Pennsylvania signs off a particularly good year as the state remains on track to expand its gambling industry. Over the past few months, additions have been made to this platform, and recently – following the US Supreme Court’s decision to lift the federal ban on sports betting services – the state has added sportsbook services to the mix.
Pennsylvania Introduces Online Gambling
One of the most dramatic changes seen in Pennsylvania’s online gambling landscape was the legalization of online casinos. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board continues to give its blessing to operators seeking licenses to offer online casino games, online poker and online sports betting, although these platforms haven’t yet gone live. The first operator to be granted a license to roll out a full suite of online casino options was Rush Street Gaming. Next was Penn National Gaming Group via its Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association to offer online gambling at Hollywood Casino.
Sports Betting Comes to Pennsylvania
By the time that the US Supreme Court ruled to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, paving the way for states to decide on the fate of their own sports betting industries, Pennsylvania was already armed with updated legislation.
The first facility to start operating a sportsbook in Pennsylvania was Hollywood Casino in November. In the first report published by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, covering the second two weeks of November when only Hollywood Casino was part of the sportsbook industry, it was shown that the casino had handled $1,414,586.55 worth of bets. After payouts, the adjusted gross for Hollywood Casino was just over half a million dollars.
Since December, another two casinos have come into the sports betting fold, namely the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. In the next monthly report issued by the gambling regulator, the revenue from these two facilities will be indicated.
A Lucrative Industry
Thanks to the changes made from the end of 2017 and throughout 2018, Pennsylvania has already managed to bring in close to $400 million. Most of this money comes from licensing paid by operators for the right to provide online casino, poker and sports book. As the industry evolves and heads into 2019, it is expected that Pennsylvania will benefit even more through taxation.