The Keystone State’s online gambling industry is thriving. Data from October 2021 shows that Pennsylvania’s online casinos now generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The only other state to hit this level of gaming activity is New Jersey, a state that’s had regulated online gambling since 2013. Pennsylvania is a relative novice in comparison having only had licensed online casinos since 2017.
Licensed Gaming Continues to Thrive
Much of Pennsylvania’s success is down to its regulatory framework. Unlike some US states that take many months to approve new technology, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) proactively welcomes as many operators, games, and innovations as possible. That’s evidenced by the Pennsylvania online casinos displayed in this website. The list of casinos contains US brands like Borgata and BetMGM, as well as international operators such as Unibet and PokerStars.
Then, once you review the apps in more detail, you’ll find that they offer hundreds of games, promotions, and features. Take, for example, BetMGM. Part of MGM Resorts, this app contains 436 slots, live dealer games, a mobile app, and it’s linked to Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse. That’s important for two reasons. Firstly, it means online players can earn loyalty rewards they can use inside MGM properties, including Hollywood Casino. Secondly, it means BetMGM is anchored to the state.
Online and Offline Synergy
Indeed, the local gaming market’s dynamics are such that online operators have to have offline partners. This synergy has fostered a culture of trust but also financial rewards. Today, operators and the state are benefitting from the wealth of online casinos in Pennsylvania and, in turn, their links to bricks and mortar venues. The question is, how much has everyone benefitted? Revenue reports from October 2021 show that online casinos in Pennsylvania generated $102 million in revenue.
That was up 72% on the same period in 2020 and enough to take the market’s total revenue for 2021 above the $1 billion mark. That answers the question of whether or not the online gambling market is in a strong position. The next question is whether it can sustain this in 2022? The answer is yes, the industry could well continue its upward trajectory. Fueling this positive prediction is the rise of sports betting, something Pennsylvania has offered since 2018. This means adults across the state can wager money on everything from basketball to whether or the Eagles’ Jalen Hurts can score three touchdowns like he did against Washington.
Sports Betting Raises the Game
Sports betting has not only become a multibillion-dollar industry in its own right, but it’s also given online casinos some support. Today’s online gambling sites have the ability to offer casino games, poker, and sports betting. That means they can call out to multiple demographics and, moreover, offer a varied product. The end result is more activity and revenue. The synergy between sports betting and casino gaming will only get stronger in 2022. However, it may not be enough to fuel an indefinite uptick in revenue. Yes, it will be a prime factor in 2022, but what about after that?
Sports betting alone can’t continue driving up casino revenue. There needs to be some growth within the industry itself. Of course, we can look at data from PokerScout and see that the state’s online poker sites attract upwards of 550 players each day. Casinos and sportsbooks get considerably more, based on the revenue they generate. However, there needs to be some sort of evolution to keep bolster these numbers. That’s where technology comes in. One of the next major milestones for online casinos could be virtual reality (VR).
Moving into the Metaverse
A number of developers, including NetEnt and Microgaming, have already started experimenting with this technology. So far, VR versions of roulette and slot games have been interesting but not enough to revolutionize the way people play. However, that could change as VR technology becomes more advanced and commonplace in other areas of life. Indeed, with talk of the Metaverse rife at the moment, people are imagining all sorts of virtual products.
For example, Facebook is working on an VR app called Horizontal Workspaces. The aim is to host virtual meetings in the Metaverse in order to cut down on travel and logistical costs. As things like this become a part of modern life, VR casino gaming will grow in popularity. This could fuel the next era of growth. For now though, online casinos in Pennsylvania are doing just fine and, thanks to the continued success of sports betting, they’ll remain a winning bet in 2022.