Pennsylvania Gambling Revenue Hits All-Time High in 2019

  • 2019 earnings figure reached $3.41bn, showing a year-on-year rise of 4.5%
  • Parx led the way among casino establishments with a gambling income of $639m 
  • Online gambling launched in the state in July 2019, contributing a $33.6m profit
  • The first full year of sports betting in the state saw revenues of $84m
businessman observes rising trend on graph
Pennsylvania hit a new record for total annual gambling revenue in 2019, totaling $3.41bn across casinos, online gambling, and sports betting. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A record-breaking year

Pennsylvania published its gambling industry revenue figures for 2019, showing the best results to date. Casinos in the state saw record earnings, while the introduction of sports betting and online gambling also played a role in the success achieved.

a year-on-year rise of almost 4.5%

The report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) shows total gambling revenue of $3.41bn for 2019. This indicates a year-on-year rise of almost 4.5% over the $3.26bn figure reached in 2018.

December was a particularly strong month, showing a year-on-year increase of 3.4% and revenues that almost hit $292m.

The leaders among the casinos

Parx was the leading casino in Pennsylvania in terms of gambling income for 2019. It saw an annual increase of 6%, reaching $639.4m. In second place was the Wind Creek Bethlehem Casino with earnings of $522m, landing a similar result to 2018. In third place was the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, with a 9.34% annual revenue increase of up to $392m. 

The highest jumper for the year was the Valley Forge Casino Resort, which saw profits leap up by 28%. Breaking down the casino revenue, retail slots machine results dropped by just under 1% to $2.36bn. However, income from table games rose by 2.8% up to $903.6m.

Online gambling figures looking promising

Legal online gambling became a reality in Pennsylvania in July 2019. As seen in other states, most notably New Jersey, its legalization can be a significant driver of gambling revenue.

After launch, online gambling revenue figures stood at $33.6m for the rest of the year. This saw $20.9m coming from slots, $8.2m worth of table game earnings, and $4.4m of poker profits made.

Currently, the only online poker operator in the state is PokerStars, having launched its poker offering in November 2019.

The leader in online gambling revenue for the year was the Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, with $11.8m made. The Hollywood Casino was next, reaching just below $8m, followed by the Mount Airy Casino with a declared income of $7m. 

Legal sports betting yields positive results

The legal sportsbooks had their first full year of business in Pennsylvania in 2019, with sports betting revenue landing a total of $84m. There was a pretty even divide between retail and online betting. Digital earnings were $43m, while retail profits hit $41.1m. The total sports betting handle for the year nearly reached $1.5bn.

a pretty even divide between retail and online betting

The Valley Forge Casino came out on top with its partner FanDuel in the sports betting revenue stakes. It saw a handle of $570.7m and earnings hitting $24.6m, the majority of which came from its online operations. Next on the list was the Rivers Casino in Philadelphia, with a handle of $277m and a $15.5m revenue. 

Finally, the revenue deriving from fantasy sports in the state was almost $26m, representing a year-on-year increase of 69%. The video gaming terminals which launched in August only saw revenues of $2.3m. There are 20 facilities offering terminals, most of which are located at truck stops.