The expansion of the gambling industry in the state of Pennsylvania has produced a substantial boost to the state coffers, according to new analysis.
A report by the gambling industry website PlayPennsylvania.com has found that the newly-expanded industry has already generated $385 million in revenue within the state, with much of that money coming from the payment of licensing fees by casinos and other organisations who are hoping to earn permission to build new gambling venues, set up sportsbooks or open online gambling services.
Since gambling expansion was approved by lawmakers late last year, gambling companies have handed over around $128 million in state-run auction programs to earn permission for the construction of new gambling sites. One notable example was Stadium Casino LLC, which paid $40 million at a state auction to gain a license to set up a mini casino at a mall in Hempfield.
But although the short term boost to state coffers will be welcomed by many, future levels of gambling revenue remain uncertain. Currently, the state earns around $926 million every year from the gambling industry, with most of that money going into a property tax relief fund and used to help school districts lower their school property taxes.
The creation of new mini casinos, such as those at Hempfield and Westmoreland County, will provide a further boost to local revenue, but there are likely to be other benefits to the local economy such as an increase in business for restaurants and other tourist-related venues, though the precise effect on these areas of the Pennsylvania economy is hard to calculate.
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