Pa. gaming revenue reaches record high

Hollywood Casino at Penn National generated a state-high $80,928,428 in total revenue in March 2023 as monthly Pennsylvania gaming revenue exceeded a half billion dollars for the first time. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported Tuesday that the combined total revenue generated from all forms of gaming, together with fantasy contests in March 2023 was $515,278,831. The total represented an increase of 11.35% over the $462,740,098 in revenue generated in March 2022. 

The March 2023 monthly revenue amount exceeded the half billion mark for the first time since gambling was legalized in 2006. 

Slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and video gaming terminals (VGTs) are the sources of gaming revenue regulated by the PGCB. 

“After a slower month of February, Pennsylvania sportsbooks saw plenty of betting action again in March, recording more than $723.5 million in handle last month,”  said in a statement. 

March Madness betting has played a role in getting sports betting figures back to where they were during the NFL season. March’s handle was up around $124 million from February and increased about 1.2% compared to March 2022.” 

Hollywood Casino at Penn National’s total revenue in March increased by 27.02% over the $63,711,802 generated in March 2022. 

Also in central Pennsylvania, Hollywood Casino Morgantown generated $9,472,589 in revenue in March 2023, Hollywood Casino York $9,390,319, and Parx Shippensburg $3,065,542. In the Lehigh Valley, Wind Creek in Bethlehem generated $47,247,055 in revenue in March 2023. 

According to the PGCB, March’s revenue from slot machines was $225,408,088, a 4.98% increase in revenue over the $214,721,028 from March 2022. 

Retail Table games revenue for March 2023 decreased, with revenue of $85,880,299 indicating a drop of 8.91% from March 2022 when revenue was $94,280,351. 

March 2023 saw casino games deliver online generated gross revenue that showed an increase of 25.46%, $148,189,028 compared to $118,118,408 in March 2022. 

The total sports wagering handle in March 2023 increased to $723,545,806, a 1.20% rise above the $714,976,578 from March 2022 total. The taxable revenue figure for March 2023 of $50,645,259 represented a 66.59% higher than the March 2022 revenue of $30,400,581. 

Imperiale said Pennsylvania online casinos continue to set records within the country. 

“In March, they once again posted a new all-time, all-market US iGaming record by producing $181.5 million in monthly revenue. The incredible showing overshadowed their previous best from December 2022 (166.9 million) by around 8.8%, growing about 27.2% year-over-year,” he said. 

“This latest record month helped push the state past the $500 billion mark in monthly revenue from all forms of March gambling. This is the first time Pennsylvania has exceeded this number.”

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

Turnpike toll rates to rise 5% in 2023

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission approved a 5% toll increase next year for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers that will take effect Jan. 8, 2023.

The most common toll for a passenger vehicle will climb from $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers. For a Class-5 tractor trailer, the most common toll will rise from $13.70 to $14.40 for E-ZPass and from $28 to $29.40 for Toll By Plate.

“The PTC has been forced to increase tolls annually through the foreseeable future to meets its financial obligations under Act 44 of 2007,” Turnpike Commission Chairman Mark Compton said in a release. “It’s worth noting that, even with these ongoing annual increases, our per-mile toll rate continues to be below the midline compared with rates of other U.S. tolling agencies.”

In the 15 years since Act 44 went into effect, the Turnpike has transferred nearly $8 billion to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the vast majority of which was in the form of borrowing (issuance of bond debt) that must be repaid by the Turnpike Commission over 30 years.

“As an organization, I am proud of the fact that we work hard to manage the debt placed upon us by making prudent borrowing decisions and restricting operating-budget growth,” Compton said. “While we are now essentially free from this onerous Act 44 commitment, we must continue to honor the debt-service obligations for 30 years. But a measure of relief is under way, and motorists can expect the level of increases to ease in a few years.”

Based on traffic and revenue projections, the Turnpike Commission’s plan calls for toll increases of 5% through 2025, 4% in 2026, 3.5% in 2027 and 3% annually from 2028 to 2050.

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.”

Pennsylvania sees record revenue for April

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the state saw record revenue for the month of April. 

Pennsylvania collected $6.5 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $1.8 billion, or 38.7 percent, over estimate, and the most tax revenue ever collected in a single month.  

Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $40.7 billion, which is $4.5 billion, or 12.4 percent, above estimate. 

