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PA Gaming Industry On Track To Earn A Billion More In 2021 Than In Any Previous Year from PennBets' Gary Rotstein

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board issued a summary of gaming revenue for the 2020-21 Fiscal Year Monday that led to headlines about about how the nearly $3.9 billion generated the past 12 months had “smashed” prior records related to casino gambling.

Left unstated, however, was how the surge that has taken place in the first half of 2021 suggests this calendar year will end up topping any prior year’s revenue by at least $1 billion.

The easing of government restrictions and public concern related to COVID-19, along with additional outlets for wagering in person at casinos or by computer/mobile means, made the past six months much stronger than the second half of 2020 for the gaming industry. There’s little reason to think that won’t continue, even if there was a modest decline in overall revenue in June ($388.9 million) compared to May ($413.2 million).

A Penn Bets review of gaming board records shows that more than $2.22 billion has been earned from players’ losses from January-June on slots and table games at casinos, the play of such games over the internet, sports betting, fantasy sports contests, and VGT terminals at truck stops.

If gamblers risk and lose at the same pace in July-December, the revenue for all of 2021 would exceed $4.44 billion. The prior high from gaming is $3.41 billion in 2019, as COVID shutdowns pared 2020 revenue to $2.65 billion.

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