The PA Gaming Review: FanDuel Dominated Both The Revenue Numbers And The Headlines This Week

Written By Kevin Shelly on December 18, 2019 - Last Updated on February 18, 2020

It was a big week for three advances in Pennsylvania gaming history:

  • Sportsbook revenue set another monthly record
  • Online casino revenue also set a monthly record
  • Online poker had a massive debut

The week’s news was not entirely revenue-focused though. FanDuel managed to dominate the revenue headlines and make news thanks to a big new partnership announcement.

That would be billion, with a ‘B’ for sports

What a difference a year makes: a year ago there was just one retail sportsbook in Pennsylvania, but expansion was rapid in retail and online. By the end of November, Pennsylvania sportsbooks and betting apps accepted more than $1.1 billion in wagers. and by the end of November lifetime sportsbook bets in Pennsylvania went over $1.1 billion.

Online sportsbook betting began in May and now online accounts for more than 80% of the wagering.

FanDuel and its partner Valley Forge Casino account for more than 36% of the marketplace, even though it only launched in July.

By comparison, Rivers Philadelphia (formerly known as SugarHouse) was one of the first retail sportsbooks and the first PA online sportsbook and generated nearly 21% of bets.

Online casino topped $7.6 million for the month of November

Two new online casinos came online in November, vaulting total revenues to more than $7.6 million

As a result, revenue numbers jumped 55% month over month with the addition of the new online sites, Unibet and PokerStars Casino.

Leading the way in November with over $3.1 million in revenue was Rivers Philadelphia’s PlaySugarHouse brand. The site had a brief dip in revenue but appears to be the clear market leader when it comes to online casino sites in the state.

Online slots accounted for $2 million in revenue during November for SugarHouse, while table games brought in nearly $1.1 million.

A really big partnership with FanDuel and the Cordish Cos.

Maryland-based Cordish Cos. teamed with The FanDuel Group, the market-leading leading sportsbook operator in PA to bring FanDuel-branded sportsbooks to Live! Casino & Hotel properties around the country.

Two PA Cordish properties will benefit from the partnership. There’s a mini-casino planned near Pittsburgh and the large property is under construction near the sports stadium in Philadephia. The Philadelphia casino is slated to open in December 2020.

An interesting wrinkle of this partnership is that FanDuel does not need Cordish to operate online in Pennsylvania. It is already, as noted, the market leader. However, the Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia project pitched online betting as part of their sports betting plans earlier this year. What operator that will be remains a mystery, at least for now.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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