Pennsylvania gaming industry sees record revenue for 2021

Legalized gaming in Pennsylvania had a record year in 2021, with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reporting revenue increases in nearly every sector of the industry. 

For the year, the combined revenue of slot machines, table games, sports wagering, iGaming, video gaming terminals (VGTs) and fantasy contests totaled $4.7 billion compared to $2.7 billion in 2020. This also resulted in record tax revenue production from gaming of more than $1.93 billion. 

The Board did note that the significant year-over-year increase in gaming revenue was impacted by closures and safety measures at casinos related to COVID-19 during 2020. Total closure days in 2020 were 1,473 compared to 44 days in 2021. 

Wind Creek Bethlehem had the highest increase in slot revenue, jumping 75.68% over 2020 to $265 million. 

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono saw an increase of 38% over 2020, taking in $142.5 million. 

Statewide, slots were up 68.71% to $2.3 billion. 

Wind Creek was also among the highest revenue gainer in table games. It saw revenue increase by 78.05% to $185.2 million. 

Mount Airy saw a jump of 5.96%, taking in $43.1 million. 

Statewide, table games were up 83.4% over 2020, taking in $925 million. 

2021 revenue from sports wagering was $340 million, a 79.29% increase in revenue when compared to the $190 million generated in 2020. Sports wagering handle, the amount wagered through both retail and online, was $6.55 billion, an 83% increase over 2020’s handle of $3.58 billion. 

2021 revenue from fantasy contests was $29.3 million, a 38.54% increase in revenue when compared to the $21.2 million generated in 2020. 

2021 revenue for iGaming was $1.1 billion an 96.7% increase in revenue when compared to the $566 million generated in 2020. At the end of 2021 there were 10 iGaming certificate holders in Pennsylvania. 

While a smaller source of revenue, video game terminals, found in truck stops, did have a significant increase in 2021. 

2021 revenue for VGTs at Truck Stops was $40 million a 139% increase in revenue when compared to the $17 million generated in 2010. By the end of the year there were 60 VGT facilities in Pennsylvania. 

Pennsylvania casinos see revenue increase in August

For the first time in months Pennsylvania’s casinos are seeing an overall uptick in revenue over 2019.

COVID-19 significantly impacted the industry with bricks and mortar casinos closed and sports betting hobbled by the cancellation of live sports. Now with casinos open and sports wagering available on sports ranging from baseball to hockey, the numbers are back up.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported total gaming and fantasy contest revenue in the state for August 2020 was $310.72 million, a 6% increase over August 2019 when revenue was $293.43 million. The revenue numbers are for all slot machines, table games, internet gaming, retail and internet sports.

PlayPennsylvania.com, which analyzes the industry said the return of sports wagering had a significant impact on revenue.

In August 2020 sports wagering brought in $18.27 million compared to $6.12 million in August 2019.

“Pennsylvania sportsbooks enjoyed their best month since the state launched the legal sports industry in November 2018 as the return of major sports helped unleash a wave of pent-up demand,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania. “In what has been a difficult year, August’s packed schedule of major sports helped Pennsylvania sportsbooks make up some of what was lost from pandemic-related shutdowns.”

Not all individual casinos saw an increase, however.

Wind Creek Bethlehem, for example, saw a nearly 26% decrease in revenue over last August, taking in $33.37 million in August 2020 compared to $44.98 million in August 2019.

Much of the statewide increase was in fantasy and sports betting. The Bethlehem based casino has not yet opened its sportsbook operations.

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, which does have a sportsbook, by comparison saw a more than 54% increase in August 2020 over August 2019. It took in $27.06 million this August compared to $17.56 last August.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National saw a 33% increase taking in $28.57 million in August 2020 compared to $21.47 in August 2019.

During the pandemic shutdown, many gamblers turned to online casinos for their gaming. Online gaming remained high for August, even with bricks and mortar casinos reopened.

New for many casinos over the last year, internet gaming slot revenue for August 2020 was $39.63 million as compared to $2.53 million in August 2019.

“Some gamblers appear to still be reluctant to visit casinos in person, and technology is bridging that gap,” Gouker said.

The following chart compiles all revenue generated in August 2020 by casinos along with fantasy contests and video gaming terminals operated by other vendors, and includes a comparison to total revenue generated last August:

Source August 2020 Total Revenue August 2019 Total Revenue % Change
Parx Casino $58,823,015 $54,971,659 7.01%
Rivers Casino Philadelphia $39,547,214 $28,342,493 39.53%
Wind Creek Bethlehem $33,374,754 $44,984,261 -25.81%
Hollywood Casino at Penn National $28,570,431 $21,467,866 33.08%
Valley Forge Casino Resort $27,752,508 $14,733,932 88.36%
Mount Airy Casino Resort $27,060,563 $17,557,534 54.13%
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh $24,802,872 $32,243,532 -23.08%
Harrah’s Philadelphia $20,421,591 $20,683,822 -1.27%
Mohegan Sun Pocono $19,500,220 $20,473,355 -4.75%
The Meadows Casino $15,354,159 $20,897,146 -26.53%
Presque Isle Downs and Casino $8,704,351 $12,216,447 -28.75%
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin $2,398,566 $3,417,186 -29.81%
Video Gaming Terminals $2,247,898 $56,221
Fantasy Contests $2,134,494 $1,388,631 53.71%
Live! Casino Philadelphia $25,091
Statewide Total $310,717,728 $293,434,087 5.89%


After one year, Pa. fantasy sports betting up 35 percent

Fantasy sports betting in Pennsylvania is up 35 percent after one year. –

One year after fantasy sports betting debuted in the state of Pennsylvania, revenue is up 35 percent.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is reporting that revenue for May 2019 was $1.8 million, up from $1.3 million in May 2018, the first month in which fantasy betting was allowed in the state.

Tax revenue collect from the play of fantasy contest for May was $270,458. Eight websites currently provide fantasy sports betting in the state.

Yahoo Fantasy Sports had the sharpest increase in revenue at 91 percent, taking in $8,463 in May, up from $4,430 in for the same month last year

Fantasy Draft saw the largest drop, taking in nearly 53 percent less revenue this May. It took in $1,176, down from $2,500 a year.

One provider, FastPick.com, reported $319 of revenue for May 2018 but stopped providing fantasy contests in the state in July 2018.

Participants in fantasy sports assemble teams based on real players in a particular sport, then the fantasy teams compete based on the statistical performance of players in real-life games.

Under state law, online fantasy-contest operators must be licensed by the gaming board and pay a 15 percent tax on the adjusted revenues from Pennsylvania players.

In the first full year of fantasy sports betting in the state, between May 2018 and April 2019, operators generated $22.54 million in revenue and $3.4 million in state tax revenue.

The 12 bricks-and-mortar casino operations the gaming board regulates bring in approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue per year.