Posted on: January 21, 2022, 10:18h.
Last updated on: January 21, 2022, 10:18h.
The Pennsylvania gaming industry experienced an unprecedented year in 2021, as gross gaming revenue (GGR) from all verticals totaled in excess of $4.73 billion.
Slot players test their luck on Quick Hit machines at Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Western Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania gaming industry won more than $4.7 billion off of gamblers in 2021. (Image: Associated Press)
Pennsylvania greatly expanded its gaming market in 2017 by authorizing an array of new sectors, including iGaming, sports betting, and satellite casinos. Four years later, the widespread authorization of casino gambling and other games of chance is paying off for the state.
The $4.73 billion haul is an impressive 39 percent increase on Pennsylvania’s previous all-time GGR mark of $3.41 billion set in 2019. Last year’s total gaming revenue is more than $2 billion better than the $2.65 billion the industry won in 2020.
The record play provided record tax revenue for the state. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reports that the commonwealth collected $1.93 billion from casino gaming last year.
There are 16 brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the commonwealth. Along with internet casinos and mobile sports betting, there were 60 truck stops with video gaming terminals (VGTs) as of the end of 2021.
iGaming Soars, Retail Lags
Pennsylvania’s record gaming year was due to the expanded gaming, specifically online operations.
GGR from internet slots, table games, and poker fees totaled $1.12 billion. Penn National Gaming, the oldest gaming operator in Pennsylvania that today operates three Hollywood-branded land-based casinos in the state, led the way in iGaming revenue with $418.8 million.
Sports betting revenue, the vast majority of which is generated through mobile sportsbooks, totaled $340.1 million. VGTs generated gaming income of $39.8 million, and fantasy sports revenue was responsible for $29.3 million.
All of the aforementioned gaming sectors posted record revenue last year. It was a different story, however, for brick-and-mortar casino operations.
Though Pennsylvania casinos were busy with patrons throughout 2021 after a year of severe restrictions on business and the public ordered to avoid nonessential activities, land-based play wasn’t as robust as pre-pandemic 2019.
Retail slot machine GGR totaled $2.28 billion in 2021. That’s 3.2 percent lower than in 2019. Some of those losses were offset by a slight increase in table game play. GGR from tables totaled $924.9 million last year, a 2.4 percent premium on 2019.
Combined, brick-and-mortar slot and table game GGR came in at $3.21 billion, which is 1.5 percent lower than the $3.26 billion the physical slots and tables won in 2019.
Parx was the top brick-and-mortar operator. The casino just north of Philadelphia kept $409.4 million of the slot play, and another $207.7 million from its tables. Wind Creek Bethlehem was second in both verticals, its slots winning $264.9 million and tables $185.1 million.
Pennsylvania Nearly Unseats New Jersey
Nevada is in a league of its own when it comes to gaming. The state home to Las Vegas will generate GGR of around $13 billion when final 2021 numbers are tallied.
New Jersey has long maintained its status as the second richest gaming state thanks to Atlantic City. But Pennsylvania continues to inch closer to unseating the Garden State in terms of casino revenue.
Pennsylvania’s 2021 gaming industry GGR total was officially $4,734,552,201. New Jersey’s 2021 GGR haul was $4,737,144,856 — a difference of only $2,592,655.