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Gambling in the USA Sports betting slows again, but still hits $5 billion for fiscal year



Pennsylvania Skill: VGTs benefit out-of-state corporations, harm skill games market and casinos


Wagering at Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks fell modestly in May, but still pushed the state past $5 billion in wagering through fiscal year 2020-21. But as sports betting continues its summer slowdown, Pennsylvania’s online casinos and poker rooms racked up more than $110 million in gross revenue to solidify their position as the state’s most dependable gaming revenue generator, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.

“The seasonal slowdown will continue to be a factor until bettors can place bets on Eagles, Steelers, and Penn State football games,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for the network, which includes “And with the popularity of online casinos holding even as retail casino customers return, the state’s gaming industry is in relatively good shape.”

Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted $447.5 million in wagers in May, down 6.7% from $479.4 million in April, according to official data released Thursday. Through 11 months of the fiscal year, sportsbooks have accepted $5.2 billion in bets.

Sportsbooks won $37.4 million off May’s wagers, up 3.8% from $36 million in April, which produced $27.7 million in taxable revenue. The month yielded $9.4 million in state taxes and $554,930 in local share assessments. Betting volume was up 477.3% in May from $77.5 million in May 2020, a month still marred by the pandemic-related shutdowns of major U.S. sports. The win jumped 532.2% from $5.9 million.


Sports betting tends to tail off from April through August, and Pennsylvania is not immune. The Keystone State’s month-over-month decline from April is steeper than the comparable states that have already reported May data, including New Jersey (up 8.9%), Indiana (up 7.6%), Iowa (down 2.9%), and Michigan (down 4.9%). But in April, betting volume in Pennsylvania was down 14.4% from March, one of the mildest month-over-month declines in the U.S.

The states that have fared the best this spring tend to be the beneficiaries of surging interest in local professional teams. A contending 76ers team, and to a lesser extent the one-series playoff appearance of the Penguins, helped the cause of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks. But not enough to outperform other states.

“Without a national betting holiday like the Super Bowl or the NCAA Tournament, the summer months are dictated more by local interests,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for “Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks are still well-positioned this summer, especially if the Sixers can figure a way past Atlanta, because they are less reliant on college sports than some other major markets.”

Online betting accounted for 91%, or $407.4 million, of May’s handle. FanDuel/Valley Forge was the online market leader again with $160.9 million in online wagering, down from $167.6 million in April. Gross revenue rose to $17.6 million from $13.8 million in April, producing $14.2 million in taxable revenue. DraftKings/The Meadows tallied $100.0 million in bets, down from $105.7 million in April. DraftKings won $5.0 million on those bets, down from $6.4 million in April.

Penn National’s Barstool-branded app attracted $43.6 million in May, down from $57.2 million in April. Those bets yielded $2.8 million in gross revenue, up from $2.6 million in April.


The online leaders were followed by:

BetMGM/Hollywood Morgantown ($32.4 million handle, down from $33 million; $2.2 million in gross revenue, down from $2.5 million)
BetRivers/Rivers-Pittsburgh ($19.1 million handle, up from $18.8 million; $1.2 million revenue, down from $1.8 million)
Fox Bet/Mount Airy ($14.2 million handle, down from $15.2 million; $964,405 revenue, down from $1.1 million)
PlaySugarHouse/Rivers-Philadelphia ($12.2 million handle, down from $13.4 million; $832,368 in revenue, down from $995,423)
Parx Casino ($11.1 million handle, down from $14.2 million; $1.1 million revenue, down from $1.7 million)
Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono ($5.5 million handle, down from $7.2 million; $390,170 revenue, down from $436,595)
TwinSpires/Presque Isle ($3.2 million handle, up from $2.1 million; $120,582 revenue, up from $33,622)
Caesars/Harrah’s ($2.7 million handle, up from $2.1 million; -$65,823 revenue, up from -$75,375)
Betfred/Wind Creek ($2.5 million handle, down from $2.7 million; $101,781 revenue, up from $49,074)

With capacity limits at Pennsylvania casinos now lifted, retail sportsbooks took in $40.1 million in handle in May, down slightly from $40.3 million in April. Those bets yielded $5.2 million in gross revenue, up from $4.8 million in April. Rivers-Philadelphia led the retail market with $6.7 million in bets, edging Parx Casino’s $6.4 million handle.

“The retail market is returning to relative health,” Gouker said. “What we’re really seeing in Pennsylvania, as well as other markets, is normalization. Nothing could be more welcome after such a difficult year.”

Online casinos and poker


Online casinos and poker rooms surged to a near-record $110.8 million in gross gaming revenue in May. That was up 54.6% from $71.6 million in May 2020 but fell just short of the record $111.6 million set in March.

Wagering on online casino games reached $3.3 billion in May, up from $1.8 billion in May 2020 and up from $3.2 billion in April. May’s revenue produced $41.7 million in state and local taxes.

