Pa. revenue increased more than $51 million in April

Pennsylvania’s revenue for April increased $51.1 million to $5.7 billion, Acting Revenue Secretary Pat Browne reported Monday. 

The amount was 0.9% above estimate. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $37.9 billion, which is $1.2 billion or 3.3% more than anticipated. 

Sales tax receipts totaled $1.2 billion for the month, $43.1 million above estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $11.7 billion, which is $227.6 million, or 2.0%, more than anticipated. 

April’s personal income tax (PIT) revenue was $2.9 billion, $322.0 million below estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $14.9 billion, which is $406.4 million, or 2.7%, below what was anticipated.

The corporation tax revenue of $992.1 million for the month was $261.3 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $7.2 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 18.7%, above expectations.

April’s inheritance tax revenue totaled $118.7 million, $5.5 million more than anticipated, bringing the year-to-date total to $1.3 billion, which is $36.4 million, or 3.0%, above estimate.

Realty transfer tax revenue was $41.9 million for the month, $21.8 million below estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $528.9 million, which is $95.4 million, or 15.3%, less than expected.

Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes, totaled $61.9 million for April, $18.5 million more than expected. This brings the year-to-date total to $1.4 billion, which is $12.6 million, or 0.9%, above estimate.

The non-tax revenue for the month totaled $310 million, $66.4 million more than expected, bringing the year-to-date total to $986.2 million, which is $286.8 million, or 41%, above estimate.

Along with General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $291 million for April, which was $4.5 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $2.4 billion, which is $66 million, or 2.8%, more than anticipated. 

Lehigh lawmaker looks to make esports available to all Pa. students

Electronic sports (esports) are introducing students in high school and higher education to careers in gaming, software, and STEM-related jobs, and a Lehigh lawmaker looks to make esports accessible to every student across the state. 

Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, was part of a roundtable discussion held Wednesday by the House Majority Policy Committee to learn more about the billion-dollar industry and its impact on the state’s economy and education. While esports teams exist throughout Pennsylvania at the high school level, the cost of these programs includes thousands of dollars in equipment and supervisors and poses challenges to economically disadvantaged school districts. 

Schlossberg has authored legislation to create a sustainable funding stream to support extracurricular programs for students across the state. 

“At first glance, esports might look like only video games, but one of the greatest aspects of extracurricular activities is to create an atmosphere where students build friendships and learn outside a classroom,” Schlossberg said in a statement. “Esports not only provides those opportunities, but it also exposes students to new digital technology and presents the possibility – like traditional sports – for students to earn college scholarships.”

Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Philadelphia, said esports can provide the spark that encourages academic and emotional development in students.

“One of the most exciting aspects about esports, for me as a legislator and Latino, is its potential for an equitable solution to our strikingly low number of Black and Hispanic workers in STEM-related careers,” said Burgos, chairman of the Policy Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People.

“Esports attract a diverse group of students, regardless of race or gender, and it has proven itself as a gateway into encouraging young people to pursue STEM education as well as STEM-related careers.”

Developing familiarity with digital technology at a young age is another aspect of esports. Studies show that Black youth make up the largest portion of the gaming teenage community, yet Black workers account for only 9% of the jobs in STEM-related fields.

“Esports offer students another chance to interact and learn alongside their peers,” said House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. “It also has the potential to bring together a diverse group of students, and it encourages an interest and understanding of the science and digital technology being used at their fingertips. Esports also offer a tremendous economic opportunity for Pennsylvania.”

During the roundtable discussion, the House Majority Policy Committee heard from experts and business leaders on the esports industry and its potential positive effects on Pennsylvania’s economy and workforce.

State gaming revenue up 4.6% in November

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported that total revenue from all forms of gaming along with fantasy contests during November was $452,357,922, an increase of 4.59% over the year before.

Sources of gaming revenue regulated by the board include slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests and video gaming terminals.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National generated the most revenue: $71,231,136, up 18.53% from last November.

Hollywood Casino York brought in $7,724,232, an increase of 8.2%.

Total tax revenue raised through all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was $181,826,409 in November.

Gross revenue from slot machines was $185,562,394, about the same as a year ago.

Casino games offered online produced gross revenue of $128,639,234 during November, an increase of 37.01%. That was the highest monthly amount of revenue to date.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees all aspects of gambling involving 16 land-based casinos, online casino games, retail and online sports wagering, and video gaming terminals at qualified truck stops, along with the regulation of online fantasy sports contests.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Pa. has record year for gaming revenue

Pennsylvania’s casinos had a record year for fiscal year 2021-22. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported that gaming took in $5,042,967,392 in revenue.  

It was the first-time overall revenue for games topped $5 billion during a fiscal year.  

