Pennsylvania has posted a new record year for legal gambling, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), with revenue nearly a half billion dollars higher than the previous year. In calendar year 2022, the combined win of slot machines, table games, sports wagering, iGaming, video gaming terminals (VGTs) and fantasy contests totaled $5.2 billion, compared to $4.7 billion in 2021, making it the nation’s second-richest gaming state.
The hike in gambling win also resulted in record combined tax revenue production in 2022, at $2.1 billion, up from $1.9 billion in 2021. Most of it came from gross revenue from slot machines at the state’s casinos, by far the most profitable vertical at $2.4 billion in revenue, followed by iGaming ($1.4 billion), table games ($990.6 million), sports betting ($401.2 million) and VGTs and fantasy contests ($64.3 million).
Slot machine gaming posted a 4.5% increase in 2022 when compared to the $2.3 billion generated in 2021. Despite an almost 4% decrease in revenue, Parx Casino led the segment at $393.8 million in slot machine revenue, followed by Wind Creek Bethlehem ($272 million), Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($266.9 million), Mohegan Pennsylvania ($185 million), and Hollywood Casino at The Meadows ($162.8 million).
Retail table games revenue saw an even greater jump, increasing 7.1% year-over-year. Wind Creek Bethlehem dominated this vertical at $243.7 million and a massive 31.6% hike, followed by Parx Casino ($204.9 million, 1.4% down), Live! Casino Philadelphia ($100.4 million), Rivers Casino Philadelphia ($98.2 million, 3% down), and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($88.2 million).
Live! Casino Philadelphia
Last year was a great one for sports wagering as well, which posted both increases in revenue and handle. Revenue jumped by almost 18% to $401.2 million, while the total amount of bets, both retail and online, was $7.2 billion, a 10.7% increase from 2021. Valley Forge Casino Resort was the vertical’s leader, posting $210 million in revenue, thanks to an almost 40% increase. Hollywood Casino at The Meadows placed second at $76.2 million in revenue, and Hollywood Casino at Penn National was third at $21.6 million.
iGaming delivered an even better year, with its revenue increasing by 22.6% to $1.4 billion, produced by 10 online gaming operators. Hollywood Casino at Penn National placed first here, with $561.2 million in revenue, followed by Rivers Casino Philadelphia ($326.4 million) and Valley Forge Casino Resort ($255.5 million).
VGTs at truck stops, which at the end of the year amounted to 66 VGT facilities across the state, posted a 5.6% increase in revenue at $42 million. Meanwhile, fantasy contests was the only vertical to post a drop in revenue from the prior year: the segment saw almost 24% less in revenue than in 2021, amounting to $22.3 million.
The record-setting figure places Pennsylvania as the nation’s second-richest gaming state for 2022, by a slim margin. With Nevada being the long-time top state for gambling in the US, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have been competing for the second-best over the past few years – an achievement that now belongs to the Keystone State.
Pennsylvania has managed to edge New Jersey, which also posted its revenue report for the year this week, by a very slim $28K revenue margin. While the Garden State managed to retain its runner-up status in 2021, Pennsylvania has now finally unseated its neighboring rival: New Jersey posted $5,211,272,456 in gaming revenue and Pennsylvania delivered $5,211,303,191, a $28,735 difference in favor of the Keystone State.
Gaming revenue continues to grow in Pennsylvania thanks to the 2017 Expanded Gaming Act, which authorized online gaming, sports wagering, fantasy sports and VGTs. It also created additional “mini-casino” opportunities for operating land-based properties. And looking to the future, Pennsylvania seems poised for further growth.
Existing casinos across the commonwealth have, since the onset of the pandemic, spent about $250 million on renovations to attract more visitors. These investments have primarily been in new construction and amenities, with an eye toward attracting younger gamblers: PA casinos are seeking to reinvent themselves to remain competitive, and it seems to be paying off.
Rendering for upcoming Parx Casino Shippensburg
But in addition to improving already operating properties, gaming interests are also looking at the prospects of opening new casinos. Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment is set to debut Cumberland County’s first casino next month, Parx Casino Shippensburg. It will become Pennsylvania’s fourth Category 4 – “mini-casino” – property.
Category 4 properties are allowed to operate 300-750 slot machines and a maximum of 30 table games, and are not allowed to be within 25 of Pennsylvania's Category 1, 2, or 3 casinos. Parx Casino will officially open its doors on February 3. According to the property's website, the casino will feature 500 slot machines, 48 electronic table game positions, restaurants, and bars.
An online gaming expansion is also in the works. Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board re-opened its bidding process for iGaming operator licenses. Qualified Gaming Entities can seek to offer internet-based slots machines, table games, and poker, through a petition window opened between January 3 and March 3, 2023.
A Qualified Gaming Entity has the ability to obtain one or more of the three categories of iGaming certificates that remain available in the Commonwealth, and can operate online without having any ties to a Pennsylvania casino. This is the board’s second time making iGaming certificates available to entities without a physical presence in Pennsylvania.