Online sports betting continues to grow as online poker scores strong month, according to PlayPennsylvania.com
(LAS VEGAS) — Pennsylvania online and retail sportsbooks posted a record handle of more than $342 million in December — and crossed $1 billion in online bets since launch — to cap a year that generated nearly $1.5 billion in wagers. And with a full year of online sports betting ahead and an increasingly robust offering of operators, Pennsylvania should more than double that handle in 2020, according to analysts from PlayPennsylvania.
“That last two months of 2019 began to show us the real potential of the Pennsylvania market,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “The launch of DraftKings in November, adding one of the best-known brands to Pennsylvania, helped push online betting forward. And now that the online market is maturing, it is entirely possible that 2020 could bring in $4 billion or more in online and retail bets."
In December, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks accepted $342.6 million in wagers, up 8.2% from $316.5 million, according to official data released Thursday. Before November, Pennsylvania had never accepted more than $200 million in a single month.
December’s bets produced $17.5 million in revenue — down from November’s $20.6 million win — injecting $3.9 million into state coffers.
In 2019, the Keystone State generated:
- $1.49 billion in bets, including $1.1 billion in online bets.
- Taxable revenue of $84.1 million, including $43 million online.
- $28.6 million in state taxes
Pennsylvania will finish 2019 a distant third in total handle among all legal sports betting jurisdictions. New Jersey, the country’s No. 2, attracted $4.6 billion in bets in 2019. But Pennsylvania’s haul in state taxes was more comparable to New Jersey, which generated revenue of $36.5 million.
“Pennsylvania is beginning to succeed where it wanted to most: making sports betting a significant revenue driver for the state,” Gouker said. “Its tax rate is significantly higher than every other state, which has slowed the industry’s growth. But Pennsylvania is the most populous state to fully legalize sports betting, and that has proven to be too enticing for operators to ignore.”
The key reason for the Pennsylvania’s year-end momentum is its growing roster of online sportsbooks, which combined to produce 86.8%, or $297.5 million, of the state’s total December handle.
FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino is still the state’s standard-bearer, accepting $154.5 million in December bets, up from $149.7 million in November. That yielded $7 million in taxable revenue, up from $5.6 million. FanDuel was followed by:
- DraftKings at The Meadows ($35.9 million in December handle, up from $16.2 million; $732,883 taxable revenue, down from $1.1 million)
- Rivers-Philadelphia ($30.6 million in handle, down from $32.4 million; $1.1 million revenue, down from $1.4 million)
- Rivers-Pittsburgh ($28.3 million in handle, down from $32.4 million in November; $1.3 million revenue, up from $1.1 million)
- Parx Casino ($25.5 million handle, up from $22.4 million; $779,529 revenue, down from $1.3 million)
- Fox Bet at Mount Airy ($16.4 million handle, up from $13.5 million; $312,658 revenue, down from $1 million in revenue)
- Unibet at Mohegan Sun Pocono ($6.1 million handle, up from $1.9 million; -$31,744 revenue, up from -$46,642)
Rivers Philadelphia’s $7.7 million handle, down from $8.9 million in November, overtook the retail market. That yielded $590,177 in revenue, up from $234,951. Rivers Philadelphia was followed by:
- Parx ($7.51 million handle, down from $8.1 million; $572,416 revenue, down from $739,281)
- Rivers Pittsburgh ($7.48 million handle in November, down from $8.9 million; $518,743 revenue, up from $486,449)
- Valley Forge Casino ($3.6 million handle, up from $3.2 million; $107,145 revenue, down from $192,492)
- South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook ($3.3 million handle, down from $3.6 million; $328,651 revenue, down from $339,310)
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course ($3.2 million handle, down from $3.8 million; $112,277 revenue, up from $48,520)
- Harrah’s Philadelphia ($3 million handle, even with November; $123,799 revenue, down from $234,355)
- Presque Isle ($3 million handle, down from $3.7 million; $217,870 revenue, down from $302,458)
- Mohegan ($2.6 million handle, up from $2.5 million; $257,956 revenue, up from $173,120)
- Oaks Race and Sportsbook ($1.2 million handle, down from $1.4 million; $65,949 revenue, down from $149,765)
- Mount Airy ($814,931 handle, down from $868,026 handle; $73,692 revenue, up from $43,680 in revenue)
“The Rivers Casino books in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have capitalized on their markets to set themselves apart,” Gouker said. “But the proliferation of online betting has muted the growth of retail sportsbooks. The convenience of online betting, coupled with a robust in-game experience, is tough for retail sportsbooks to match.
ONLINE POKER TAKES OFF IN DECEMBER
Online poker drew significant history as the popularity of online casinos continued to grow in December. Online casino games and poker produced a record $10.6 million in December gross revenue, up 22% from $8.7 million in November. That yielded $2.3 million in tax revenue for the state.
Poker generated $2.5 million in December — all at Mount Airy/PokerStars — putting the record $3.4 million that New Jersey online poker rooms tallied in January 2014 in sight.
“The interest in poker so far in Pennsylvania is dramatic compared with neighboring New Jersey, where about 3% of online casino and poker revenue comes from poker,” Gouker said. “New Jersey got off to a hot start, too. So the question now is can the Pennsylvania sustain the initial enthusiasm.”
Rivers-Philadelphia held on to the online casino and poker market lead with $3 million in revenue on $181.5 million in bets. Revenue was down from $3.2 million on $148.7 million in wagers in November. Rivers-Philadelphia was followed by:
- Mount Airy/PokerStars ($3.5 million in revenue, up from $3 million in November; $73.6 million in bets, up from $48 million)
- Penn National ($1.7 million in revenue, down from $1.9 million; $54.6 million in bets, down from $57.1 million)
- Parx ($1.5 million in revenue, even with November; $53.7 million in wagers, down from $55.5 million)
- Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono ($406,445 in revenue, up from $131,415; $22 million in bets, up from $7.4 million)
For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania sports betting, 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 (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.