The combined tax revenue from these games during the fiscal year will also top $2 billion for the first time. The estimated amount, prior to any adjustments by the PA Department of Revenue is $2,052,630,568.  

The previous high for gaming revenue and tax revenue in a fiscal year was during 2020/2021 was $3.87 billion and $1.59 billion respectively.  

The board notes said the overall revenue increase from the previous high fiscal year can be attributed to a record high in revenue for table games, along with continued growth in the Sports Wagering, iGaming and Video Gaming Terminal markets. 

Fiscal Year 2021/22 gross revenue from slot machines at the casinos was $2,410,313,212 a 27.69% increase in revenue when compared to the $1,887,573,437 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. 

Gross revenue from table games at the casinos was $1,015,735,661, a 40.73% increase in revenue when compared to the $721,763,471 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21, a record for a fiscal year. 

Revenue from iGaming was an $1,232,309,138, a 37.35% increase in revenue when compared to the $897,216,020 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21, a record high for a fiscal year. 

Revenue from sports wagering was $315,716,247, a 2.22% increase in revenue when compared to the $308,849,184 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. That’s a high mark for a fiscal year. 

Revenue for Video Gaming Terminals at Truck Stops was $41,584,158 an 32.71% increase in compared to the $31,334,744 in Fiscal Year 2020/21 also a record high. However, at the end of this fiscal year, there were 65 VGT facilities operating in Pennsylvania compared to 50 facilities in operation at the end of Fiscal Year 2020/2021. 

There was one drop. Revenue from fantasy contests was $27,308,782, a 3.11% decrease in revenue when compared to the $28,186,529 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. 

Esports get boost from Mike and Ike candy

Mike and Ike chewy candy brand, manufactured by Bethlehem-based Just Born Quality Confections, announced three esports collaborations, teaming up with Team Liquid, Esports Arena and Team Dignitas to give amateur gamers an opportunity to compete among some of the best players in North America.

In partnership with Mike and Ike, Team Liquid is starting “The Next Wave.” The Team Liquid Scouting Combine will host tournaments judged by gaming pros and content creators, giving prospective gamers a chance to win a $25,000 prize pool for top finishers and earn a spot on Team Liquid.

· Mike and Ike will be an official sponsor of Esports Arena, starting this month. A premier spot for amateur gamers, Esports Arena has 18 locations in Walmart supercenters across the country, with plans for expansion. Mike and Ike will be also support a team in the Series E competition for semi-professional gamers, a steppingstone for aspiring players to be drafted onto branded teams and compete professionally.

· Lastly, Mike and Ike is becoming the official candy partner of the Dignitas Fortnite Team, which is full of fan-favorite players including Piero “pgod” Ramirez. The collaboration is kicking off this month, bringing Fortnite fans a new “Sweet Plays” TikTok series, an “In The Mix” video series on YouTube, and the Fortnite Flavor Brawl Powered by Mike and Ike.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Pa. gaming revenue up 22% in the first quarter

First-quarter commercial gaming revenue surged 22.3% in Pennsylvania over last year and 52.6% from two years ago, as the nationwide total of $14.31 billion nearly set a quarterly record.

That’s according to the American Gaming Association’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker, which reported that the Q1 figure was just under the all-time quarterly record of $14.35 billion set from October to December 2021.

A big part of 2022’s first-quarter number was the $5.31 billion generated in March, the highest-grossing month of commercial gaming revenue in industry history.

In Pennsylvania, revenue was almost $1.278 billion from Jan. 1 to March 31.

Nationwide, first-quarter revenue from table games grew at a faster rate year-over-year (42.7%) compared with slot revenue (19.4%), bouncing back from the COVID-19 restrictions on table games at the beginning of 2021.

“Consumers continue to seek out gaming’s entertainment options in record numbers,” Bill Miller, the American Gaming Association’s president and CEO, said in a release. “Q1’s strong results build on the industry’s record year in 2021 despite continued headwinds from supply chain constraints, labor shortages and the impact of soaring inflation.”

Penn National Gaming earnings set quarterly record

Wyomissing-based Penn National Gaming Inc. reported record first-quarter revenue of $1.56 billion, a jump of 22.7% over last year.

The company’s adjusted EBITDAR (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and restructuring or rent costs) of $494.7 million in the three months ending March 31 also set a record.

A leading provider of integrated entertainment, sports content and casino gaming experiences, Penn National Gaming operates 44 properties in 20 states, online sports betting in 13 jurisdictions and iCasino in five, under a portfolio of brands including Hollywood Casino.

