Pa. gambling revenue tops half a billion in March, highest since legalization

Anthony Maenza
York Dispatch

York County’s Hollywood Casino saw increased revenues for the month of March as Pennsylvania surpassed $500 million in gambling revenue in a single month for the first time ever. 

The state brought in more than $515 million in revenue in March, which is 11% more than the same month in 2022, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It is the first time the state has surpassed the half billion-dollar mark since the state legalized gambling in 2006. 

The Hollywood Casino York in Springettsbury on Saturday, April 1, 2023.

“Revenue would not have reached $500 million without the addition of new forms of gaming,” said Richard McGarvey, deputy director for communications for the board. “iGaming and sports wagering certainly played a major role. iGaming in particular made the biggest difference with record in both iSlot and iTable games play.” 

The state generated more than $104 million in iSlot revenue and more than $40 million in iTable revenue in March. iSlot games are slot machine games one can play on a computer for money. iTable games are casino table games, like roulette or blackjack, that one can play on a computer for money.

March revenue for Hollywood Casino York was up 18% over the same month last year. It brought in just more than $9.3 million for the month, up from $7.9 million from a year ago. 

With Hollywood Casino York opening less than two years ago, McGarvey said seeing its revenues grow isn’t a surprise. 

“Certainly, being a new facility, it is still in the growth phase, so it is not surprising to see increases,” he said. 

Sports wagering saw the biggest jump from a year ago for the York County casino. The casino accumulated just over $630,000 in revenue from sports wagering in March, up from just over $200,000 from the same month in 2022.

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Hollywood Casino York handled almost $12 million in sports wagers in March this year.  

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was in full swing during March, which had some effect on revenue for the month, but didn’t drive everything, McGarvey said. 

“The NCAA basketball tournament with all the upsets and different outcomes certainly played a role but it was a combination of all the different forms of gaming that drove revenue over half a billion,” he said. 

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Slot machine play in March saw a 20% increase in revenue for Hollywood Casino York over the same month last year. The York casino brought in $7.1 million in revenue for March 2023, up from the $5.9 million from the previous March. 

Statewide, slot revenue in March was up almost 5 percent, bringing in $225 million overall, up from $214 million in March 2022. Revenue went up despite the number of slot machines in operation going down. The state had 25,643 slot machines in operation in March 2023 compared to 26,107 the previous year.

While it was a record for gambling revenue in a month for Pennsylvania, there was also a record amount of taxes generated from that revenue. 

“I should also note that for the first-time tax revenue was over $200 million for a single month,” McGarvey said.  “That revenue goes to various projects around Pennsylvania include for property tax reduction, community grants in areas with a casino (often refer to as Local Share Assessment), economic development projects statewide, fire department grants, problem gambling prevention and treatment services and racehorse development funding.”