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Pennsylvania VGTs Generate $325K Revenue in First 6 Weeks

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By Daniel Bettridge

By Daniel Bettridge

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has posted its initial reports for revenue generated by the state’s new Video Gaming Terminals (VGT).

The terminals, which have been installed at 17 truck stops across the state, have generated $324,710, including $168,849 in tax in the first six weeks since they opened.

Pennsylvania Gaming Opportunities

Since officially opening for business on Aug. 16, VGTs have become just the latest form of gaming to hit Pennsylvania.

Under new laws, eligible truck stops can install up to five terminals for players to use. To be eligible the truck stops must:

  • be equipped with diesel islands for commercial vehicle fuel
  • have sold an average of 50,000 gallons of diesel or biodiesel fuel each month for the last 12 months
  • have at least 20 parking spots dedicated for commercial motor vehicles
  • have a convenience store and
  • be situated on a parcel of land at least 3 acres in size.

Two companies now are operating VGTs in Pennsylvania. The first, Marquee by Penn, took a total of $2,260,942.11 in wagers since opening, paying out $2,034,199.52 in prizes. The other provider, Commonwealth Gaming, boasted slightly more modest figures with $1,187,939.00 in wagers and $1,089,971.36 in payouts.

The new electronic terminals are part of a growing gaming industry that employs more than 16,000 in the state raising over $1.3 billion in tax revenue per year in the process. However, not everybody is a fan of the newly introduced machines.

Known as “mini casinos” to some in the state, the VGTs have drawn opposition from both constituents and government figures who believe the VGTs to be little more than unregulated slot machines.

Help for Problem Gamblers

There is also growing concern in Pennsylvania over the potential for those who suffer from gambling addiction to fall foul of the newly installed VGTs.

To help combat this the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board launched the VGT self-exclusion program, a self-help tool to let people voluntarily stop themselves from playing on the newly launched terminals.

“The VGT Self-Exclusion Program allows individuals to voluntarily choose 1-year, 5-year, or lifetime bans for this gambling activity. VGT establishments and operators must refuse wagers and deny gaming privileges, check cashing, player club membership, complimentary goods and services to any self-excluded person,” The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said.

“They must also ensure that self-excluded persons do not receive targeted mailings, promotions, player club materials or other promotional materials relating to VGT activities.”

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WRITTEN BY

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Daniel Bettridge

Daniel Bettridge has written on everything from pop culture to pro sports for publications such as The Guardian, The Times, The Atlantic and MSN. He is also a gambling enthusiast and author of three books.

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Daniel Bettridge has written on everything from pop culture to pro sports for publications such as The Guardian, The Times, The Atlantic and MSN. He is also a gambling enthusiast and author of three books.

...

Read More »