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Pennsylvania reports a 5% growth in online gaming for 2023

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According to a new study by Penn State University, 16.0% of Pennsylvania adults gambled the year before. This represents a growth rate of 5.0% from year-to-year.

This update was titled “Pennsylvania Interactive Gaming Assessment – Online Gambling Report, 2023”. The report summarized three years’ worth of data collected from more than 1,800 adults across Pennsylvania. The study aimed to understand how online gambling has affected the population of the state since its legalisation in 2017.

Penn State University’s Criminal Justice Research Centre and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programmes developed this survey.

This was an increase of 5.0% over the previous year’s 11%. This was also a 4.9% increase over the report for 2021.

In the report, it was noted that revenues from online gambling increased by over $2.1 billion (PS1.7bn/EUR2.0bn), during fiscal years 2022-2023. The report noted that online gambling revenues increased by almost 27% from the previous year.

Glenn Sterner is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Penn State Abington, and the lead author of this report. He stated that: “In light of increased advertising and revenue for online gambling in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can use this report to better understand potential effects on families, individuals and communities.”

Double-mode gamblers are most likely to develop gambling problems

Reports revealed that people who gambled both online and off (dual mode) only bet around one time a week. The report revealed that online-only bettors bet between 2 and 3 times per month. Offline-exclusive gamblers bet only once or twice a week.

The average monthly gambling time for dual-mode players was 14.88, as opposed to only online and offline gamblers who spent 5.3 hours and 1,47 hours respectively.

The average monthly gambling spend for dual-mode users is $708, with an average of $617. Online-only players averaged $617 in monthly wagers while those who only bet offline placed the lowest amount at just $103 per person.

Dual-mode gamblers were found to be at the greatest risk for problematic gambling behavior. The Brief Problem Gambling screen, which highlights potential gambling issues in the gambling world, showed that 50.7% (50.7%) of those who bet both online and off-line had at least one problem gambling indicator.

The monthly gambling figures for online only players were 40.7%. Only 16.4% of players who only gambled offline had at least one indicator for potential gambling problems. The indicators are membership in a loyalty program and that the main motivation for gambling is to relieve stress or relax.

Sterner said he remains committed to monitoring problems gambling and raising potential issues from the increasing popularity of online gambling.

Online gambling is dominated by sports

Pennsylvanians bet most often on sports. Over the past year, 7% of adult participants had been involved in fantasy sports.

Pennsylvanian adults are the most active in terms of betting offline, with a participation rate of 50.5%. In the meantime, 40.9% had played instant lotto offline over the past year.

Electronic gambling machines are the most popular choice for dual-mode gamblers, as 3.7% of adult bet both on and off with these devices, and 3.4% wager online and off with instant lotteries.

Pennsylvania still has illegal online gambling

Pennsylvania is one of only seven US States that have legalised online gaming. It offers one of the most diverse product lines in the nation.

The report found that gambling illegally is still a problem. In the past 12 months, 3.2% of those surveyed had participated in illegal online gambling. A further 2.1% of respondents had engaged in unregulated forms of online gambling.

This could be due to confusion over which websites offer legal gambling and which don’t. According to the report, American Gaming Association research revealed that 55% who bet with offshore operators believed they were gambling with legal operators.

Is there cannibalisation occurring in Pennsylvania?

The cannibalization of land-based casino revenues by igaming was cited in the past as an argument against legalising online casinos. In the updated report for Pennsylvania, online gambling has increased by 5% while offline gambling also decreased by 5%.

The report by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, a gaming consultancy, suggested that online casinos have a positive impact on revenue at land-based casino.

This report compared the growth rate of gross gaming revenues (GGR), before and after the introduction of online casinos. The report found that the growth of all six reviewed states was positive following the implementation of online gaming.

EKG conducted a survey of both land-based and online casino operators as part of its report. In the EKG report, it was stated that: “The response of participants has been unanimity: there hasn’t been cannibalization”.

Participants were asked to comment on how online casinos affected land-based revenues. Twenty percent of them said that it “moderately” increased. The remaining 80% said that it “remained roughly the same”.

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