Strong sports betting helps gambling industry grow

Penn State running back Kaytron Allen (13) fights for yardage against Northwestern during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

Pennsylvania sports gambling revenues jumped by 27% in August compared to July and are expected to climb through the fall.

The gaming industry in Pennsylvania continues to grow with the expansion of online and sports betting.

Figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board show revenues went from $33.2 million in July to $42.2 million in August as baseball nears its postseason and football starts again. Sportsbooks handled $363 million in August, compared to $337 million in July.

“All signs are pointing to September being a huge month for sports betting in Pennsylvania,” PlayPennsylvania Managing Editor Katie Kohler said in a statement. “Pennsylvania online casinos are also back to top form after a typical summer dip. Outside of the stretch from March to May, August was the fourth-biggest month for Pennsylvania online gambling, showing that we still have yet to see the ceiling for this important moneymaker for the state.”

Compared to a year ago, all forms of gambling increased by 4.2%, PlayPennsylvania noted.

For sports gambling, the vast majority occurs online: almost 92% of bets were placed online rather than in person. Of the $42 million in sports gambling revenues, almost $34 million was taxable, subject to a 34% state tax and a 2% local share assessment, totaling $12.2 million in tax revenue.

Gambling revenue has become a significant tax source in Pennsylvania, with experts predicting $5 billion in revenue in 2020, as The Center Square previously reported. Expansion has mainly been in new forms of gambling, such as sports betting and online gambling, rather than growth in existing markets.

The state of the economy could also affect future tax revenues. The industry depends on discretionary income; during recessions, gambling revenues dip, which could pose problems if legislatures grow too dependent on tax revenues as the gaming industry expands.


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