VGTs in Pennsylvania Ask for Expansion at a Senate Hearing

Arsenii Anderson
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vgts in pennsylvania ask for expansion at a senate hearing

When considering gambling in PA, video gaming terminals (VGTs) are not the first thing that springs to mind. Industry leaders, however, want a larger portion of the market.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) claims that although VGTs are not slot machines, they are comparable. Similar to a slot machine, every VGT play has a randomly determined result from the preceding play.

Three of the VGT industry’s top leaders took part in a Pennsylvania Senate hearing earlier in October to advance the industry:

  • J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC’s general counsel, Matthew R. Hortenstine;
  • President of Venture Gaming and Pro ATM, Brent Mayes;
  • Chairman of Betson Enterprises, Rick Kirby.

Although retail slots and PA online casinos provide the majority of the state’s gambling income, VGTs have the potential to play a significant role. VGTs may flourish if PA skill games end up being regulated or outlawed.

Contribution of VGT to Gaming Income in PA

In comparison to the 65 sites in 31 counties at the end of the previous FY, 69 facilities in 33 counties are now providing VGTs, according to the PGCB’s FY 2022/2023 Annual Report. Over the same time period, the VGT machine count climbed from 325 to 345.

VGTs are held at locations connected to truck stops. To provide VGTs, these facilities must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Having a diesel island;
  • Selling 50,000 gallons of fuel on average each month;
  • Occupying a space that is not controlled by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission which measures at least three acres;
  • Having 20 or more specifically designated business parking spots;
  • Maintaining a convenience shop;
  • Being a sales representative for the Pennsylvania Lottery;

This previous year, VGTs earned $42.1 million in gaming revenue and $21.9 million in state and local share taxes.

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