The Keystone State is currently considering a new bill that seeks to allow existing Las Vegas-style brick-and-mortar casinos to operate tradition slot machines at the state’s airports. Filed on April 2, the proposed legislation will amount to a number of key changes including a shift in a law that was passed in 2017 to allow for interactive slots to be provided on tablets at the airports. With the new law, the state’s seven qualifying international airports will be able to host slot machines from any of the 13 licensed casinos that are interested.
This new bill has been proposed amid the approval process for satellite casinos with up to 750 slots as well as video gaming terminals (VGTs) at Pennsylvanian truck stops. As it stands, the state already has a total of 25,000 slot machines between the 12 licenses casinos that are currently in operation and these slot machines generated $2.36 billion in revenue last year which is a considerable improvement from what was recorded in 2017.
Are More Slots Machines Necessary?
Pennsylvania is currently on the third spot in terms of states with the greatest number of slot machines in commercial casinos and this raises questions regarding why the state is seeking to add even more slot machines. Well, it is rather obvious. The state’s casinos pay an effective 54 percent tax rate on slot machine revenue – for instance, slots machines generated a whopping $1.37 billion in tax revenue for the state last year. Naturally, the airport slot machines will be subject to the exact same rate under the legislation which implies even more revenue for state coffers.
“By adding slot machines in a secure area in airports it will add to the entertainment options available to passengers and thus expanding casino customer bases. Pennsylvania would have the tremendous opportunity of both increasing tax revenue and creating jobs in our communities,” State Rep. William Kortz explained in a recent memo.
Recent studies have indicated a declining interest in slot machines with “younger patrons expressing a preference for games like blackjack and poker over traditional slot machines.” There is also an increasing interest in sports betting. However, Pennsylvania has been putting a strong emphasis on slot machines which make it seem like the industry might stay for longer than expected. In essence, the fact that the Keystone state has gone all in on sports betting might prove to be very problematic in the near future.
Still, it goes without saying that slot machines are indeed the best gaming option for airports especially because the games are not as demanding as poker and will, therefore, appeal to gamers who can only manage to squeeze in a tiny fraction of the time due to their very tight schedules.