Happy Two Years, PA Sports Betting: Handle Surpasses $500M in October, $4B Lifetime

Posted on November 17, 2020 - Last Updated on November 22, 2020

Pennsylvania’s sports betting market continues to outdo itself. Sportsbook operators combined to post a record-breaking $525.8 million handle in October. PA joins Nevada and New Jersey as the third state to surpass the $500 million mark for monthly sports betting handle.

It’s the third consecutive month PA sportsbooks have shattered their own record for handle. Only four months into the 2020-21 fiscal year, sports betting handle in Pennsylvania has surpassed the $1.5 billion mark.

Today is the second anniversary of the start of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania. Hollywood Casino launched Pennsylvania’s first legal sportsbook with partner William Hill on Nov. 17, 2018.

Total handle increased a modest 13% from the previous month. However, revenue skyrocketed from $6.2 million in September to $36.8 million in October. About 90% of wagers were placed on PA online sportsbooks, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

FanDuel online sportsbook held its lead in PA with handle of $181 million.

Record revenue for PA sports betting

The previous record for revenue was set in January 2020, when operators combined for $22.8 million. Why the September revenue slip? There are various factors, such as futures bets being paid out, a big promotional push to start the NFL season and bookmakers adjusting lines in the age of COVID-19 and no preseason.

October proved to be a treat for PA sportsbook operators. Not only did they break the record for handle (again), but $36.8 million in revenue more than doubles the previous record. The state collected $12.5 million from sports betting taxes in October 2020, with another $736,000 for local taxes.

It was also a banner month in New Jersey. For the third consecutive month, New Jersey broke the all-time sports betting handle record. In October, New Jersey recorded an $803 million handle, beating September’s record $748.5 million.

FanDuel shatters PA record for monthly revenue

FanDuel took 35% of all wagers in October, a decrease from 41% in September. The PA market-leading sportsbook app saw revenue rise month over month from $2.3 million to $14.7 million. It shattered the record for revenue for a PA online sportsbook.

DraftKings cracked the $100 million handle threshold last month, and it appears there is no looking back. It held on to second place by taking $121 million in wagers.

After finishing in the red for revenue last month (-$1.2 million), DraftKings hit $6.5 million in revenue. It’s the highest revenue the DraftKings sportsbook app has recorded since its launch in November 2019.

First full month of Barstool Sportsbook figures

The much-anticipated Barstool Sportsbook, through its partnership with Hollywood Casino, made its entrance in mid-September. The new book took about $30 million in bets, gave away $2.1 million worth of promotions and finished its first (half of a) month in the red for gross revenue (-$2.8 million).

October provided a better picture. Barstool Sportsbook had handle of $61 million and revenue of about $3 million. If its October number proves to be consistent, that would solidify its place as the No. 3 sportsbook app in PA.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in October 2020

Sports Betting OperatorTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley Forge Casino (FanDuel)$184,932,295$15,642,025$180,995,438$14,706,169$3,936,857$935,856
The Meadows Casino (DraftKings)$123,398,250$6,847,709$121,026,099$6,471,318$2,372,151$376,391
Hollywood/Penn National (Barstool)$63,802,151$3,423,797$60,991,768$2,962,659$2,810,383$461,138
Rivers Pittsburgh (BetRivers)$36,186,443$2,464,954$26,080,884$1,448,815$10,105,559$1,016,139
Rivers Philadelphia (PlaySugarHouse)$32,442,650$2,454,790$21,375,284$1,469,606$11,067,366$985,184
Parx Casino$29,852,182$3,268,017$21,735,668$2,143,025$8,116,514$1,124,992
Mount Airy Casino (Fox Bet)$29,005,321$1,168,890$28,241,392$1,085,889$763,929$83,001
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$11,758,422$391,487$9,856,139$101,458$1,902,284$290,029
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$4,791,624$598,964$912,236$15,076$3,879,387$583,888
Harrah's Philadelphia (Caesars)$3,848,985$357,081$1,061,095$66,241$2,787,890$290,840
South Philly Race & Sportsbook$3,785,766$477,047N/AN/A$3,785,766$477,047
Mohegan Sun Lehigh Valley$1,998,436-$317,835N/AN/A$1,998,436-$317,835
Total$525,802,524$36,776,926$472,276,003$30,470,256$53,526,521$6,306,670

Other PA online sportsbooks in October:

  • Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $28.2 million in handle (up from $24 million), $1 million revenue
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: $26 million in handle (up from $24 million), $1.4 million revenue
  • Parx online sportsbook: $21.7 million in handle (up from $21.6 million), $2.1 million revenue
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia: $21.4 million in handle (up from $20.2 million), $1.5 million revenue
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono): $9.8 million (up from $7.6 million), -$101,458 revenue
  • Caesars Sportsbook (Harrah’s): $1 million in handle (down from $1.3 million), $66,241 revenue
  • Bet America (Presque Isle Downs): $912,236 in handle (up from $649,826), $15,076 revenue

Two-year anniversary for PA sports betting

The PA sports betting industry is officially blossoming into maturity. Since its birth two years ago, the sports betting industry has experienced quite a growth spurt in terms of operators and handle.

Fiscal year total handle:
  • 2018-19: $244.6 million
  • 2019-20: $2.5 billion
  • 2020-21: $1.5 billion (four months)

In its two years of operation, PA sports betting has brought in:

  • Total handle: $4,048,118,486
  • Revenue to date: $204,923,235
  • Total taxes (state and local, 36%): $73,772,366

PA sports betting: How it started, how it’s going

 November 2018 October 2020
Handle$1,414,587$525,802,524
Revenue$508,997$36,776,926
Retail operators112
Online operators0 10

2020 PA sports betting handle, revenue and taxes

Here’s a look at top-line numbers for PA sports betting since the start of 2020. Tax revenue includes the 34% state tax and 2% in local taxes.

 Total HandleTotal Gross RevenueTax Revenue (36%)
Jan. 2020$348.4 million$22.8 million $8.2 million
Feb. 2020$329.8 million$4.7 million$1.7 million
March 2020$131.3 million$6.9 million$2.5 million
April 2020$46.0 million$2.9 million$1.0 million
May 2020$77.5 million$4.8 million$1.7 million
June 2020$89.0 million$6.7 million$2.4 million
July 2020$164.8 million$8.1 million$2.9 million
August 2020$365.0 million$18.3 million$6.6 million
Sept. 2020$462.8 million$6.3 million$2.3 million
Oct. 2020$525.8 million$36.8 million$13.2 million

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

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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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