With the recent reports that New Jersey is now booking over 80% of their monthly bets online, Pennsylvania is close to joining the exclusive company of states that offer mobile wagering.
New Jersey booked over $313 million in online bets in April, giving Pennsylvania a glimpse into what could be a very lucrative future.
That positive outlook is shared by one analyst who believes that the Keystone State is poised for a gold rush of cash for online betting operators in the coming fiscal year.
“It certainly could be bigger than Nevada or New Jersey is right now,” said Dustin Gouker, an analyst at Play Pennsylvania.
“If everything goes right, and everybody puts out a good app, they’re going to see billions of dollars wagered annually and revenue in the hundreds of millions. It’s going to be robust.”
Since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for legal sports betting, states that have passed legislation have accepted over $8 billion in wagers.
Pennsylvania gambling laws adopted sports betting in brick-and-mortar casinos in November and through five months of wagering, the eight locations have accepted around $125.6 million in bets.
For operators, that has equated to roughly $8 million in profits with about $4.3 going to the state in taxes.
But betting locations are continuing to expand with two more physical casinos waiting for approval and many other operators applying for online licenses.
Rumors are swirling that Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board is ready to launch online sports betting.
The first hint that bettors are close to getting the opportunity for online wagering comes from a quote connected to PAGCB spokesperson Douglas Harbach, who believes testing is on the horizon.
“We are moving closer and if all moves as expected, the first test of a site should occur in a week or so,” Harbach said.
Testing the apps at specific windows throughout the day allows regulators the chance to make sure that everything is working properly with the technology.
The testing process is a necessary one to eliminate mistakes and possible problems, says David Forman, director at the American Gaming Association.
“Regulators are rightly focused on the integrity of the bets and making sure operators have reliable platforms to use,” Forman said.
“All markets, with maybe the exception of New Jersey, have shown a learning curve.”
“As other states learn and roll this our more broadly, we’ll see an impressive uptick in the amount bets and revenue raised,” Forman concluded.
Inspectors will vet such details as functional geo-location, seamless payments to the app and smooth payouts when a bettor wins.
If all testing goes well, then residents of Pennsylvania can expect a full-scale launch of the online models by the end of May.
Pennsylvania’s lawmakers took the potentially hazardous steps of including a steep tax rate on betting revenue but the move appears to have paid off.
Sportsbooks in the state are taxed at 36 percent, the highest in the country.
When compared to New Jersey’s $8 million in revenue for the state, Pennsylvania has brought in just $3.6 million in tax revenue but with far less betting in 2019.
If the online market explodes in Pennsylvania, then the revenue headed back to lawmakers will dwarf any other state currently offering sports betting.
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