Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) revealed the figures for the most recent fiscal year, which show a drop in revenue for casinos across the state.
A total of 12 Pennsylvania casinos managed to gather $2.33 billion over the period from June 30, 2016 to June 30, 2017. This result represents a 2.2% decline when compared to the number from the previous fiscal year.
A Dismal Fiscal Year
After two consecutive fiscal years of rise in revenue, casinos in the Keystone State are far from their best result of $2.5 billion recorded during 2011-12 fiscal year.
Detailed figures show that only three casinos recorded a rise in revenue, while in all three cases, the maximum growth didn't surpass 4%. When it comes to slot revenue, the drop in revenue was recorded in 10 out of 12 months of the fiscal 2016-17. This includes June 2017, which saw a further drop – 0.77% to $188.5 million.
Although these results are less than satisfactory, the state government continues to implement its tax policy, while the tax of 54% is the highest in the United States. The decline in revenue also meant the state's shares was less – $40 million less than in the previous fiscal year, for the total of $1.23 billion in 2016-17. Since 2006-07 and the authorization of slots in Pennsylvania, the operators earned $22.4 billion, while $12.1 billion was collected by the state.
Negotiating a New Gambling Expansion Plan
Still, the current revenue situation could have a positive side, pushing forward gambling expansion plans. Both House of Representatives and Senate have already approved their respective plans, and while the House favours video gaming terminals (VGTs), there are many in the Senate who are against them.
Such position of the legislators in the state's Upper house could be an obstacle to authorizing online gambling.
The negotiations between two sides are in progress, and according to Senate President Joe Scarnati, the parties involved are close to finding a compromise. Although Scarnati didn't give any details, there are rumors that VGTs won't be a part of the new gambling expansion deal.
The session has been extended until July 10 in order to reach a consensus.