PA Online Casinos Stay Hot, Nearly Break Revenue Record With $54 Million

Posted on August 18, 2020 - Last Updated on August 20, 2020

Online casinos in Pennsylvania continue to ride high and are still in growth mode.

Online casino and poker revenue in July totaled $54.4 million according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It almost broke the all-time high of $55.8 million in May.

Still, it was a month worth boasting about for PA’s barely one-year-old online gambling industry. May’s record came when coronavirus shuttered all 12 brick-and-mortar casinos. Now, the casinos are open at 50% capacity but players are still flocking to 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.

Wind Creek Casino and PlayLive! Casino launched their online offerings in August within a week of each other. PlayLive! arrived ahead of its brick-and-mortar counterparts in Philadelphia and Westmoreland, PA.

PA online casinos stay hot in July

Slot revenue in July was $39.4 million, up $3 million from June. Table games revenue increased nearly $2 million to $11.9 million.

Total play (slots and table games) in July jumped by $160 million from the previous month but it fell $17.5 million short of May’s all-time high.

Top PA online casino operators

Currently, Pennsylvania has 12 online casinos. Ten are included in the July report by the PA Gaming Control Board (both of BetRivers‘ sites are combined). The first figures for Play Live! Casino will not be available until next month.

Rivers Philadelphia led for total revenue for slots ($14 million). Penn National was tops for table game revenue ($2.4 million). Penn now offers both a Hollywood Casino and DraftKings Casino app in PA.

Parx and Valley Forge (FanDuel) also had solid months.

PA online casinos a look back, and a look ahead

Pennsylvania first launched online casinos in July 2019. It’s been quite a year for the gambling vertical.

Here is a timeline of launches in PA:

  • Hollywood Casino: July 2019
  • Parx Casino: July 2019
  • SugarHouse (now Rivers Casino Philadelphia): July 2019
  • PokerStars (Mount Airy): November 2019
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun): November 2019
  • FanDuel (Valley Forge Casino): January 2020
  • Bet Rivers (Rivers Casino Pittsburgh): January 2020
  • Bet America (Presque Isle): January 2020
  • Caesars (Harrah’s): April 2020
  • DraftKings (Meadows): april 2020
  • Wind Creek Casino: July 2020
  • PlayLive!: August 2000

The demand for online casinos is clearly alive and well in the commonwealth and operators are answering. Libraries are growing, live dealer games appear to be coming soon, and recently FanDuel and DraftKings launched standalone casino apps in Pennsylvania.

New Jersey online casinos tallied $84.7 million for July. It marks an all-time high and a 122.5% year-over-year increase.

How does the younger PA online casino market compare?

It took New Jersey over six years to hit more than $50 million for online gambling revenue in a month. Pennsylvania did it in less than a year. Total wagers for online slots surpassing $1 billion for the third straight month represents more than double pre-pandemic play.

Poker comes back to earth

PokerStars PA, the lone online poker room in PA, set a record for revenue in April with $5.3 million. It came back to earth with nearly $3 million in July.

It could be getting its first taste of competition soon. If it makes it on the Sept. 5 agenda for the next PGCB meeting, PartyPoker could get approval. Also, WSOP.com is also expected to launch in PA in the near future, in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Generally, online gambling products in PA are attached to a land-based casino. But it will not be the case for GVC’s PartyPoker brand, now under the MGM/GVC online gambling umbrella ROAR Digital.

BetMGM is one of two Qualified Gaming Entities (QGEs) licensed to operate iGaming products in PA, pending PGCB approval. The other is Golden Nugget, which holds licenses for slots and table games, but not poker.

Photo by Photo via Getty Images
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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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