Pennsylvania Casinos Broke Revenue Records in March; Lawmakers Will Likely Look to iGaming over Raising Taxes for 2016-17 Budget

Pennsylvania casinos had their best month ever this March, according to figures released by the state gaming control board.

Last month, the Commonwealth’s 12 casinos generated $77,914,245 in total, eclipsing the previous record month (December, 2015) by over $5 million. Sands Bethlehem topped the list with a take of $19,676,814, with Parx Casino falling next in line with $15,377,130. SugarHouse Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia claimed the next two spots with earnings of $9,990,171 and $6,949,071 respectively.

When factoring in total revenue, Parx Casino crushed the competition with a gross of $49,994,112, compared with the $46,918,830 taken in by Sands Bethlehem. Rivers Casino took the third spot, banking $30,241,006 during the month, with SugarHouse close behind at $26,519,098.

The $77,914,245 figure is a modest increase from the same time period last year, when PA casinos took in $69,770,440 in revenue.

With table games taxed at 14% of gross gaming revenue, the state reaped $11,052,726 for the month in much-needed taxes and fees.

Lawmakers Will Likely Look to iGaming over Raising Taxes for 2016-17 Budget

Last month, Pennsylvania lawmakers finally came to an agreement on the state’s 10 month-overdue budget package for 2015. Now, they must come right back to the table and do it all over again for the 2016-17 budget, which is due by July 1.

The chairman of the state House Appropriations Committee said this week that legislators might be able to balance the budget without increasing personal income or state sales taxes. But others foresee that there will be a $1.3 billion to $1.5 million gap in income versus expenses, leaving lawmakers to consider alternative ways to fill state coffers.

Rep. William Adolph (R-Delaware County) believes that iGaming is a potential solution to that problem, but wants to find out just how much of a deficit they’ll be facing before giving specifics about his plan. “Before we say how we’re going to pay for it, we’ve got to find out how much we need,” he told Pennlive.com. “And we don’t know how much we need right now.”

Rep. John Payne, sponsor of online gambling bill HB 649, stated in January his belief that at least part of his legislation would be passed in July. “Look, we need revenue. They’re not going to find votes for higher taxes in an election year, so I think gaming will be a component,” he said at the time.