PA Sports Betting Hits $165M In Wagers For July Thanks To Return Of Major Sports

Posted on August 17, 2020 - Last Updated on August 18, 2020

The return of major sports gave Pennsylvania sportsbooks a big jolt. Sports betting handle in PA for July was $165 million, a significant 84% increase from $89 million in June.

Revenue rose to $8.1 million, a small amount from the previous month but a notable jump since $4.8 million in May.

All 12 casinos in the state have reopened after being closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus. As in previous months, nearly all of July’s wagers (94%) were placed online.

FanDuel online sportsbook led all operators for handle with about $70 million. It was edged out for the lead in taxable revenue by DraftKings, which posted $1.9 million to FanDuel’s $1.4 million.

PA sportsbooks welcome back major sports

PA online sportsbooks didn’t have to rely on table tennis and Belarussian soccer in July. With UFC, the PGA Tour and early-season MLB and NBA action, menus were filled with more familiar offerings.

Bettors showed pent-up demand for the return of mainstream sports.

  • UFC 251 was the most bet-on UFC event in BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse history.
  • During MLB’s opening weekend, more baseball bets were placed on BetRivers/PlaySugarhouse.com than ever before.
  • FanDuel CEO Matt King told Yahoo Finance that the app had its “biggest night ever” on MLB’s opening day on July 23.

New Jersey’s sports betting numbers loudly echoed the demand for sports’ return. Sportsbooks in NJ took $315.1 million in bets in June, up 91% from June.

July starts a new fiscal year. The previous one (July 1–June 30), 2019/2020, brought in revenue of $113.7 million for sportsbooks in PA. It represented an increase of 423% over the $21.7 million that sports wagering (without online betting) yielded the previous fiscal year.

PA sports betting handle revenue by operator in July 2020

Casino or Off-Track Betting FacilityTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
FanDuel/Valley Forge Casino$69.8 million$1.4 million$68.8 million$1.4 million$940,000($55,000)
DraftKings/The Meadows$39.6 million$1.9 million$39.1 million$1.8 million$452,000$67,000
Rivers Philadelphia (Formerly SugarHouse)$14.3 million$1.2 million$12.7 million$1 million$1.6 million$303,000
FOX Bet/Mount Airy$12.1 million$981,000$11.9 million$1.3 million$128,000$16,000
Rivers Pittsburgh$12 million$1 million$10.3 million$904,000$1.6 million$287,000
Parx $11.2 million$1.1 million$9.1 million$866,000$2.2 million$239,000
Presque Isle Downs$1.1 million$154,000$422,000$33,000$642,000$121,000
Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono$2.9 million$240,000$2.6 million$152,000$317,000$88,000
Harrah’s Philadelphia$899,000$105,000$250,000$25,000$650,000$80,000
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook000000
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$822,000$822,00000$822,000$822,000
Oaks Race and Sportsbook000000
Mohegan (The Downs at Lehigh Valley)$84,00000000
Statewide Total$164.8 million$8.1 million$155.4 million$6.9 million$9.4 million$1.3 million

FanDuel and DraftKings battle it out

FanDuel took 42% of all online wagers in July, a small bump from 37% last month. To celebrate the return of sports, FanDuel dropped a free $10 credit in all users’ accounts. It gave away $3.2 million in promotional credits in July, according to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. (FanDuel does own the PA record for most promo credits in a month, with $4.2 million in January 2020.).

DraftKings’ handle was just under $40 million in July, a $14 million increase from June.

Other PA online sportsbooks in July:

  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia: $12.7 million in handle (up from $9.4 million), $896,195 revenue
  • Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $11.9 million in handle (up from $8.4 million), $965,052 revenue
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: $10.3 million in handle (up from $5.9 million), $711,445 revenue
  • Parx online sportsbook:$9 million in handle (up from $5.2 million), $822,701 revenue
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono): $2.6 million (up from $1 million), $152,716 revenue
  • Bet America (Presque Isle Downs): $422,638 in handle (up from $229,711), $31,917 revenue
  • Caesars sportsbook (Harrah’s): $249,584 in handle (up from $132,659), $24,839 revenue

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. 

 January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020
Total Handle $348,381,708$329,765,782$131,330,059$46,015,988$77,510,033$89,002,562$164,782,229
Gross Revenue $22,841,192 $4,722,252$6,889,255$2,883,471$4,828,989$6,663,433 $8,147,480
Taxes (36%)$8,222,829$1,700,011$2,480,132$1,038,048$1,738,436$2,398,836$2,933,093

DFS starting to recover

No sports in the spring meant all-time lows for DFS in April and May.

Things are also starting to turn around for fantasy contests. July revenue was $925,738, whereas last month it was $647,246.

DraftKings reigned over fantasy games ($673,337), followed by FanDuel ($250,069).

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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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