Gambling expansion has been moving at a steady pace in Pennsylvania as the state authorities are getting ready to add sports betting operations to their existing gambling sector. Ever since the Supreme Court lifted the gambling ban brought about by PASPA Act, the state lawmakers have worked extensively to add the sports betting option. They are looking forward to furthering expansions in the sector by allowing more mini-casinos and online gambling options.
The state authorities have also found a gap in the state budget and this year; they tried to compensate for the deficit using the proceeds from sports betting revenue. In May, when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA, the state already had 12 casino developers in operation.
At the end of the year, the state is focusing extensively on gambling expansion activities. These activities brought over $385 million to the state coffers, exceeding analysts’ expectations. A major portion was contributed via taxes while $94 million was accumulated via licensing alone. Daily Fantasy Sports brought an overall tax revenue of just $1.4 million but mini-casino auction profits generated about $128 million.
In September, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board allowed Rush Street Gambling an online gambling license, making it the first operator to receive permission to offer a full scale of gambling offerings in the state. The second such permission was given to the Hollywood Casino.
The Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, a part of the Penn National Gaming Group also received licenses. Penn National also filed an application for a mini casino in York Galleria Mall. A second such location for a satellite casino is being planned in the Berks County. William Hill is currently running the sports betting operations in the Hollywood Casino, but the state’s permanent sports betting lounge project could be finalized by 2019.
Gambling expansion in the state experienced extensive growth as Rutter’s chain stores applied for video gaming terminal (VGT) licenses. Each store can only operate a maximum of five such terminals. The gambling regulator greenlighted 23 truck-stop locations to launch these terminals in the first quarter of 2019.
After an eventful 2018, Pennsylvania is now moving ahead to offer a wide range of betting and gambling options to the users. Meanwhile, there are calls for federal regulation in the gambling sector which could be affecting the state’s market in the upcoming year.