Pennsylvania Rakes in More Revenue from Slots in December

  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board releases stronger December 2018 slot revenue numbers
  • Slots bring $2.3bn in 2018 for Pennsylvania
  • 2019 will be a test whether the market has been saturated

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has issued a report outlining a very successful season for the state’s slot operators. Revenue from slot machines jumped by 8% in December 2018.

Slots Revenue Goes up in Pennsylvania in December, 2018

Pennsylvania’s slots profits have increased substantially in December, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has revealed. According to the report, the state has generated 8% more year-on-year revenue from slots.

All 13 properties featured in the report have notched up better results than in 2018, occasioned by the push for legalizing all sectors of the iGaming industry and sports betting across the United States.

The property to benefit the most by the increase was Parx Casino, which grew only 8.25% in terms of revenue, but the total handle hit $35,450,000. The Rivers Casino noted an impressive amount, adding extra $2.76 million on top of what it had earned in December 2017.

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Valley Forge Casino managed the highest increase compared to the profits it achieved in 2017, adding 18.2% more revenue in 2018. The cumulative amount generated from casinos in December 2018 hit $15 million more than the same month a year before. The strongest results came amid a slight dip in the number of slot machines available, 400-odd fewer than in 2017.

The five properties to rake in the biggest handle posted the following results:

  • Parx Casino – $35,450,000
  • Rivers Casino – $25,830,298
  • Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem – $25,814,799.42
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course – $18,391,456.46
  • The Meadows Racetrack and Casino – $18,087,428.74

The report also summed up the accomplishments of the iGaming sector in 2018. Slots brought in $2.3 billion in revenue, or 1.4% higher than the results in 2017. The good results come after a slow-down in November when the performance fell 3.5% year-on-year. With the renewed uptick in operations, 2019 may start on a strong note if the market has not already reached its maturity, meaning that the sums will not vary much in the months, and possibly years, to come.

Casinos in Pennsylvania earn $2.3bn in 2018 from slot revenues, the PGCB has revealed.

Pennsylvania’s gambling industry has been developing at a steadfast pace well before PASPA was defeated in May, 2018. The slots have been one of the preferred pieces of entertainment for locals who have been contributing generously to the gaming budget of the state.

The state is also pushing ahead with significant expansion with new casinos obtaining their licenses and preparing to launch in 2019. Overall, Pennsylvania managed to add $385 million to its coffers in 2018 from issuing licenses alone.

The expansion meant a lot for the state’s finances, completely beating the original expectation which put the revenue from legalizing the industry at $100 million. The revenue did continue to grow, though. Each applicant had to pay $10 million to obtain the full-package of gambling products.

In the meanwhile, companies started focusing on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), which will see the light of day in Pennsylvania in 2019.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Romania Introduces 2% Tax on Gross Gambling Revenue for 2019

  • Romanian government adds 2% to the gambling tax in the country
  • The tax will have operators pay retroactively for 2018 in one lump-sum payment
  • This is not the first time Romanian lawmakers have hit the industry with hefty taxes
  • 888 could reportedly be withdrawing from the market

Romania has introduced a new tax on gambling turnover, adding more strain on operators to cope with expenses.

Romania’s New Gambling Tax Bites into Profits

Romania has introduced a new 2% tax on gambling revenue, which will directly impact the profits of operators in the country. The measure was voted and pushed along ahead of the Christmas holidays, with the government having long been warning for a new uptick in the tax levels related to gambling.

The government has introduced a number of other taxes affecting other industries as well, such as telecommunication services and the banking sectors. All changes are now in effect as of January 1, 2019. The 2% tax imposed on gambling operator is an auspicious development given the initial plans of the government, which wanted to introduce a much more restrictive and potentially industry-disruptive measure.

Originally, Romanian lawmakers planned 5% turnover tax on all online properties and mere 3% on any land-based casinos. On top of that, all operators already have to pay 16% on their gross gambling revenue. The new 2% hike will be lumped together with the existing rate, leading to 18% tax levy on gambling operations.

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This is not too high, given that gambling tax in the United Kingdom and Italy is going up year in and year out. However, the Romanian government wants to bank quickly on the changes and is going to apply the tax retroactively, meaning that financial performance in 2018 will be levied with the new +2% rate.

All operators have time until February 25 to honor all payments. The money will have to be paid as a single instalment to the budget. It has been the custom of lawmakers to buffet the gambling industry in the country with restrictive measures, using the fact that the sector is not loved by the public.

A Brief History of Gambling Taxes

In 2015, the government made a staggering decision whereby any future licensed companies would need to pay back taxes equal to 20% of the generated revenue from Romanian government between 2015 and 2009 – a decision that has fallen through since due to inability for any of the active operators to furnish such an amount.

As to the active operators and brands on the Romanian market today, the 22 players feel the mounting pressure that bites not only into their profits, but the viability of their business. Recently, 888 poker cancelled a tournament initially scheduled for March, 2019 and issued a statement that despite the scale-down, the company was not planning to withdraw from the Romanian market.

However, 888 is not planning on starting any marketing campaigns any time soon in Romania, which can be interpreted as a clear sign of the company’s hesitation to operate in the market.

Meanwhile, neighboring Bulgaria’s economic growth has been marked with the iGaming market expanding accordingly. Bulgaria also serves as headquarters for a number of software makers and casino brands and already has seen important players enter the country, such as NetEnt and BetGames.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.