Year One of Online Gaming Provides Pennsylvania Lottery with $31m Net Profit

Despite pushback and issues from the land-based casino industry, the Pennsylvania Lottery has seen success from online gaming. After the first year in operation, the new iGaming industry provided $31.3 million profits to the state.

Yearly Totals

Late last week, the Pennsylvania Lottery revealed the yearly sales totals. In total, the lottery sold over $4.5 billion in tickets within the fiscal year that ended on June 30th. This was an over 7% improvement from the last fiscal year.

For online lottery games, a total of $381 million in sales were seen during the fiscal year. Of that amount, $31.3 million was generated in profits. Additional profits were created from monitor games that include virtual games known as Xpress Sports and Keno.

Almost Shutdown

With the online lottery games, the titles were almost shut down after the land-based casinos felt the lottery was not following legislative protocols. When the games launched in May 2018, seven of the land-based casinos in the state teamed up to try and shutdown the games.

The casinos felt like the iLottery games were to similar to the online slot games that were to be offered by online casinos once the industry launched. The state is just now offering online casino gaming, so the lottery had a full year to offer iGaming until the online casino sites actually launched. The group of casinos actually filed a lawsuit against the lottery, but their efforts were shot down in July when the court ruled that the venues did not demonstrate how they had suffered real harm.

The casinos may choose to try again once they begin offering online casino gaming and they do not reach the estimated revenues. However, that would take some time to discover and it may not be the case. In other states where this argument has arisen, the fighting point has been that online lottery game players are different than those of online casino sites. Because there are two different demographics, then neither industry would supposedly be affected by the other.

Because the games were allowed to continue, they generated healthy earnings for Pennsylvania. The new option marked the beginning of several changes for the state involving the gambling industry as a whole. Along with online lottery games, a gaming package passed into law in late 2017 allowed for online casino and poker games, sports betting, satellite casinos, truck stop video gaming terminals and more.

It is taking some time for each new option to come to life based on the details of the additions as well as any issues that arise along the way. It took no time for the online lottery games to go live and the state is better for it.

Now, over the coming months, we shall see how well the lottery does via online games now that online casinos are up and running and vice versa. It will certainly be interesting to read the new revenue reports over the next few months as they are released.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.