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HOME > > Pennsylvania sportsbooks have record September

Pennsylvania sportsbooks have record September

16 October 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks took advantage of a perfect storm of major U.S. sports in September to easily generate a record $462.8 million in bets. By doing so, Pennsylvania entered an exclusive club of gaming markets, joining New Jersey and Nevada, that have surpassed $450 million in wagers in a single month, according to PlayPennsylvania.

“With the beginning of the NFL season, a full schedule of baseball, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, there may never be such a confluence of sporting events again,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania has created a well-rounded market that can drive significant action on every major sport. That market dynamic was able to bear fruit in September in a way that may never be fully possible again.”

September’s handle, which was released Friday, was up 137.9% from $194.5 million in September 2019 and easily surpassed the previous record of $365 million set just last month. But the record wagers produced just $6.3 million in taxable revenue, down from $18.3 million in August and $14.9 million in September 2019, a result of heavy promotion and some unlucky results for sportsbooks. September revenue yielded $2.1 million in state taxes and another $125,398 in local share assessments.

The jump forward for the state was a product of the NFL’s return, and the atypical September games played by the NBA and NHL. Regardless, it helped put Pennsylvania in elite company.

“The question now becomes whether Pennsylvania can sustain this level once the sports calendar returns to normal,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Pennsylvania has etched a place in the top tier of gaming markets and could possibly pass Nevada as the nation’s No. 2 market before the end of the year.”

Online wagering accounted for 89.5%, or $414.1 million, of September’s handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino extended its online supremacy with $168 million in online bets, up 16.2% from $144.6 million wagered in August. Those bets produced $2.4 million in taxable revenue, down from $8.9 million in August. FanDuel was followed by:

- DraftKings/The Meadows ($116.5 million handle, up from $86.9 million in August; -$1.2 million taxable revenue, down from $1.2 million)

- Parx Casino ($21.7 million handle, down from $22.2 million; $1.3 million revenue, down from $1.5 million)

- Fox Bet/Mount Airy Casino Resort ($24.1 million handle, up from $22 million; $249,034, down from $1.2 million)

- PlaySugarHouse/Rivers Casino Philadelphia ($20.3 million handle, even with August; $853,108 in revenue, down from $1.2 million)

- BetRivers/Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($24.1 million handle, up from $19 million; $410,091 revenue, down from $1.3 million)

- Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono ($7.6 million handle, up from $4.8 million; $189,599 revenue, down from $156,051)

- Caesars/Harrah's Philadelphia ($1.3 million handle, up from $1.1 million; $98,849 revenue, up from $55,060)

- BetAmerica/Presque Isle Downs & Casino ($649,826 handle, up from $606,139; $47,277 revenue, up from $33,642)

Penn National’s mid-September launch of the Barstool Sports-branded sportsbook on the Hollywood Casino license, the 10th online sportsbook in the state, bears particular watching. Barstool/Hollywood Casino generated $29.9 million in bets, losing $2.8 million on those bets, in just two weeks of operation.

“Barstool adds a brand name with a uniquely loyal following, and its launch comes with high hopes,” Gouker said. “On the surface it seems like it has the potential to eat into the dominant market shares of FanDuel and DraftKings. But that is no easy task considering how entrenched both have become in the Pennsylvania market.”

In-person betting continued to rebound with $48.7 million in bets in September. Retail sportsbooks won $5.1 million on those bets, up from $2.8 million in August. Rivers-Philadelphia claimed the top retail spot with $11.4 million in bets and gross revenue of $1.2 million. Parx Casino was second with $7.7 million in wagers and $$866,870 in revenue.

Online casinos and poker stay hot

Online casino games and poker continued their hot streak in September, combining to produce a record $57 million in gross operator revenue, or $1.9 million per day over the 30 days of September. That is up from August, when online gambling generated $55.9 million, or $1.8 million per day for the 31 days of August.

The rise in online gambling in Pennsylvania, which has skyrocketed amid the pandemic, continues to produce staggering sums in tax revenue. September’s revenue yielded $16 million in state taxes and another $3.8 million in local share assessments.

Most of the action comes from online table games and slots. Wagers reached $2 billion in September, up from $1.9 billion in August. That resulted in $54.7 million in revenue, up from $53.2 million in August.

“Pennsylvania’s online casinos generate nearly five times as much in bets as sports betting, and revenue doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much,” Cross said. “That has quickly made online gambling a dependable and significant tax revenue driver for the state, accomplishing the main goal of regulation.”

Other highlights from September:

- Rivers-Philadelphia, which includes PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers casinos, topped online casinos with $16.1 million in revenue on $578.8 million in wagers, down from $17.1 million in revenue on $578.9 million in wagers in August.

- DraftKings/Penn National generated $14.8 million in revenue on $528.9 million in wagers, up from $11.8 million in revenue and $446.1 million in wagers.

- FanDuel/Valley Forge collected $9.1 million in revenue on $363.4 million in wagers, up from $8.7 million in revenue on $327.2 million in bets.


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