Among titans like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Atlantic City, the cities of Pennsylvania are traditionally not considered the biggest hotspots in American gaming. Recent developments and trajectories are challenging this notion, however, with greater investment and interests in multiple gaming avenues driving Pennsylvania forward. From video games to online casinos, the market shows a promising future, in both employment and entertainment.
The Video Gaming Arena
As a form of interactive entertainment, the success and value of video games are constantly on the rise. In 2011, the total revenue of video gaming reached $51 billion. As of 2020, this revenue had risen to more than $90 billion. With such financial incentives, it’s only natural that new gaming businesses would appear to leverage potential rewards. This is exactly what has happened in Pennsylvania, with video game development seeing a prodigious emergence.
Named by Fortune magazine as one of the most successful states for video game development back in 2015, the industry within the state has continued to grow. This is backed by local colleges investing in educational courses relating to the field, with gaming-specific degree programs like game design, art, animation, and digital cinematography. With institutions such as Full Sail University and Carnegie Mellon getting in on the action, finding footing within gaming development in PA has never been easier.
“VFS Game Design 2Jam 2012” (CC BY 2.0) by vancouverfilmschool
This expansion doesn’t just apply to the creative side of the spectrum either, as professional eSports players have similarly seen increased opportunities over the last decade. Credit has to go to the PA eSports Coalition, an NPO pushing for promotion, education, and advocacy. Supported by organizations like AT&T and Harrisburg University, this level of support has allowed for teams like the Pittsburgh Knights to compete at the highest national and international levels. Another team, the Susquehanna Soniqs, even won a worldwide tournament in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a feat that is becoming increasingly common.
Finally, no mention of gaming in Pennsylvania would be complete without discussing the games which are physically set within its borders. As a place of such historical importance, games like Fallout 3, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Battlefield have brought millions of digital visitors, even if their journeys have been more fiction than fact.
Developing the Online Casino Ecosystem
While setting its sights on different targets, similar industry growth within PA has been seen in the online gambling ecosystem. As with video gaming, audience participation in online casinos gaming has grown substantially over the last few years. In 2021 alone, PA players set records for participation in October and July, bringing in $426 million and $424 million respectively
This is perhaps not surprising, as similar patterns of growth have been seen in nearby New Jersey. In fact, in 2021, New Jersey is the only state which earns more revenue than PA in online gambling, with Michigan acting as the next biggest market. Considering New Jersey has Atlantic City to boost casino visibility, the success of PA in this realm is even more impressive.
For players, the development has manifested as an increase in websites and experiences that cater to local players. No deposit bonus codes, for example, apply to a great number of PA online casino services. With PA such an established name, online casinos give the top-tier bonuses only the most involved areas can boast.
Though there aren’t quite as many dedicated university courses in PA that target those looking for careers in online casinos, it’s worth noting that many more general degrees will still integrate with this sphere just fine. Programming, design, and digital security are all courses that can lead to careers in online casinos, all of which are commonly offered by tertiary education providers.
“League of Legends World Championship Fin” (CC BY 2.0) by Richard Ye (yerich)
For developers and players, the modern landscape of PA is healthier and more welcoming than ever. Whether considering putting in the work to become a professional player, or determining which programming course could find you the best-paying work, Pennsylvania has something for everyone. Still on an upward trajectory with no sign of slowing down, there’s never been a better time to go involved with gaming or iGaming within the state.