Pennsylvania Sports Betting Sets All-Time Record $365 Million Handle as Sports Return

Posted on September 16, 2020

PA sports betting handle reached nearly $365 million in August, setting a new all-time high.

The return of major sports were the force behind a 122% month-over-month increase in handle for Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

Revenue hit $27.5 million, a big leap from the previous month’s $8.1 million. According to the monthly report by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state collected $6.5 million in taxes from sports betting.

Of all wagers placed in Pennsylvania in August, 88% were placed online. After coronavirus closures, casinos and sportsbooks in Pennsylvania are now open.

FanDuel online sportsbook held its top spot in the state for handle with $144.6 million, a 110% increase from last month. The app also broke a record, posting nearly $8.9 million in revenue.

Full slate of sports

When coronavirus cancelled much of the sports calendar in the spring, handle sunk to $46 million in April. Sports, and bettors’ pent-up demand, came back in force. When the NBA returned, bettors had a full day of choices starting with early, mid-day and prime time games.

New Jersey had a record-setting month for any US state with an all-time high handle of $668 million. Revenue was $39.5 million, the third-best ever for the Garden State.

PA sports betting handle revenue by operator in August 2020

Casino or Off-Track Betting FacilityTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
FanDuel/Valley Forge Casino$149,187,263$9,094,569$144,635,085$8,865,958$4,552,178$228,611
DraftKings/The Meadows$88,248,545$1,313,522$86,855,018$1,156,515$1,393,526$157,006
Rivers Philadelphia (Formerly SugarHouse)$32,066,001$2,185,946$20,306,160$1,236,042$11,759,841$949,903
FOX Bet/Mount Airy$22,717,893$1,243,950$22,044,056$1,166,132$673,836$77,818
Rivers Pittsburgh$25,344,591$1,986,019$18,980,114$1,267,294$6,364,477$718,725
Parx$28,779,869$1,567,287$22,218,026$1,501,578$6,561,842$65,709
Presque Isle Downs$4,569,518$37,801$606,139$33,642$3,963,379$4,158
Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono$6,132,232$235,343$4,806,580$156,051$1,325,652$79,292
Harrah's Philadelphia$3,961,332$220,116$1,102,952$55,060$2,858,380$165,056
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook$370,615$70,208$0$0$370,615$70,208
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$2,095,904$185,455$0$0$2,095,904$185,455
Mohegan (The Downs at Lehigh Valley)$1,511,661$133,861$0$0$1,511,661$133,861
Statewide Total$364,985,422$18,274,075$321,554,131$15,438,273$43,431,292$2,835,802

FanDuel and DraftKings stay at the top

Of all online wagers in August, about 45% were placed at FanDuel. The app gave out $3.2 million in promo credits in July and topped it in August by handing out $3.5 million.

DraftKings continues to hold onto second place and accounted for 26% of all online bets placed in Pennsylvania. Their handle in August was $86.8 million, a big increase from $40 million in July. DraftKings revenue was $1.1 million. They also went heavy in promo credits doling out $3.6 million.

Other PA online sportsbooks in July:

  • Parx online sportsbook:$22.2 million in handle (up from $9 million), $1.5 million revenue
  • Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $22 million in handle (up from $11.9 million), $1.1 million revenue
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia: $20.3 million in handle (up from $12.7 million), $1.2 million revenue
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: $18.9 million in handle (up from $10.3 million), $1.2 million revenue
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono): $4.8 million (up from $2.6 million), $156,051 revenue
  • Caesars Sportsbook (Harrah’s): $1.1 million in handle (up from $249,584), $55,060 revenue
  • Bet America (Presque Isle Downs): $606,139 in handle (up from $422,638), $33,642 revenue

PA is still growing, expect bigger numbers in September

In August 2019, Pennsylvania was home to only four online sportsbooks which took about $83 million in bets for the month. In January 2020, PA sportsbooks set a (then) high of $348 million in handle. The August 2020 numbers reflect the exponential growth of the PA sports betting market, the demand of bettors, and a new high mark for handle.

However, there are some things not shown in the August figures. While NFL futures betting were obviously a part of the handle, no preseason or NFL regular games were played in August. Also, September numbers will reflect the very early numbers of the Barstool sportsbook app which launched on Sept. 15.

All this points to even bigger numbers for September.

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.

 
 Jan. 2020Feb. 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020
Total Handle$348.4 million$329.8 million$131.3 million$46.0 million$77.5 million$89.0 million$164.8 million$365.0 million
Total Gross Revenue$22.8 million$4.7 million$6.9 million$2.9 million$4.8 million$6.7 million$8.1 million$18.3 million
Tax revenue (36%)$8.2 million$1.7 million$2.5 million$1.0 million$1.7 million$2.4 million$2.9 million$6.6 million

DFS strong showing

Fantasy revenue is also returning to (pre-pandemic) form.

Fantasy contents revenue was $2.1 million in August, a 54% increase over last year’s number.

Of the state’s six DFS operators, it’s a two-horse race with DraftKings ($1,215,470) and FanDuel ($905,414).

PA online casino revenue also hits a new record

The sports betting rush and return of land-based casinos has not slowed online casino gaming in Pennsylvania. PA iGaming set a new revenue record of over $55.9 million in August, just besting the previous record $55.8 million set in May. It appears the pandemic-induced surge that happened when casinos had to close their doors in mid-March will have lasting effects.

Breakdown of record PA online casino revenue for August, 2020:

  • Slots: $39.6 million
  • Table games: $13.6 million
  • Online poker (PokerStars PA): $2.7 million

The PA online casino market, like sports betting, continues to grow too. Late July and mid-August saw the additions of a Wind Creek online casino and a Live! Casino mobile app. And even more online casino options are on the way to PA.

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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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