses to close and these businesses included among other things casinos, video game terminals, and card rooms. These are among the most popular forms of gambling in the state which means the operators were definitely going to feel the pinch.
All of the retail casino properties in Pennsylvania were greatly affected with each reporting huge drops in revenue – most of them lost over 50 percent in revenue with the biggest casualties being Harrah’s Philadelphia and Wind Creek Bethlehem which lost 65 percent and 71 percent respectively.
Casino and video gaming terminals aside, another sector that has seen huge drops in revenue is sports betting. Now, while the state recently launched its online sports betting industry, there are currently no mainstream or traditional sporting activities to bet on. Sports bettors have been forced to look for alternative betting options but it is quite clear that most of these alternatives are not quite as robust or as established as popular sports and league games.
The Online Gambling Explosion
As it stands, Pennsylvania is among the very small number of states that allow their residents to play casino games on the internet. The uptick in online gambling traffic was inevitable considering the fact that most people now have to stay at home unless they have to find essential services.
In total, online casino revenue in Pennsylvania reached a whopping $24.26 million. Online poker accounted for $3.13 million which is a 71 percent rise from the previous month. This is pretty impressive especially considering that currently, PokerStars is the only online poker operator in the state. It even gets better for the state because it can continue receiving tax revenue despite the slowdown in the casino business across the country.