Jay Snowden, president and CEO, said in a release, “These results reflect our continued progress in meeting our strategic objectives. We are growing our active mychoice database and are seeing early benefits from our technology investments. We are also driving momentum at our interactive segment with ongoing sports betting and iCasino growth in the U.S., and the successful launch of mobile sports betting and iCasino in Ontario on April 4 on theScore’s proprietary player account management system and bonusing engine.”

Based on the strength of this first quarter performance, he said, Penn National Gaming is increasing its 2022 revenue and adjusted EBITDAR guidance range from $6.15 billion to $6.55 billion and $1.875 billion to $2 billion, respectively.

“We remain encouraged by the ongoing visitation from younger demographics and are focused on continuing to reimagine our properties and offerings to enhance the entertainment appeal to this steadily growing segment of consumers,” Snowden added.

Gaming and Leisure Properties reports income growth, expanding portfolio

Wyomissing-based Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. announced total revenue of $315 million in the first three months of 2022, up from $301.5 million a year ago.

“Our solid first-quarter financial results reflect our ongoing initiatives to expand the company’s high-quality, top-performing regional gaming portfolio managed by the industry’s leading operators,” Peter Carlino, chairman and CEO of Gaming and Leisure Properties, said in a release.

Game and Leisure Properties’ main business consists of acquiring, financing and owning real estate property to be leased to gaming operators in triple-net lease arrangements.

In the first quarter, the company completed acquisition of the land and real estate assets of Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia and Live! Casino Pittsburgh from The Cordish Cos. This followed on the heels of new lease and partnership agreements completed with Cordish in the fourth quarter of 2021 where Gaming and Leisure Properties acquired the land and real estate assets of Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland and created a new partnership with Cordish for future casino developments and potential financing arrangements with Cordish in other areas.

The second quarter of 2022 began with the acquisition from Bally’s Corp. of the land and real estate assets of its three casinos in Black Hawk, Colorado, as well as Bally’s Quad Cities Casino & Hotel in Rock Island, Illinois.

As of March 31, Gaming and Leisure Properties’ portfolio consisted of interests in 53 gaming and related facilities.

Pennsylvania gaming industry reports revenue for January 2022 

Pennsylvania’s gaming and fantasy contests brought in over $393 million in revenue in January 2022, a 26% increase over January 2021. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported the combined total revenue generated from all forms of gaming in January 2021 last week. 

The report includes a list of Pennsylvania casinos and their revenue in January. It also compares those earnings with January 2021. 

Casinos listed in the report include Hollywood Casino at Penn National in Dauphin County, which had a total revenue of $57.2 million in January 2022 and $43.5 million in January 2021—a change of 31.36%. 

Wind Creek Bethlehem brought in a total revenue of $38.4 million last month compared to $26.3 million in January 2021- a jump of 46.17%. 

Others included Hollywood Casino York, which brought in $6.6 million last month and had no recorded revenue in January 2021 and Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which saw a 965.71% increase from $414,300 to $4.4 million. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also reported record-breaking revenue from Internet Casino Type Gaming of $108.3 million—eclipsing October 2021’s previous record of $102.8 million. 

Fantasy Contests, which include betting on platforms such as DraftKings, FanDuel and Underdog Sports, made $2.8 million in revenue in January. 

Pennsylvania’s land-based casino industry is currently made up of six racetrack casinos, five stand-alone casinos, two resort casinos and three mini casinos. Two additional mini casinos are planned for completion in the coming years. 

Penn National begins hiring for Hollywood Casino Morgantown

Artist rendering of the planned Hollywood Casino Morgantown. PHOTO/FILE –

Penn National Gaming Inc. Of Wyomissing will be bringing 375 new jobs to Berks County by the end of the year. 

The company, which operates casinos around the country, announced Tuesday that it  has opened a career center at the Holiday Inn Morgantown at 6170 Morgantown Rd., and is accepting applications for positions at its planned Hollywood Casino Morgantown, which is expected to open by the end of 2021. 

“We are thrilled to begin accepting applications for our newest property from residents of Berks, Lancaster, and Montgomery counties, and other neighboring communities,” said Erin Chamberlin, senior vice president of regional operations for Penn National. “We look forward to interviewing candidates for the vast array of jobs that will support our expected grand opening later this year.” 

The company will also be hosting a number of table games dealer school open house hiring events over the next two weeks at the career center. Table games dealer school is expected to start in late September and is free of charge for those who accept employment offers from the company. 

Positions will also be available in casino operations, food and beverage, security and surveillance, human resources, marketing and other positions. 

Penn National said it is offering competitive pay, benefits and up to $1,500 in sign-on bonuses for new hires. 

When complete the Hollywood Casino Morgantown will be an 80,000-square-foot gaming facility that will feature approximately 750 slot machines and 30 tables games. 

There will also be a Barstool Sportsbook and race book, and food and beverage options.