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Pennsylvania Lottery revenue gaming expansion
The Pennsylvania Lottery delivered record funds to the state that benefit older residents. (Image: PennLive)
The Pennsylvania Lottery says its 2018-19 ticket sales and profit both set all-time records for its 47-year history. The Keystone State lottery is the only lottery in the US that solely uses its proceeds to benefit seniors.
Drew Svitko, the executive director of the lottery, said it’s the eighth consecutive year that at least $1 billion was generated to benefit older Pennsylvanians. The $4.5 billion in sales was a $302.7 million – or 7.2 percent – premium on the 2017-18 fiscal performance.
Lottery retailers earned an estimated $266 million in commissions. Scratch-offs were responsible for the lion’s share of sales, with those games totaling $2.9 billion. Draw games, including interstate formats Powerball and Mega Millions, were next, totaling nearly $1.4 billion.
New Games, New Revenue
It wasn’t just by luck that the Pennsylvania Lottery hit new highs. After revenues flatlined in 2017, the state authorized new games for its system, one of the most profitable lottery programs in the US.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a major gaming expansion bill in October 2017 that included new lottery options.
The legislation gave the state lottery the right to conduct online games, such as keno, bingo, and interactive scratch-offs, that some of the state’s casinos have decried as too similar to slot machines. The 2017 bill also gave the lottery permission to operate games played in bars, such as keno and Xpress Sports, the latter allowing bettors to risk money on simulated animated outcomes of football and car racing, with new matches occurring every five minutes.
We are thrilled that the new and exciting games that were authorized … are proving to be a tremendous success,” Svitko added.
The PA iLottery reported gross revenue of more than $381 million in its first full fiscal year, with a $31.3 million net profit. Bar games including Xpress Sports and keno generated $46.7 million in sales, a $10 million benefit.
Pennsylvania’s gaming industry is now the second-richest market in the US, behind only Nevada. The state’s 12 brick-and-mortar casinos won a record $3.2 billion in gross gaming revenue (GGR) last year, which easily eclipsed New Jersey’s Atlantic City haul of $2.85 billion.
More expansion is on the way. Pennsylvania has at least five satellite casinos in the works, venues with as many as 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The 2017 expansion additionally allows for online casinos, sports betting, airport gaming lounges, and video gaming terminals inside certain truck stops.
But Wolf’s signature didn’t come without concerns.
After signing the 2017 package, the governor told reporters, “Again, the goal has been all along to do what’s prudent, not cannibalize existing gambling revenue coming to the state. And I think what we’re settling on will actually do that.”