Pennsylvania Gaming Workforce Hit Hard by COVID-19

A number of industries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, but its been hard for casino industry employees to get back to work following the lockdowns. According to a recent study, casinos are now employing 41 percent less people than they were a year ago.

The study was conducted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and it was revealed that the casino industry has seen a reduction of 6,834 jobs. There were 16,717 people employed in the casino industry on June 30, 2019, and that number had dropped to 9,883 individuals on June 30, 2020.

All 12 operating casinos in Pennsylvania were forced to shut down in March as the state attempted to stop the spread of COVID-19. All of these properties have been allowed to reopen, but health and safety protocols have limited the amount of workers that are needed.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf actually allowed the state to begin reopening some casinos much earlier than other states Wolf went with a regional approach to reopening, allowing casinos in the Western part of the state to reopen first, and the casinos in Philadelphia to reopen at the end of June.

White Males Make Up Majority of Workforce

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also posted the Gaming Diversity Report earlier this month. The state gaming laws require casino companies to complete an annual diversity report to ensure that they are including a wide range of employees in the workforce.

The largest group of workers in the Pennsylvania casino industry are white males. 57 percent of the workers are male, and 64 percent of the industry is caucasion.

43 percent of the casino industry workforce is made up of women, and that number has stayed consistent over the last two years. Men continue to hold the highest positions of power in the casino niche, a trend that has continued since the popularity of the industry first started to rise.

There are currently over 1,600 upper management roles, and men hold 64 percent of these positions. Overall, the percentage of Caucasian workers in the industry has climbed from 62 to 64 percent over the last calendar year.

With the increase in Caucasian workers, the percentage of African American workers declined from 15 to 13 percent.

92 percent of all of the workers in the Pennsylvania casino industry live in the Keystone State, as industry leaders try to keep a majority of the jobs local. A number of the facilities are located very close to the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border, but casinos have still been able to hire local residents for these jobs.

Bounce Back Coming?

Currently, casinos in Pennsylvania are planning to hire back a number of these lost positions when commerce starts to flourish again. The entire industry is still looking for more revenue, which would allow casinos to bring back more workers.

Pennsylvania is also set to see at least four new casinos built in the next few years, and that will also provide more employment opportunities. The Cordish Companies and Penn National Gaming are both looking to launch a pair of new casinos and construction has already begun.

Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia is currently being constructed in the Stadium District, and it will be a full-fledged casino. The Cordish Companies backs this project, and they are also looking to build a satellite casino near Pittsburgh.

Penn National Gaming just recently launched a sportsbook with Barstool, but the company is also building a pair of satellite casinos as well. These locations are set for York and Morgantown, and will bring new jobs to these areas.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.