How Do Casinos in Pennsylvania Compare to Casinos in Other US States?

Online gambling in PA became legal in late 2017 but the first licenses were issued in 2018. The Gambling Expansion Bill of 2017 also legalized land-based sports betting. Other forms of gambling that are legal in Pennsylvania include lottery, table games, bingo, small games of chance, and slots. Today, 14 casinos in PA offer both land-based and online gambling services. The gambling environment in PA is different from other states. 

Gaming revenue in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania legal gambling has been performing well in the past few years. In 2022, the state generated $5.2 billion and became the second-richest state in gaming revenue. Compared to 2021, the state generated $4.7 billion. Nevada was ahead of PA with $14.8 billion. 

New Jersey was close to PA by a thin margin. In December 2022 alone, the PA online casino sector generated $166.9 million in gross income. The PA gambling sector is not as old as Nevada but based on the reports, it is destined to perform far much better in 2023 and the next few years. 

What forms of gambling are legal in Pennsylvania?

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, all types of gambling are legal in PA unless the law specifically states otherwise. Anyone who has attained the legal gambling age in PA can play slot games, table games, bingo, lottery, and small games of chance. The online gambling sector includes sports betting.  

Under the US gambling scenario, there are legal limitations in many states. For instance, Utah lacks a state lottery and native tribes do not offer gambling. As of 2022, there were no licenses for online gambling in Arizona. Gambling is highly restricted in Washington, D.C. and in Connecticut, casinos operate on tribal land. The advantage of gambling in PA is that there are no such restrictions. Gamblers have greater options in the games they can play. 

The rate of gambling tax and license fees in Pennsylvania

For many years, many states in the US have been losing revenue to offshore sportsbooks. To encourage people to bet more in legal casinos, the states make friendly laws that favor low taxes on gambling income. Pennsylvania has one of the lowest gambling taxes compared to other states. Tax is tagged at 3.07% in PA. 

The state also charges a 3.07% flat rate tax on income and this includes winnings from casinos. The revenue goes to various programs in the state such as tax and rent rebates, and low-cost prescription programs. Unlike PA, most states have higher gambling tax rates. For instance, New York charges 8.82%. In New Jersey, online gambling is taxed at 15%. 

California charges a 24% tax on gambling winnings. PA charges license fees based on the game product provided. For online gambling, the fee is $10 million. Online sports betting is $10 million, and satellite casinos are $7.5 million. In NY, the license fee is $500 million. Casinos in Ohio pay a $1.5 million application fee and a $50 million upfront fee. 

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