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.
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:
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.
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.”