Online Betting Propels PA Sportsbooks To Record $343 Million December

Posted on January 16, 2020 - Last Updated on February 18, 2020

Pennsylvania sports betting hit a record $342.6 million in wagers in December, 2019. Following a growing trend, nearly 87% of all those bets were placed online.

It capped a historic 2019 that saw the birth of eight online sportsbooks. Since the launch of the first few PA mobile sportsbooks in July, the amount of wagers placed in Pennsylvania has increased 477%.

FanDuel Sportsbook continues its dominance as the top operator by a wide margin.

A closer look at the December sports betting numbers

From October to November, PA sportsbooks experienced a $75.2 million jump in bets placed, fueled by increasing mobile betting options and the favorable betting season. November to December saw a respectable increase of $26 million in handle.

Revenue for November was $14.7 million, steady from the previous two months. It took a small step back in December, bringing in $11.4 million in revenue.

Online sports betting revenue totaled $8,396,958 for December, accounting for 74% of total revenue for the month.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in December 2019

Here’s a look at the numbers for operators in terms of revenue and handle:

Casino or Off-Track Betting FacilityTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
FanDuel/Valley Forge Casino$158,159,298$4,111,869$154,547,739$4,004,724$3,611,559$107,145
SugarHouse/Rivers Philadelphia$38,287,451$1,679,680$30,607,086$1,089,503$7,680,365$590,177
DraftKings/The Meadows$37,640,121$741,734$35,914,751$732,883$1,725,371$8,851
Rivers Pittsburgh$35,775,701$1,999,447$28,294,908$1,480,705$7,480,794$518,743
Parx $33,021,382$1,351,945$25,514,543$779,529$7,506,839$572,416
FOX Bet/Mount Airy$17,191,655$386,349$16,376,724$312,658$814,931$73,692
Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono$8,671,467$226,212$6,059,740($31,744)$2,611,727$257,956
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook$3,257,547$328,65100$3,257,547$328,651
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$3,236,537$112,27700$3,236,537$112,277
Presque Isle Downs$3,126,652 $246,570$129,556$28,700$2,997,097$217,870
Harrah’s Philadelphia$3,003,962$123,79900$3,003,962$123,799
Oaks Race and Sportsbook$1,188,617$65,94900$1,188,617$65,949
Statewide Total$342,560,389$11,374,482$297,445,045$8,396,958$45,115,344$2,977,524

FanDuel rules, DraftKings climbing

Sports bettors in PA wagered $297 million via PA online betting apps in December according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. A colossal $154 million – or more than half of online bets – came via FanDuel. Since August, FanDuel has been running away with the crown as the state’s top online operator in terms of handle and revenue.

FanDuel’s top competitor, DraftKings Sportsbook, entered the PA market in November through a partnership with The Meadows. It had a modest opening month posting $16.2 million in handle.

In December, DraftKings followed up by more than doubling its handle with nearly $36 million in bets placed. That catapulted them from fifth place to second in terms of handle. Despite the jump, DraftKings remains fifth in revenue of the eight books with $732,883, placing them just behind Parx.

Some other interesting figures from December online sports betting revenue:

  • Rivers Casinos in Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse) with $30.6 million in online bets placed and Pittsburgh ($28 million) lost ground to DraftKings online.
  • Parx Sporstbook slipped to fifth place with $25.5 million online handle. Rivers Casinos, FanDuel and DraftKings all rank above Parx and give out more in promotional credits.
  • FOX Bet (Mount Airy) had a small bump in bets placed from $13.5 million in November to $16.5 million in December. NovemberLast month FOX Bet had about $1 million in revenue, while December revenue dipped to $312,000.
  • Unibet, with Mohegan Sun as its PA gaming partner, experienced an increase in online handle ($6 million, up from $1.8 million). However, for the second straight month, Unibet failed to turn a profit finishing December $31,744 in the red.
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It was a good year for PA sports betting

With the increase from three to 12 retail sportsbooks, plus the launching of online sportsbooks, 2019 was a good one for PA sports betting.

While a more detailed breakdown of overall 2019 numbers is forthcoming, here are some key numbers:

  • Total wagered at PA sportsbooks: $1.49 billion
  • Total taxable revenue in 2019: $84.1 million
  • Online revenue was $43 million, surpassing retail revenue by $1.9 million

Fantasy contests in Pennsylvania

Daily fantasy sports revenue pales in comparison to sports betting. The numbers may be much smaller but the interest in fantasy contests still exists and is growing. Nine of PA’s fantasy contest operators combined for $3.4 million in revenue in December. It represents a 20% increase from last December.

DraftKings led the pack with $1.66 million in revenue, a 26% increase from last year. FanDuel finished a close second with $1.36 million.

The minimum age for DFS players is 18, whereas you must be 21 years or older to bet on sports in Pennsylvania.

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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