Gambling trends

Pennsylvania: Study shows surge in iGaming participation, higher spending among online gamblers

Reading time 1:48 min

Pennsylvania's online casino market has experienced a surge in participation, with resident adults showing increased engagement in online gambling activities, according to a recent study funded by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The "Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment: Online Gambling Report 2023," conducted by Penn State University in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), sheds light on the evolving dynamics of online gambling within the state.

Key findings from the study indicate an uptick in online casino participation among Pennsylvanians, with the percentage of residents engaging in online gambling rising to 16% in 2023. This marks an increase of five percentage points compared to previous years.

Among the takeaways from the study is the observation that online gamblers tend to exhibit higher levels of gambling activity compared to their counterparts who frequent brick-and-mortar casinos. Gamblers who played online casinos gamble significantly more than those who gambled in person at casinos, the report says.

The study found that those who gamble online and in person spend around $708 a month and those who gamble exclusively offline (in person) spend around $103 per month. Additionally, those who gamble online and in person gamble up to three times more than offline-only gamblers.

The rise in online casino participation has been attributed to various factors, including the expansion of game offerings by operators and the introduction of new gaming platforms. Recent initiatives by operators such as BetMGM Casino, which recently launched a series of new games by Play’n GO this month, and Fanatics going live with its product contribute to diversifying the gaming options available to residents.

Financial data provided by the PGCB also indicates an increase in online casino revenue, with online casinos generating a total of $2.1 billion in revenue in 2023. This represents an uptick of around $800 million over 2022 and 2021.

Despite the positive growth trends, the study also highlights concerns regarding problem gambling behavior among online casino participants. Analysis of problem gambling traits reveals higher prevalence rates among individuals who engage in online gambling, with a notable increase in calls to the state's problem gambling hotline related to online casino gambling.

According to the study, just over 50% of those who gambled online and in person displayed at least one problem gambling trait. Meanwhile, around 40% of online-only gamblers and 16% of offline-only gamblers showed at least one problem gambling trait.

Furthermore, demographic insights from the study indicate that online casino gambling tends to attract a predominantly young male audience, with the average age of online-only gamblers estimated at 33 years. More than 75% of those who only gamble through online casinos were male.

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