Unconvinced football is king? Pennsylvania daily fantasy sports numbers beg to differ.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) on Wednesday released revenue figures from September fantasy contests. And the result is a bit awe-striking.
Following several months of mediocrity, perhaps even disappointment, fantasy sports contests generated a head-turning $2,133,713.97 last month. That total reflects a 126 percent increase from the $943,620.22 generated in August.
As a result, for the first time in the industry’s young life in the Keystone State, there’s cause for excitement in the DFS market.
Examining the fantasy sports numbers
As expected, and as has been the case since DFS took hold years ago, DraftKings and FanDuel led the way in September.
The two daily fantasy sports powers combined for $2,123,166.50 of the month’s revenue, amounting to 99.5 percent of the total.
Finishing ahead of the market for the third straight month, DraftKings reported nearly $1.2 million in adjusted revenue last month, more than doubling its August numbers. FanDuel, meanwhile, was the only other DFS operator to finish with more than $20,000. Its total, just shy of $950,000, was also more than double its previous month’s reported revenue.
As for the rest of the industry, with their September revenue (and month-to-month performance):
- DRAFT: $19,659.38 (82 percent increase)
- Boom Fantasy: $1,336.87 (87.3)
- Fantasy Draft: $1,088.58 $3,847.78 (-71.7)
- Sportshub Technologies: $270.49 (-36.5)
- Full Time Fantasy Sports: $241.50 (n/a)
- Fantasy Football Players Championship: $0.00 (n/a)
- Yahoo Fantasy Sports: -$12,049.35 (-987.08)
As shown, only DRAFT and Boom Fantasy joined DraftKings and FanDuel as operators enjoying month-to-month increases. Interesting note that Yahoo Fantasy Sports essentially asked for a refund, of $1,807.40, after finishing in the red in September.
Big month after slow start
September’s figures have been long awaited by Pennsylvania. In May, the industry’s first full month, DFS operators combined for $1.33 million, causing lofty expectations for the future.
The dead time of the sports calendar, however, set in during the summer. And since May, adjusted revenue dropped month-to-month.
Once again, it should be said: Thank goodness for football.
The fantasy industry in the Keystone State has generated just under $4.2 million to date, and more than 50 percent of that total came in September. Of the $66.25 million collected in contest fees during the life of the industry, $22.24 million (just over one-third of the total) happened last month.
Similarly, one-third of total taxes collected to date, $320,057.10, occurred in September.
Foreshadowing sports betting?
Considering the long-debated topic that fantasy sports should be considered gambling, it seems appropriate to tie the rising DFS popularity to an incoming Pennsylvania gambling industry.
Three PA sports betting operations could launch within weeks. Another three ownership groups are expected to make presentations to the PGCB during the boards Oct. 31 meeting.
Though still early in the life of the DFS industry, football has already proven to be a key factor in terms of revenue. How it will fare once the season concludes will help form a more rounded perception of the market.
That said, sports betting, should it launch during the football season, should certainly follow a similar pattern as DFS. Nearby New Jersey has already shown such success. In September, the Garden State accepted nearly $184 million in handle with some $24 million in revenue) after taking in about $153 million in handle for roughly $16 million in revenue during the first three months of NJ sports betting.
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