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PA Hits Record Handle; Online Sports Books take in Majority of Action


July’s bets reach $59.3 million, but with new online sports books and opening of football, new high water mark won’t last long

(LAS VEGAS) — Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks accounted for the majority of the state’s bets for the first time in July, propelling the sports betting industry to another record handle. But with more Gambling news one operators expected to go online in the month ahead, and football’s kickoff weekend set for the end of August, July’s record should be short-lived, according to PlayPennsylvania.com.

“Simply put, increased online accessibility drives traffic,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Pennsylvania could have as many as six online sportsbooks operating by the beginning of the football season, and some apps have worked out their Apple issues and are now in the App Store. Add in the natural boost that comes from football season, and Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks are about to take a giant leap forward.”

According to official data released on Friday, online and retail sportsbooks combined to generate $59.3 million in bets in July, which was up from the previous record of $46.3 million set in June. Combined, online and retail bets yielded $5.1 million in revenue in July, up from $3.1 million in revenue in June, resulting in $1.03 million in state and local tax revenue.

With three online sportsbooks operating for the full month of July, and online heavyweight FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino launching its online product on July 22, online sports betting generated $39 million in bets. That is up from $19.3 million in June. More significantly, 65.7% of all bets were made online, the first time that digital betting outpaced in-person betting in the state.

Pennsylvania still has room to grow. The Keystone State’s online sports betting totals relative to the overall handle is still well short of New Jersey, where more than 80 percent of sports bets are made digitally. But at least one more online brand is expected to launch in August. In addition, Parx Casino and FanDuel each launched an Apple version of their apps in July, and others will soon follow.

“We can see the beginnings of a boom that has been held back by a market that has been slow to mature,” Welman said. “The fact that the market is working itself out ahead of the football season is a relief to those vested in the success of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks.”

SugarHouse Casino continued its market lead with $26.5 million in July bets — including a market-leading $22.2 million online handle — yielding $2.1 million in revenue. SugarHouse’s July is up from $23.3 million in June bets and $1.8 million.

SugarHouse was followed by:

  • Rivers  ($14.3 million handle, up from $7.9 million in June; $9.9 million online handle, up from $848,520; $1.2 million combined revenue, up from $328,431)
  • Parx Casino ($7.2 million handle, up from $5.5 million in June; $3.6 million online handle, up from $46,645; $413,851 revenue, up from $28,213)
  • FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino Resort ($5 million handle, up from $2.3 million; $3.3 million online handle in first month; $422,703 revenue, up from $149,621)
  • South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook ($1.9 million handle, down from $2.5 million; online yet to launch; $151,556 revenue, down from $161,001)
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course ($1.8 million handle, down from $2.4 million; online yet to launch; $196,188 million revenue, up from $83,520)
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia ($1.7 million handle, down from $2.3 million; online yet to launch; $186,574 million revenue, up from $135,421)
  • Oaks Race and Sportsbook ($789,502 handle, down from $1.1 million; online yet to launch; $110,553 revenue, up from $76,594)

The late-July launch of FanDuel Sportsbook, though, could change the state’s dynamic. In 10 days of operation, FanDuel drew $3.3 million in bets, or $325,984 per day. That number will certainly grow, considering three of those days were part of a soft launch.

“In all likelihood, FanDuel will become the market leader in relative short order as it has become in New Jersey, where it leads both the online and retail markets,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “FanDuel’s name recognition is important. But FanDuel’s functionality is appealing, and it was the first in Pennsylvania to launch a sports betting app for iPhone.”

Online casinos launch

SugarHouse, Parx and Hollywood casinos each launched in mid-July, offering Pennsylvania gamblers access to online casino games for the first time. In all, Pennsylvania’s online casinos combined to generate $812,306 in revenue on $49.2 million in wagers, yielding $51,597 in tax revenue for the state. Sugarhouse led the way with $261,869 in revenue on $15.9 million in bets, followed by Parx ($260,124 revenue, $29.2 million wagers), and Penn National ($129,386 revenue, $4.1 million in wagers). But at least seven more online casino could launch by the end of the year, according to PlayPennsylvania.com analysts.

“Once mature, online casinos will likely generate more revenue than online sportsbooks,” Welman said. “In New Jersey, online casinos generate close to $40 million each month in revenue. If Pennsylvania’s market grows in a similar way, it will be enormous for the state.”

For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania sports betting, visit www.playpennsylvania.com/sports-betting/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 (including PlayNJ.com and PlayPennsylvania.com) 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.

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