Although Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware allow for full online casino gaming, including poker, roulette and slots and Nevada, which allows online poker, it did not stop revenues from plummetting by hundreds of millions of dollars following the closure of bricks-and-mortar casinos last month.
Pennsylvania has had the worst of it so far. The state taxes slots at 54% and table games at 16%, compared to 8% for both in New Jersey. That meant a dramatic reduction in Pennsylvania tax revenues in March, falling to $62 million from $124 million in February. In addition, total gambling revenues fell from $304 million in February to just $153 million last month after the state’s 12 casinos close its doors on March 16.
In New Jersey, where all of the state’s nine casinos are located in Atlantic City, total gambling revenues dove 44% in March compared to a year earlier. It was the largest monthly decline in the 42-year history of legalized gambling in Atlantic City. Add that loss to a $124 million drop off from February to March in New Jersey, and a staggering $274 million in likely revenue was lost in just 16 days across the two states.
With most sports shut down, sports betting revenue fell by over 58%, to just over $13 million. The total amount wagered on sports before winning bets were paid, was nearly $182 million.
“We certainly have seen an uptick in online play, in particular table games, the biggest being poker,” said Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “It does not make up for the casino losses. It will not come close to satisfying the tax revenue we’ve been used to.”
[image credit : Atlantic City]