Pennsylvania iLottery Makes $21.6 Million on Casino Games in First Month
The Pennsylvania iLottery proved there is money to be made in online gambling last month. In what was its first full month in operation, the state iLottery made $21.6 million running casino games online. Between June 4 and June 30, the iLottery collected nearly 45,000 players and distributed $18 million in prizes.
The successful first-month report arrives after Pennsylvania casinos unsuccessfully tried to get the iLottery games shut down. All 13 state casinos joined a petition to prohibit the Lottery from operating online games they feel are too similar to slot machine games operated by casinos.
State officials declined to take up the legal challenge. Proceeds from the state lottery fund an essential program for senior citizens. One of the biggest arguments to include the iLottery in last year's sweeping gambling expansion was so that the lottery could compete with state casinos and provide security for the programs it funds.
Though officials did not take action against the Lottery, the Lottery willingly made changes to their promotional material and suspending all advertising that referred to the iLottery as “casino-style” and “slot-style” games. The offending games, however, remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, not a single one of Pennsylvania's 13 casinos have forked up the $10 million licensing fee required to launch online casino games of their own. The general consensus is that the casinos are holding back due to the high price to enter, as well as the 54 percent tax on online slots.
Similarly, high fees could also be crushing the potential for sports betting in Pennsylvania. State casinos along with all other gaming entities are holding back on launching sportsbooks.