Since online casinos launched in 2019, they have generated a whopping $1.3 billion in revenue from slots, table games, and poker, yielding $432.7 million in taxes. By contrast, online and retail sports betting has produced $581.1 million in revenue and $147.6 million in taxes even though it launched in 2018.

“Online casino revenue continues to dwarf revenue from sports betting, and that gap should only grow over the summer months,” Cross said. “Even as customers return to brick-and-mortar casinos, the gains in revenue at online casinos and poker rooms made over the last year should hold. It has become a revenue-generating powerhouse for the gaming industry and for the state.”

Other highlights from May:


Online casino and poker rooms generated $3.6 million per day in gross gaming revenue over the 31 days in May, up from $3.5 million per day in April.
Penn National, which includes the DraftKings, BetMGM, and Hollywood casinos, topped the market with $43.5 million in revenue. Rivers-Philadelphia, which includes PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers casinos, was second with $30.7 million in revenue.
Poker revenue rose to $2.6 million from $2.3 million. Mount Airy/PokerStars accounted for $2.3 million of May’s revenue.

For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania, visit

About the Network:
The 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, 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.

Gambling in the USA

Caesars’ Temporary Casino Generates $222M in Gaming Revenue Since Opening Last Year




The temporary Caesars casino has generated $222 million in gaming revenue since opening last Year.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the permanent casino right next door.

Danville has received nearly $20 million of that as part of their agreement – $7 million more than expected.

“We figured it would be more, but we didn’t know it was gonna be this much more. That’s all great, actually, because it’s a temporary facility. It’s in a tent. They don’t have near the number of games that they would have in the full casino,” said Ken Larking, Danville City Manager.


Larking says the money is going toward neighborhood parks, school improvements, economic development and more.

“We want to invest in what would grow our city including more businesses, more opportunities for jobs, better quality of life, better recreational amenities, better education, workforce development, those are the kinds of things that we’re investing in,” Larking added.

General Manager Chris Albrecht says the temporary casino sees around 100,000 visitors per month. He expects that number to grow substantially once the permanent casino opens.

“That’s really going to bring a lot more customers from further away when we have all the offerings from the hotel, the restaurants, the entertainment meeting space, the pool, and the spa. It’s going to drive visitation from even further and further away. So, we’re really excited to move next door here in the next few months,” Albrecht said.

Their current staff will also jump from about 400 people to around 1200.


“Those jobs are number one and that incremental revenue to the city will help support existing businesses and hopefully new investment into this market as well,” Albrecht said.

They say the permanent casino is still on track to open by the end of the year.

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Gambling in the USA

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Opens Expanded Casino Floor, New Poker Room




Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River has opened its casino floor addition, representing a significant milestone in a $275 million expansion project. Spanning 25,000 sq. ft., the extended casino floor features a curated selection of gaming options. Players can now try their luck at one of the 300 new slot machines or eight additional table games.

Further enhancing its gaming lineup, the expansion also introduces the highly requested World Series of Poker – Poker Room. With a lavish design and upscale ambience, poker enthusiasts and casual players alike can enjoy a range of cash games with favorites like Three Card Poker and Texas Hold’em. The poker room is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am and Friday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 am.

Additionally, guests can enjoy Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River’s new 22-seat casino bar located on the expanded floor. Offering nine of the latest bar-top video games, eight beer taps, bar seating and lounge seating, the casino bar is open daily from 9:00 am to 2:00 am.

“We are ecstatic to reach this milestone in our expansion process and unveil the expanded gaming floor, which represents the culmination of months of hard work and dedication both from our internal team members and general contractor, Robins & Morton. Every detail of the casino floor expansion was selected to ensure memorable experiences and we are confident that our new amenities and offerings will exceed our guests’ expectations,” Lumpy Lambert, General Manager of Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel, said.

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Gambling in the USA

IGT Wheel of Fortune and Online MegaJackpots Slots Award Three Million-Dollar-Plus Jackpots in April




International Game Technology PLC announced that its Wheel of Fortune and MegaJackpots slots awarded a trio of million-dollar-plus jackpots in April.

Lucky slots players won the following million-dollar-plus jackpots last month:

  • On April 4, a Wheel of Fortune slots player won $1,794,169 playing Wheel of Fortune Double Diamond at the Nugget Casino Resort in Reno, Nev.
  • On April 11, a Wheel of Fortune slots player won $1,106,270 playing Wheel of Fortune Diamond Spins 2X Wilds at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nev.
  • On April 19, an online MegaJackpots slots player won $1,108,315 playing MegaJackpots JungleTower on FanDuel Casino in Michigan.
  • Wheel of Fortune slots have minted over 1100 millionaires and awarded over $3.5 billion in jackpots since their launch in 1996.
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