Video gaming terminals or VGTs are machines that can be found in states across the US. In 2017, Pennsylvania approved the addition of VGTs and the machines have slowly been added to the market. The goal is to offer gaming on top of the 12 casinos in the state, but not in competition. Since the spread of Covid-19 has been an issue, it has led to more VGT gameplay. Now, Second State has announced four new locations for VGT adding to the number of options players have in the Keystone state.
Going Live at Truck Stops
VGTs can be added to truck stops in the state that fit certain criteria. For Second State, they have partnered with Love’s locations to provide more machines for gaming. They have three locations in the southeast portion of the state and a fourth location in the northeast. Second State Gaming’s Vice President of Operations, Jennifer Caruso, stated that the new launch will allow the locations to grow in foot traffic as well as see an increase in revenues.
Each new location will have five VGT machines. This is the maximum allowed in the state for one location.
Continuing to Grow
VGTs are gaining momentum in Pennsylvania with the state now having 34 locations. Each of these locations has the maximum of five devices. In total, the state has 170 VGT options. Players can only use cash when wagering via the machine and the max bet allowed is $5. The maximum payout a player can earn from a machine is $1,000.
The gaming machines first launched in September of last year. Since that time, the industry has seen over $3.5 million in taxes paid from revenues generated from the machines. This was the total through June. The machines were not allowed in April and May as the pandemic issue grew, but are not back in action.
June was a big month for the VGTs, the third best for the industry. For the month, the state was given just over $560k in tax payments.
For Second State, the launch has been a long time coming. The company has been waiting for two years to gain approval from the state’s Gaming Control Board. The VGTs have several requirements that operators must follow in order to ensure player safety.
Each machine must be licensed to operate as well as inspected and tested. Now that the pandemic is an issue, the machines must also be operated in a manner that follows health and safety guidelines. For the Second State games, the machines have a plexiglass divider so that players are able to social distance.
There are social distancing markers placed near the games, so players know where to stand as they play. Hand sanitizer is also available along with players required to wear a mask. The VGT rooms are under video surveillance to the operators are kept in check about staying in compliance.
VGTs have proven to be popular among truckers as well as locals. Players tend to actually drive to VGT locations before visiting casinos in the state.