A record month of revenue in December helped propel Pennsylvania’s gaming industry to its best financial year ever in 2022, with more than $5.2 billion earned by casinos, sportsbooks, and other gambling operators.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday reported a final revenue tally of $5,211,303,191 for the year, easily surpassing 2021’s prior record of $4,734,552,201. Total taxes to state and local governments from the casinos, various forms of iGaming, truck stop VGTs, and fantasy sports added up to $2.12 billion.
There were more legal commercial gambling options than ever in 2022, and each sector other than fantasy sports drew more revenue than in the year before.
The annual total included an all-time monthly high of $475 million in December, with the 18 online casinos responsible for another record of their own, drawing $134.6 million in revenue.
December’s sports betting handle totaled $754.8 million, down somewhat from November’s figure, which is typical as the number of college football games dwindle, and slightly more than the $750.4 million in December 2021. The sportsbooks reported adjusted, taxable revenue of $54.6 million in December — the second-highest amount ever.
The growth is online
The biggest year-over-year increases in revenue keep coming from the online casino operators in the state, with their $1.36 billion in annual revenue reflecting a 22.6% increase from the year before.
The 2022 revenue was also more than twice as much as the iCasinos generated just two years ago, as the volume of online slots, tables, and poker play began taking off following their legalization in wide-ranging 2017 gambling legislation. The pandemic helped spur the growth, due to the shutdown of casinos for months and the societal change to more time spent indoors at home, but the activity has continued increasing even as COVID concerns have lessened.
The record $134.6 million of online casino revenue in December (which does not include sports betting) followed immediately after a temporary high of $128.6 million was registered in November.
The possibility of still greater revenue is anticipated in 2023 as more online operators are expected to launch during the year.
Sports betting also keeps increasing
The $54.6 million generated from both online and retail sports betting in December pushed that taxable revenue figure — the amount sportsbooks retained after deducting promotional credits — to $401.2 million for the year, an increase of 18% from 2021.
That revenue came from $7.25 billion that Pennsylvanians keen on sports were willing to venture in 2022 as the betting handle, more than 92% of it online.
The massive marketing by sports betting operators and widespread embrace of the activity by gamblers tends to overshadow how much more money is actually devoted to traditional brick-and-mortar casino gambling in the state.
For the year, the casinos claimed $2.39 billion in slots revenue (a 4.5% increase from 2021) and $990.6 million in table games revenue (up 7.1%). Both of those revenue figures were records, although those were made possible only by the state having 16 casinos in operation throughout the year for the first time. (A 17th venue is to open within weeks in Shippensburg as a mini-casino satellite of Parx Casino.)
The December brick-and-mortar revenue of $279.7 million was modestly better than figures both of $264.8 million the month before and $278.9 million in December 2021.
The 66 truck stop VGT facilities around the state reported $42.1 million in total 2022 revenue, a 5.6% increase, while the $22.3 million reported by 11 fantasy sports operators — most notably DraftKings and FanDuel — was down 23.9% from 2021.
Photo: Gary Rotstein