A year after the Pennsylvania gambling expansion legislation was signed into law, figures show that a much-needed $389 million has been added to the state coffers.

Pennsylvania's new gambling laws

Market analysis data by the PlayUSA Network provided a detailed breakdown of the revenue generated for 2018. Much of the extra money for this year has come from licencing fees as operators jostle for position in Pennsylvania's lucrative market.

Cash started rolling in back in January with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board holding auctions for licencing rights to operate mini, satellite casinos. This process alone raised $128 million. Additional fees came from interactive gaming licences ($98 million), casino operators licences ($78 million) and application for sports betting licences ($60 million).

A little over $23 million was pulled in from online lottery games, keno and virtual sports. However, these only went live in the middle part of the year, so it's fair to expect larger gains in 2019. Lastly, a bit of tax was raked in, namely $1.4 million from daily fantasy sports operators and $800 thousand from land-based slot machines.

Will there be bigger gains in 2019?

With a staggering $364 million amassed in licencing fees during 2018, the short-term budget boost is undeniable. Yet, it's unclear of the revenue that will be generated in 2019 and beyond.

Pennsylvania's gambling taxes are among the highest around and operator licences are not cheap either. Both of these factors could possibly limit the growth of the industry. However, the outlook is definitely optimistic.

So far, only a sportsbook powered by UK gambling giant William Hill has gone live at the Hollywood Casino. Other venues, which include SugarHouse and Parx Casino, are expected very soon.


Yet, it's the eagerly awaited online sector that is generating the most buzz. Sportsbooks and iGaming will be coming online throughout the first half of 2019, and the satellite casino operations will be in full swing by that stage, too.

It's a very exciting time ahead as customers will be treated to far more choice than ever before. Will this gamble pay off for the state budget in the long term? Let's wait to find out.

Last update: 30-09-2019
Regulations and Laws