The Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (PA-LBFC) engaged ESI to analyze the current condition of casino gaming in Pennsylvania as well as the future gaming environment as a whole.

ESI released the study, “The Current Condition and Future Viability of Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania” on May 7th, 2014. This report answers the many questions that will aid in future decisions of casino gaming. Pennsylvania legalized casino gaming in 2004, and the first casinos opened in 2006.

The Pennsylvania gaming industry generated a total of $3.1 billion in total revenue to casinos and nearly $1.4 billion in state and local taxes in 2013. Annual operations of Pennsylvania casinos support approximately 25,000 jobs and $1.0 billion in labor income. Since then, tax revenue from the casinos has contributed $8.1 billion in gaming tax revenues, in addition to property, wage, and other taxes.

Tax revenue grew strongly from 2006 through 2012 due to the construction of new casinos and the introduction of gaming into regions that had no convenient casino options, before declining slightly in 2013. The decline in tax revenue, the addition of new casinos in surrounding states as well as in Pennsylvania, and the potential for forms of gaming not currently permitted, all raise questions about what can be expected of gaming in Pennsylvania in the next five to ten years.

This report addresses these questions so the Commonwealth can conduct an informed dialogue as it considers potential changes in the gaming landscape. This study involved speaking with dozens of experts both in and outside of the gaming industry, reviewing a variety of reports and academic literature, and conducting analysis of an array of data on the industry.

The largest potential new source of gaming revenue to the state is the legalization of iGaming. ESI research estimates that the introduction of Internet gambling could produce up to $68 million in tax revenue the first year and as much as $110 million annually. Importantly, this is more likely to help rather than hurt the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos. > Read the Full Report

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