Internet Gaming Doubles in Pennsylvania
The gaming industry shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had one bright spot—a boom in internet gaming in states like Pennsylvania, where iGaming revenues have doubled, according to the state Gaming Control Board.
If there’s any positive to be derived from the Covid-19 pandemic as it relates to the casino industry, it’s the boost online casinos have seen as brick-and-mortar facilities were shut down.
This was true in Pennsylvania, where online casino revenue was $55.8 million in May, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board—more than double the amount of online casino revenue reported in March, when casinos were shut down for the second half of the month.
The May figure represents a 30 percent rise over April in online casino revenue for Pennsylvania.
Of course, as expected, the iGaming earnings could never offset the absence of brick-and-mortar casino earnings. Even with iGaming included, Pennsylvania casino revenue dropped 79 percent compared to the same month in 2019. The pandemic even crippled the state’s emerging sports betting business, since there were no major U.S. sports on which to wager for most of the past two months.
“May was another challenging month for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry, but it appears that it will be the last month of online casinos and poker rooms being the only bearer of good news,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “The casinos that have recently reopened appear to be experiencing relatively strong traffic, and sports bettors are finding increasingly more to bet on. Recovery for the entire industry will be a long road, but there are reasons for optimism.”
Online sportsbooks generated $77.5 million in wagers in May, up 68.4 percent from April’s $46 million, but far below an estimated $350 million in handle expected in a normal May.