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Pennsylvania Poker: Rooms Collect $4.8M In July

Keystone State Gaming Market Struggled Last Month

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Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar poker rooms reported a $4.8 million July, according to state figures made public late last week. There are 225 tables statewide.

The revenue was down more than five percent compared to the $5.1 million in rake from July 2017, according to the state data. The poker market has been flat in 2017, as revenue failed to grow in all but one month so far this year. Last fall, state officials legalized online casino gaming, including poker, to grow the state’s existing gambling market.

State officials also said that table game revenue from the 12 casinos was $73.8 million in July, down 5.1 percent year-over-year. When combined with July slot machine revenue, total gaming revenue of $277.46 million decreased by 3.3 percent compared to July of last year.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said Wednesday of last week that it has awarded three online casino licenses. More licenses are expected to be issued in the coming weeks and months, but the groups granted approval during the first wave were the operators of Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, Parx and Mount Airy Resort Casino, regulators said.

PokerStars, the largest poker site in the world in terms of revenue and players, recently forged a partnership with Mount Airy. Harrah’s, a Caesars Entertainment Corp. property, will provide the gateway for the World Series of Poker’s online platform in the Keystone State.

The approvals allow the casinos to offer internet slots, table games and poker.

In October, Pennsylvania legalized online gambling in a sweeping gambling reform package that also allowed for sports betting and so-called “mini casinos.” Officials are hoping for around $300 million in additional gambling revenue thanks to online gaming. The state is also expected to kick off sports betting in the near future, in what could be another lucrative market.

In May, the online poker states—Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware—began sharing liquidity. The results so far have been mixed. Pennsylvania could join the equation, bringing the population under regulated online poker to around 26 million. That could be the tipping point. States such as New York, Michigan, Illinois and Connecticut are all considering online poker as well.