Pennsylvania’s sportsbook capitalized on the return of major sports to nearly double the handle from June to July, and the state’s online casinos built momentum as the Keystone State’s market continued to rebound in July, according to PlayPennsylvania analysts.
“The return of baseball and the NBA were seminal moments for Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks, obviously,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “There is no making up for what was lost during the shutdowns. But with online casinos sustaining incredible growth, major sports back in play, and retail casinos gradually reopening, the industry is thankfully moving forward.”
Retail and online sportsbooks generated $164.8 million in wagers in July, up 85.1% from $89 million in June, according to official data released Monday. July’s wagers were up 177.7% from $59.3 million in July 2019, when online gaming was still in its infancy in Pennsylvania.
Gross revenue also surged to $8.1 million, up 22.3% from $6.7 million in June and up 185.7% from $2.9 million in July 2019. July’s revenue produced $2.8 million in state taxes and another $162,950 in local share assessment. Sportsbooks have now produced $51.6 million in state taxes and local share assessments since launching in November 2018.
“Even just over a week of baseball and a few days of the NBA was enough to unleash pent-up demand for wagering on major sports,” Gouker said. “August should be a huge month, with NBA and NHL playoffs drawing bets that aren’t typical in the late summer. That should help Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks make up a little of the revenue lost this spring.”
Not surprisingly, bettors continued their overwhelming preference for online betting, accounting for 94.3%, or $155.4 million, of July’s handle. FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino remains the market’s dominant player, collecting $68.8 million in online bets, more than doubling the $32.9 million in June wagers. July’s handle generated $1.4 million in taxable revenue, down from $2.9 million in June. FanDuel was followed by:
- DraftKings at The Meadows ($39.1 million handle, up from $25 million; $1.8 million taxable revenue, up from $1.4 million)
- Rivers-Philadelphia ($12.7 million handle, up from $9.4 million; $896,195 revenue, up from $594,862)
- Fox Bet at Mount Airy ($11.9 million handle, up from $8.4 million; $965,052, up from $683,217)
- Rivers-Pittsburgh ($10.4 million handle, up from $5.9 million; $711,445 revenue, up from $519,774)
- Parx Casino ($9.1 million handle, up from $5.2 million; $822,701 revenue, up from $692,649)
- Unibet at Mohegan Sun Pocono ($2.6 million handle, up from $1.1 million; $152,716 revenue, up from $14,490)
- Presque Isle Downs ($422,638 handle, up from $229,711; $31,917 revenue, up from $16,519)
- Harrah’s ($249,584 handle, up from $132,659; $24,839 revenue, up from -$17,112)
Retail sports betting remained relatively slow in July, generating $9.4 million in bets, which was up significantly from $689,534 in June. Sportsbooks won $1.3 million on those bets after losing $99,270 in June. Parx Casino overtook the market lead with $2.2 million in July wagers, beating out Rivers-Pittsburgh’s $1.6 million handle. But Rivers-Philadelphia topped gross revenue with $303,571.
“The key for sports betting going forward is obviously the health of the various major sports leagues in the U.S.,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “We saw with the Phillies that the pandemic can abruptly alter the sporting landscape. And with college football in jeopardy this fall, and the NFL still working through its plans, the fall remains quite uncertain.”
Online casinos and poker
The momentum of online casinos games and poker continued in July, even with retail casinos open. Online gambling generated $54.4 million in gross operator revenue, or $1.8 million per day in the 31 days of July. That was up from $50.1 million in June, or $1.7 million per day, in the 30 days in June. July’s revenue generated $15.5 million in state taxes.
Online table games and slots produced $1.8 billion in wagers, up from $1.7 billion in June, resulting in $51.4 million in revenue. Mount Airy/PokerStars, the lone poker operator in the state, generated $3 million on poker, down from $3.2 million in June.
And more online casinos are on the way. Wind Creek Bethlehem and PlayLive! Casino — which has yet to build its planned Philadelphia casino — launched online casinos in August.
“The pandemic has accelerated the maturity of Pennsylvania’s online gaming market dramatically,” Cross said. “By comparison, it took New Jersey more than six years to top $50 million of online gambling revenue in a month. Pennsylvania managed to do it in less than a year. That growth has been vital to the stability of Pennsylvania’s gaming industry.”
Other highlights from June:
- Rivers-Philadelphia led the online casino market with $15.4 million in revenue on $612.1 million in wagers, up from $15 million in revenue on $567.3 million in wagers in June.
- DraftKings/Penn National generated $10.8 million in revenue on $339.9 million in wagers, up from $9.6 million in revenue and $302.7 million in wagers.
- FanDuel/Valley Forge collected $8.4 million in online revenue on $346.4 million in wagers, up from $7.8 million in revenue on $286.6 million in bets
For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania, visit www.playpennsylvania.com/revenue.
About the PlayUSA.com Network:
The PlayUSA.com Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States. With a presence in over a dozen states, PlayUSA.com and its state-focused branches produce daily original reporting, publish in-depth research, and offer player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online gaming options for consumers. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.