“After this month’s collections, Pennsylvania revenues are so far ahead of estimate that we already have the money in the bank to pay for the historic investment I want to make in K-12 education, as well as the Corporate Net Income Tax cut and reforms I have proposed to bolster Pennsylvania businesses,” said Gov. Wolf. “Frankly, the most irresponsible thing we can do right now is hoard this money when we should use it to help lower costs for Pennsylvanians. I want to make a historic investment in education so local districts have the ability to lower property taxes and reduce and reform the Corporate Net Income Tax to make Pennsylvania a hub for innovative businesses that will drive further economic growth. I also want to use our state’s federal American Rescue Plan dollars to put money in Pennsylvanians’ pockets right now.” 

When Gov. Wolf took office, he said Pennsylvania was operating with a $2-3 billion budget deficit, and the Rainy Day Fund had fallen to a mere $231,800. 

Today, the Rainy Day Fund contains a record $2.8 billion – more than 12,000 times what it was when Gov. Wolf took office. 

Sales tax receipts totaled $1.2 billion for April, $120.7 million above estimate. Year-to-date sales tax collections total $11.5 billion, which is $888.5 million, or 8.4 percent, more than anticipated. 

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in April was $4.1 billion, $1.4 billion above estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $15.4 billion, which is $2.1 billion, or 15.4 percent, above estimate.         

April corporation tax revenue of $676.1 million was $306.4 million above estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $5.8 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 23.7 percent, above estimate. 

Inheritance tax revenue for the month was $133.0 million, $22.0 million above estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $1.3 billion, which is $144.2 million, or 12.5 percent, above estimate. 

Realty transfer tax revenue was $77.6 million for April, $25.9 million above estimate, bringing the fiscal-year total to $701.8 million, which is $140.0 million, or 24.9 percent, more than anticipated. 

Other General Fund tax revenue, including cigarette, malt beverage, liquor and gaming taxes, totaled $39.8 million for the month, $13.8 million below estimate and bringing the year-to-date total to $1.4 billion, which is $19.7 million, or 1.4 percent, above estimate. 

Non-tax revenue totaled $230.6 million for the month, $4.0 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $4.6 billion, which is $122.3 million, or 2.7 percent, above estimate. 

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $247.2 million for the month, $36.1 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund – which include the commonly known gas and diesel taxes, as well as other license, fine and fee revenues – total $2.3 billion, which is $19.5 million, or 0.8 percent, above estimate. 


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. 

With COVID-19 shutdown, Pennsylvania casino revenue down 22% in 2020

COVID-19 meant no sports to wager on and no casinos to gamble in for most of 2020, leading to a large drop in gaming revenue in Pennsylvania last year.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, casino closure days totaled 1,473 in 2020, or 33% of the number of days the 13 casinos would have been operating in a normal year.

That led to 22.24% drop in gaming revenues in 2020.

The combined revenue of slot machine, table games, sports wagering, online, video gaming terminals and fantasy contests totaled $2.65 billion in 2020 compared to $3.41 billion in 2019.

However, with people stuck at home, the shutdown did lead to a boom in online gaming.

Internet gaming revenue in Pennsylvania for 2020 was $565.8 million for the year, up drastically from the $33.6 million in internet gaming in 2019 – the first year online gambling was allowed in the state.

Wind Creek had a more than 47% decline in slots revenue, taking in $150.8 million in 2020 compared to $284.9 million in 2019.

The Bethlehem casino’s table game revenue for the year was down more than 56% at $104 million, down from $237.2 million in 2019.

Wind Creek was closed for 122 days during 2020.

In Mount Pocono, Mount Airy Casino resort took in $103.1 million in slot revenue in 2020, down 28% from the $144 million it took in during 2019.

Table game revenue there was $27.6 million in 2020, down 27% from the $38.1 million it took in during 2019.

Mount Airy was closed for 116 days.

Most major sports were shut down for a number of months during the peak of the pandemic in 2020, but as a new source of gaming revenue, casinos that offered sports wagering did see an increase in revenue, with wagering only available during the final months of 2019.

Overall, the state’s casinos that had sportsbooks took in $189.7 million in sports wagering revenue, much lower than the numbers that were expected if the regular sports schedule had taken place.

Mount Airy Casino resort had a jump of 371.6 percent taking in $10.6 million in sports wagering revenue for 2020.

Wind Creek did not have sports wagering until the end of 2020.