Pennsylvania Casino Revenue Falls Ahead of Online Gaming Legalization

Posted By: Date: 07/24/2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

One of the biggest arguments against online gaming is that it’ll hurt land-based casinos. Opponents of the legalization of online gaming worry that websites, especially ones that offer no deposit promotions to drive new customers in, will destroy land-based casino revenue, forcing cities to shut the doors of every land-based casino in their state. Ahead of Pennsylvania’s decision to legalize online gaming, though, casino revenue took a tumble.

Whether it’s because residents didn’t have time or weren’t nearby, land-based casino revenue dropped by six percent in June when compared to the same period last year. It should be noted that Pennsylvania is on the edge of legalizing Internet gaming, and its residents could be holding out until that passes. Online gaming could remedy virtually any problem that residents have that prevents them from going to casinos.

Some casinos in Pennsylvania were hit harder than others. Harrah’s Casino and Racetrack, for instance, had a twelve percent drop. When you could potentially sit at home in your pajamas and gamble, suddenly the thought of getting ready and driving somewhere doesn’t seem as appealing.

Some people see this as a worrying sign of Pennsylvania’s casino industry, and, indeed, it would be, if there wasn’t pending legislation that would legalize online gaming. The suits and ties are comparing this year’s revenue to revenue earned in past years, and they’re also comparing it to revenue in other states. What they’re failing to realize, though, is that other states aren’t on the verge of legalizing online gaming like Pennsylvania is.

This is just the story that Pennsylvania needs to hear to push them to legalize online gaming. Senator Erickson’s bill is currently under heavy scrutiny, and if it’s passed, Internet poker, as well as other casino games, would be legalized. Originally, the bill called for just the legalization of Internet poker, but has since been modified to include other casino games.

The one downside to the bill is the bad actors clause. The bad actor clause could potentially hinder any benefits Pennsylvania gets if they do legalize online gaming. The clause is in place to keep companies that operated in the US after 2006 out of the Pennsylvania Internet gaming industry. This is even worse when you realize that Amaya Gaming just recently purchased PokerStars, and they could drive a ton of revenue into Pennsylvania.

Regardless, the decline of land-based casino revenue could only be seen as good news when an Internet gaming bill is on the horizon. The sooner that Internet gaming is legalized in Pennsylvania, the sooner they can recoup the losses land-based casinos are experiencing. Once online gaming is legalized in Pennsylvania, you can expect the rest of the country to follow in their footsteps.