On the upside, sports betting revenue has rebounded in Pennsylvania with a return of major sports, just as everyone was learning to
love tolerate table tennis.
In horse racing news, Parx had a scare last week with three workers, including a jockey, testing positive for COVID-19. Positive tests at a track in Virginia ended a meet. And an annual report shows racing’s long revenue slide continued in 2019 in PA, as elsewhere.
And another bummer, but predictable given liability and the virus: Penn State has canceled its football season, though there is some home for a spring season.
PA sportsbooks had a big July, relatively speaking
With sportsbooks back in fuller action, the betting handle in PA for July was $165 million. That’s a staggering 84% increase from $89 million in June.
Revenue rose to $8.1 million, a small increase from the previous month but a notable jump from $4.8 million in May.
While all 12 casinos are now open, nearly all of July’s wagers (94%) were placed online.
PA online poker and casino revenue had a good July
Combined online casino and poker revenue in July totaled $54.4 million according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It nearly broke the all-time high of $55.8 million in May.
Casinos are back open at 50% capacity but players are still busy with online platforms.
Slot and table games produced $51.4 million in revenue, with $23 million going to state and local taxes. In July, nearly $3 million in online gambling revenue came from online poker.
It was the third consecutive month total wagers for online slots went over $1 billion.
Unhappy Valley for Penn State
Last Tuesday, the Big Ten conference canceled all fall sports seasons, ending any hope for Penn State games in Happy Valley’s Beaver Stadium this fall.
But the Big Ten is still evaluating options for its canceled fall sports. One of those options is playing the games during the second semester, which would include parts of both winter and spring.
That could mean an unprecedented spring football season.
Virus scare at Parx Racing
A rider at Parx Casino’s horse racing track with lifetime total purse winnings of more than $14.1 million, tested positive for coronavirus.
Jockey Anthony Salgado‘s positive result came just after he ran in five races on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at the thoroughbred track in Bucks County, just outside Philadelphia. Two additional infections were found in backside workers who deal directly with horses.
Training stopped for two days but had resumed as of Saturday, and racing resumed Monday and Tuesday.
Meanwhile, an annual report showed the taxable handle generated by Pennsylvania’s six race tracks dropped by more than 10.7% in 2019 to around $300 million, a decrease of more than $36.1 million from the previous year.