Pennsylvania gaming revenue hits $5 billion; skill games market sends a message

Advocates hope skill games are regulated further in 2023

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported Wednesday that the combined fiscal year 2021/2022 revenue figures, which runs from July 1 to June 30, reached a record level over $5 billion.

It was the first-time overall revenue for games topped $5 billion during a fiscal year, PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole told the board during the meeting on Wednesday.

“This is the first time we have reached that plateau,” O’Toole said.

He continued saying, “The success during this fiscal year of generating gaming revenue has resulted in gaming taxes to the commonwealth of $2.05 billion.” The previous high for gaming revenue and tax revenue in a fiscal year was during 2020/2021 with $3.87 billion and $1.59 billion respectively.

The board noted that the overall revenue increase from the previous high fiscal year can be attributed to a record high in revenue for table games, along with continued growth in the sports wagering, iGaming and Video Gaming Terminal (VGT) markets.

An estimated 68% of the gaming revenue came from slot machines and the table games that operate at Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos.

Land-Based Casinos

Land-based casinos also reached some milestones, O’Toole reported. Slot machine revenue totaled $2.41 billion this past fiscal year. The highest total in the past nine years. This is a 27.69% increase in revenue when compared to the $1.8 billion generated in fiscal year 2020/21.

Table game revenue exceeded $1 billion during a single fiscal year for the first time since table games were launched in July 2010. In total, table games generated $1.05 billion in fiscal year 21/22, a 40.73% increase in revenue when compared to the $721 million generated in fiscal year 2020/21.

Fiscal year 2021/22 revenue from iGaming, or Pennsylvania online casino gaming, was $1.2 billion, a 37.35% increase in revenue when compared to the $897 million generated in fiscal year 2020/21.

Fiscal year 2021/22 revenue from PA sports wagering was $316 million, a 2.22% increase in revenue when compared to the $308 million generated in fiscal year 2020/21.

Fiscal year 2021/22 revenue for Video Gaming Terminals at truck stops was $41,5 million, a 32.71% increase compared to the $31 million in fiscal year 2020/21.

At the end of this fiscal year, there were 65 VGT facilities operating in Pennsylvania compared to 50 facilities in operation at the end of fiscal year 2020/2021.

Fiscal year 2021/22 revenue from fantasy contests was $27 million, a 3.11% decrease in revenue when compared to the $28 million generated in fiscal year 2020/21.

Skill Games Developer Sends a Message

The leading developer of skill games, Pace-O-Matic, says its gaming terminals also experienced an increase in activity just as casinos have in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“The casino industry has opposed skill games and our efforts to achieve further regulation and taxation, saying skill games are hurting their profits,” said Mike Barley, spokesman for Pace-O-Matic.

After the PGCB’s fiscal year revenue numbers were released this week, Barley said, “These record profits are further proof that casinos, lottery and skill games can coexist and all succeed to the benefit of Pennsylvanians. This increase took place at the same time Pace-O-Matic has also experienced growth.”

Barley says the positive numbers debunk casino companies’ arguments. “At the same time, the market for Pennsylvania Skill games has grown, supporting even more small business, fraternal, veteran and social clubs. This is proof that the rising tide lifts all boats.”

Pennsylvania Skill, which has been operating legal games of skill across the commonwealth for several years, is actively supporting measures to impose additional taxes. Their games can be found in restaurants, bars and fraternal clubs.

“At a reasonable tax rate, skill games could provide more than $250 million in recurring annual revenue to the commonwealth while providing critical supplemental income to Pennsylvania small businesses,” Barley said.

Proponents of legal skill games, including Pennsylvania small businesses and fraternal clubs, ask state lawmakers to pass legislation in 2023 to regulate the games further and provide additional tax revenue to the commonwealth.

Political Editor

Keith Stein is a freelance journalist based in Virginia. He has experience in freelance writing, full-time journalism and supporting monthly and weekly news publications. He has also worked as a contributing writer with United Press International.