This week’s casino news shines a light on just how effective casinos can be for a state’s economy. Pennsylvania is a shining example, and that’s where we’ll start our weekly recap of the casino news:
Pennsylvania State Economy Sees Huge Gains From Gambling Revenue
Although we often hear about the negative impacts a casino can have on an area, the positive ones are frequently overlooked. A great example of the benefits a state can reap is Pennsylvania, which reported this week that nearly $400 million has been created by their expanded gambling practices.
We’ve been tracking this story since late 2017 when the state passed a gambling expansion bill that legalized online casino gaming, sportsbooks and satellite casinos. At the time, we spoke about how much of a cash infusion the economy could expect and now we see that coming to fruition. And the actual numbers have blown past original projections.
For 2018, the state was able to break down the year’s revenues using estimates from the online lottery, keno and virtual sports sale numbers. The state was able to churn out over $23 million – an estimated figure – from online lotto games, keno and virtual sports combined.
Via licensing for mini-casinos, the auctions drew $128 million in income. From interactive gaming petitions and the licensing process for online casino and poker games, $94 million was paid by interested participants, and $78 million was paid for casino licensing while petitions for sports betting spurred another haul of $60 million. Tax revenue from daily fantasy sports earned $1.4 million.
Pennsylvania’s coffers have swelled, and results aren’t showing signs of slowing down.
With a big boost to the budget, the state will be investing in schools, infrastructure and much more, which is a big win for local Pennsylvanians.
Maryland Casinos Offer Mixed Results In November
Figures released Thursday by the Maryland Lottery & Gaming Agency show the state’s six gaming outlets furnished overall gaming revenues exceeding $140 million in November, a 7.3 percent increase over November of 2017, but below October 2018’s high of nearly $158 million.
November’s gains mostly came from slot machines, which reported revenue up $8.7 million to $88.8 million. The casinos’ gaming tables were essentially flat, up only $800,000 to $51.2 million.
Predictably, MGM Resorts’ National Harbor casino led these Maryland-based outlets with income just under $57.3 million, which is a 13.2 percent rise year-on-year but lagging behind October’s record of $73.4 million. National Harbor has led the monthly revenue standings in the two years since its opening, with the sole exception of February 2017, when former market leader Live! Casino and Hotel won a month.
Live! had a strong November, though, rising 12 percent to just under $48.7 million in earnings, while Caesars Entertainment’s Horseshoe Casino Baltimore got hit hard, dropping 14.2 percent to just under $19.5 million.
Everyone is still profiting a healthy amount in the Maryland area but it’s clear that National Harbor continues to be the clear winner.
Trump Friend Buys Casino Miami
Phil Ruffin, a Wichita, Kansas native who made himself into a Las Vegas Strip casino developer and is a friend of President Donald Trump, announced last week he had purchased Casino Miami. It’s a significant buy for the billionaire as it is one of the main casinos in the Miami area. It is located on the northeast corner of Miami International Airport.
The purchase price was not revealed at press time. After last month’s passage of Amendment 3, which transfers the responsibility for commercial gaming license approval to Florida voters instead of Tallahassee lawmakers, Ruffin thinks existing licenses like Casino Miami’s contain substantially more value. University of Las Vegas-Nevada data shows Casino Miami created almost $60 million in the first 10 months of 2018, which was an eight percent rise year-on-year and nearly double the Florida average.