ennsylvania reported a 1.8 percent annual increase in gambling revenue for the fiscal year ending June 30, boosted by last year’s launch of sports betting and fantasy sports contests. Gaming operators took in a record $3.3 billion last year, up about $60 million from the previous year, according to fiscal year-end (July 1 to June 30) figures released Thursday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Sports betting, which launched in November, accounted for $21.7 million in revenue last year. Fantasy sports contests, an online game where participants assemble teams of real players of a professional sport, launched in May 2018, took in $23.6 million last year.
State and local governments raked in $1.39 billion in tax revenue last year, compared with $1.34 million the previous year.
Slot machines at the state’s 12 casinos grew by $26 million and accounted for 72 percent of all gaming revenue last year, about $2.4 billion, up 1 percent from the previous year. Table games took in $886 million, down about 1 percent from previous year, shrinking by $10 million.
Though sports wagering is not expected to challenge traditional casino games for generating revenue, public officials and industry experts say the new offerings are a growth opportunity because they attract a new audience to casinos.
The May launch of online sports betting, as well as this week’s inauguration of internet casino betting, are expected to boost revenue in the coming year. The early results of online sports betting suggest there is a strong consumer interest, which should come as no surprise because New Jersey already reports that 80 percent of its sports bets are placed online, rather than in casinos.
SugarHouse Casino, the first casino to report a full month’s online sports wagering data, said that half of its $932,000 in sports-betting revenue in June came from online bettors, according to Gaming Board data released Thursday.
American Gaming Association figures show that revenue at Pennsylvania’s commercial casinos was No. 2 in the nation last year, second to Nevada. Pennsylvania is No. 1 in tax revenue from casino gambling.
Pennsylvania's sports betting industry got an expected boost in June from the first full month of online wagering, helping online and retail sportsbooks generate a record $46.3 million in bets during what is historically a slow month for sports betting. Pennsylvania's retail and online sportsbooks increased by nearly 30%, up from $35.9 million in May, according to official data released on Thursday. $19.3 million of those bets, about 42%, were made online.
SugarHouse Casino's online product generated $18.2 million in bets in its first full month, and the online launch of Rivers Casino ($848,520) and Parx Casino ($307,011) on June 27 combined to bring in $288,883 per day.
FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino, Harrah's Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National, and Presque Isle Downs are working to launch online sportsbooks this summer. And developers are working to comply with Apple's policy that requires the apps to be written in code native to the iOS system.
Online and retail bets yielded $3.1 million in revenue in June, up from $2.8 million in revenue in May, resulting in $740,455 in tax revenue.
In June, SugarHouse Casino's online launch helped propel it past Rivers Casino as the market leader. SugarHouse Casino took in $23.3 million in retail and online bets, up from $7.9 million in May, yielding $1.8 million in revenue, up from $711,845. Rivers, which still leads the retail market with $6.2 million in bets, accepted $7.1 million in online and retail wagers, down from $7.9 million in May.