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Pennsylvania VGTs make $226,743 in first six weeks


Video Gaming Terminals (VGTs) in Pennsylvania brought in $324,710 in revenue on $3.4m worth of wagers between their launch on 16 August and the end of September, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

In the first revenue report on the vertical since the state permitted their placement at truck stops across the state.

Of the two VGT operators in the state, Marquee by Penn National Gaming led the way with $2.3m in wagers and $226,743 in revenue. Marquee operates VGTs at four branches of the Rutters chain of filling stations, two in York, one Mifflintown, and one Duncansville, all located in central areas of the state.

Commonwealth Gaming, meanwhile, took in $97,967 on $1.2m worth of wagers. Commonwealth operates VGTs at Emlenton Truck Plaza in Emlenton, Bald Eagle Truck Stop in McElhattan, and Snow Shoe Travel Plaza in Snow Shoe, all in northern Pennsylvania.

For a truck stop to be eligible to host a VGT, it must sell an average of 50,000 gallons per month in diesel fuels, have 20 dedicated parking spots for commercial motor vehicles, have a convenience store, be a Pennsylvania Lottery Sales Agent and sit on at least three acres of land. Truck stops are permitted to host up to five machines each.

The law to permit VGTs at truck stops initially faced opposition from Lancaster County, which includes an Amish population of more than 33,000 and is made up of 60 municipalities which all opted out of Class 4 satellite casinos. As a result, in July, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow municipalities in Lancaster County to ban VGTs within their territories.

In August, the PGCB announced a voluntary program where individuals could exclude themselves from VGTs for one year, five years or permanently. A self-excluded person found to have used a VGT may be subject to arrest.

Earlier this week (1 October), the PCGB announced that state-wide gambling revenue amounted to $3.29bn in the 2018-19 financial year, thanks to the introduction of legal sports betting and higher income from slots gaming.