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Pennsylvania sportsbooks post $348 million January

19 February 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- A record-setting January pushed Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks past $100 million in lifetime revenue. But even with a strong start to the New Year, Pennsylvania still has much ground to gain to catch New Jersey and Nevada as the largest sports betting markets in the country, according to PlayPennsylvania.com.

“Pennsylvania’s momentum is growing, and January shows that the state’s sportsbooks can sustain it even as the NFL season winds down,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Pennsylvania will likely remain the nation’s No. 3 market for the foreseeable future. But it is becoming clearer that it will one day challenge Nevada and New Jersey as the largest legal sports betting market in the U.S.”

Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks accepted a record $348.4 million in wagers in January, breaking the $342.6 million record set in December up dramatically from $32 million in January 2019, according to official data released Wednesday. $308.6 million, or 88.6%, of the state’s January handle came online.

January’s bets produced a record $31.6 million in gross revenue — up from $17.5 million in December. That produced $7.78 million in state taxes. With January’s gains, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks have now generated $116.4 million in gross revenue since launching in November 2018.

Pennsylvania is still well behind New Jersey, which generated a handle of $540.1 million in January, and Nevada, which is expected to post a January handle of around $500 million. Pennsylvania’s $30.7 million handle for February’s Super Bowl was third behind Nevada ($154.7 million) and New Jersey ($54.2 million), another sign of the Keystone State’s current place in the sports betting pecking order.

“The opportunities for growth are abundant for Pennsylvania,” Gouker said. “Its population base is a huge advantage. Infrastructure issues have slowed the state’s development. But the industry is unquestionably getting past its growing pains.”

The gap between the top two online sportsbooks appears to be narrowing. FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino remains the market leader with $153.1 million January bets, down from $154.5 million in December. That yielded $8.1 million in taxable revenue, up from $7 million. But DraftKings at The Meadows grew to $58.7 million in January from $35.9 million in December. That produced $2.8 million in taxable revenue, up from $732,883.

DraftKings and FanDuel were followed by:
  • Rivers Philadelphia ($28.4 million in handle, down from $30.6 million in December; $2.2 million taxable revenue, up from $1.1 million)
  • Rivers Pittsburgh ($25.8 million in handle, down from $28.3 million in; $1.7 million revenue, up from $1.3 million)
  • Parx Casino ($21.3 million handle, down from $25.5 million; $2 million revenue, up from $779,529)
  • Fox Bet at Mount Airy ($15.4 million handle, down from $16.4 million; $1.3 million revenue, up from $312,658 in revenue)
  • Unibet at Mohegan Sun Pocono ($4.8 million handle, down from $6.1 million; $126,879 revenue, up from -$31,744)
  • Presque Isle Downs ($1.2 million handle, up from $129,556; $44,717 revenue, up from $28,700)

The online market could soon get a shakeup. Penn National Gaming announced that it has acquired a significant stake in Barstool Sports and with it, a recognizable brand for its online casino and sportsbook that will presumably launch later this year.

“DraftKings has been aggressively marketing itself in Pennsylvania, and it is making some headway in its attempt to catch up with FanDuel. But it still has a long way to go,” Gouker said. “Meanwhile, the expected launch later this year of the Barstool-branded online casino and sportsbook will add intrigue to a market that has been predictably controlled by the two most recognizable brands in online sports betting.”

The retail market was led by Rivers Philadelphia’s $7.4 million handle, down from $7.7 million in December. That yielded $1.1 million in revenue, up from $590,177. Rivers Philadelphia was followed by:
  • Parx ($6.7 million handle, down from $7.5 million; $875,269 revenue, up from $572,416)
  • Rivers Pittsburgh ($6.7 million handle, down from $7.5 million; $791,877 revenue, up from $518,743)
  • South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook ($3 million handle, down from $3.3 million; $501,515 revenue, up from $328,651)
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia ($3 million handle, even with December; $219,597 revenue, up from $123,799)
  • Valley Forge Casino ($2.9 million handle, down from $3.6 million; $391,012 revenue, up from $107,145)
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course ($2.6 million handle, down from $3.2 million; $180,249 revenue, up from $112,277)
  • Presque Isle ($2.3 million handle, down from $3 million; $281,753 revenue, down from $217,870)
  • Mohegan ($1.9 million handle, down from $2.6 million; $137,702 revenue, down from $257,956)
  • Oaks Race and Sportsbook ($973,451 handle, down from $1.2 million; $97,394 revenue, down from $65,949)
  • Mount Airy ($732,813 handle, down from $814,931 handle; $81,793 revenue, up from $73,692 in revenue)
Online casinos continue growth

Online casino games and poker generated $14 million in January gross revenue, up from $10.6 million in December. That yielded $3.4 million in tax revenue for the state.

More importantly, the roster of online casinos grew to seven in January. FanDuel/Valley Forge Casino made a big splash with its debut on Jan. 24, generating $2.1 million during the remainder of the month. FanDuel was followed by the launch of BetAmerica less than a week later.

“The online casino market should get a real jolt from FanDuel’s entrance,” Gouker said. “Integrated within FanDuel’s market-leading sportsbook app, the FanDuel Casino is ideally positioned to leverage its success as a sportsbook into success as an online casino.”

More from January’s report:
  • Rivers-Philadelphia led the online casino market with $3.5 million in revenue on $146.4 million in wagers. Revenue was up from $3 million on $181.5 million in bets in January.
  • Mount Airy/PokerStars, the lone online poker operator in the state, generated $2.2 million in January. That is more than the $1.8 million New Jersey’s online poker room generated in January, but still shy of the all-jurisdiction record $3.4 million that New Jersey claimed in January 2014.
  • Poker helped fueled Mount Airy/PokerStars to $3.5 million in revenue, about the same as December.

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Pennsylvania sportsbooks post $348 million January is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.