Although at first glance it was all great news for taxpayers in Pennsylvania, local residents should be more careful in terms of the hidden costs of gambling while enjoying the positive sides of the revenue increase.
Recent reports said that another annual gambling revenue in the state hit another record in 2021, thanks to the new Hollywood Casino York.
According to recently announced figures by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the 16 casinos that operate in Pennsylvania, including 3 new mini-casinos, generated the majority of the $4.7-billion revenue last year, along with truck stops and fantasy sports companies.
Hollywood Casino York which started operation in August 2021 brought $33,213,414 in revenue, with the majority of that amount – over $25 million – generated by slot machines. Table games accounted for $6,850,279, while sports betting brought in more than a million.
According to information provided by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the all-time record tax revenue production that was generated by the local gambling sector amounted to over $1.93 billion.
Unfortunately, analysts have noted that the encouraging figures cited above are only one part of the story and gambling comes with consequences for society that could sometimes go pretty much unnoticed.
Problem Gambling and Crime Rates in Pennsylvanian Communities on the Rise
So far, there have been studies reporting that the impact that one additional problem gambler has on society exceeds $9,000 on an annual basis.
In addition, analysts have revealed that increased gambling is typically associated with an increase in crime rates. No wonder, because gambling addicts usually lose a lot of money on gambling, with the amounts sometimes being much bigger than players can actually afford to. On the other hand, many gambling addicts pay off their debts by stealing, and thefts come at a certain cost to local businesses.
Apart from that, gambling is often associated with serious financial problems that could bring in additional bankruptcies, as well as with mental health issues that could result not only in stress- and anxiety-related illnesses but also suicides. The agencies that are dealing with the professional treatment of gambling addicts have also noticed that their costs have increased, not to mention the cost that must be paid by relatives and close friends of problem gamblers, who often see their lives devastated as a result of their loved ones’ compulsive gambling habits.
Proponents of gambling in the state of Pennsylvania, however, have noted that many local residents see gambling only as a form of entertainment. As far as the consequences for local communities are concerned, gambling advocates say that there is a cost involved for every form of entertainment no matter if it comes to gambling or not.
Also, pro-gambling campaigners would argue that people will find a way to gamble whether the authorities officially allow the practice or not, no it is better for the Government not to impose further restrictions on the sector but take advantage of the regulation and taxation.