Pennsylvania is a candidate to be one of the next states to pass iGaming legislation, but a variety of competing factors make setting the odds for that outcome tricky business. This article considers some of the issues that impact that analysis.
Pennsylvania is the sixth largest state in the US, with an estimated population in 2011 of 12,742,886. In 2011, the median age of the Pennsylvania population was 40, with 21.7 percent of the population under the age of 18 and 15.6 percent aged 65 or older; the fourth highest among all 50 states.
Casino gambling in Pennsylvania quickly developed into big business after being authorized in 2004. Despite the fact that the first casino did not open until 2007, Pennsylvania, in 2012, took the number two position (out of 23 states) on the American Gaming Association’s list of state-by-state consumer spending on commercial gambling. It did so with a total consumer spend of $3.2 billion at the 11 land-based casinos then operating in the state. In 2013, although Pennsylvania maintained its number two spot, consumer spending on casino gambling dipped to $3.1 billion, even with 12 casinos in operation. Casino gambling is a big contributor to Pennsylvania’s general fund, and, therefore, to the state’s economy. Slots are taxed at 55 percent of gross gaming revenues, with 34 percent going to the state’s general fund; table games are taxed at 16 percent of gross gaming revenues, with 14 percent going to the state’s general fund.
Originally published in iGamingBusiness North America | Issue 11 | February/March 2014 | 17.
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