FanDuel Crushed In August, Pushing PA Betting Handle To $109 Million

Written By Jessica Welman on September 16, 2019 - Last Updated on May 31, 2021

Move over Rush Street; there is a new champion in the clubhouse. In only its first full month of operation, FanDuel Sportsbook surpassed both BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse to be the most popular and profitable online betting app in Pennsylvania.

Thanks to the strong performance by the online sportsbook, PA sports betting handle reached six figures for the first time. In August, sportsbooks accepted $109 million in wagers. Online wagers accounted for 76% of total handle.

FanDuel takes top spot in the first full month of operation

According to numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), FanDuel accounted for roughly $35.3 million of the $83.2 million in online bets last month. SugarHouse was a distant second with $25 million in handle.

FanDuel was also more profitable than its competitors, with more than $2 million in revenue. That is roughly four times more revenue than the other three online sportsbooks combined.

Here is what a FanDuel spokesperson had to say about last month’s performance:

“FanDuel Sportsbook is the clear market leader for online sports betting in Pennsylvania with nearly half of the state’s handle and revenue, an incredible achievement in only six weeks of operation. Having expanded our leadership position across New Jersey and now Pennsylvania, we will continue to bring our top mobile betting platform to the expanding US market.”

Of course, gross revenue should be taken with a grain of salt given PGCB’s accounting methods. The final taxable revenue number accounts for the promotional credit. BetRivers Sports Book doled out over a million dollars in credit for the second-straight month. The result for BetRivers was a reported $418,000 in losses. It is worth noting though that both FanDuel and PlaySugarHouse awarded more than $900,000 in credit each, but managed to end up in the black.

August sports betting numbers, by property

Here is a look at how each property fared in August when it comes to handle and revenue:

Casino or Off-Track Betting FacilityTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley Forge Casino Resort$37,822,688$2,217,754$35,279,681$2,042,424$2,543,007$175,330
SugarHouse Casino$30,390,890$1,232,058$25,023,833$415,290$5,367,057$816,768
Rivers Casino$21,762,952$212,515$16,877,630($418,497)$4,885,322$631,012
Parx Casino$10,988,663$1,223,926$6,028,173$500,982$4,960,490$722,945
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$2,055,786$309,17100$2,055,786$309,171
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook$1,997,420$337,68000$1,997,420$337,680
Harrah’s Philadelphia$1,879,243$251,29600$1,879,243$251,296
Presque Isle Downs$1,197,553$282,38400$1,197,553$282,384
Oaks Race and Sportsbook$942,856$48,23000$942,856$48,230
Statewide Total$109,038,051$6,115,016$83,209,317$2,540,199$25,828,734$3,574,817

Parx a distant fourth

PlaySugarHouse online handle grew slightly month-over-month from $22 million to $25 million. Its sister property, BetRivers, jumped more than 70% from $9.9 million in bets in July to $16.9 million in August wagers. Parx also grew significantly month over month. The casino’s online book accepted $6 million in wagers last month, compared to just $3.4 million in July.

The upside for Parx is that its revenue numbers are more promising than competitors. Parx netted $500,000 in profit from online operations. This is mostly because the site awarded substantially less promotional credit than its competitors. While the rest spent around a million, Parx only doled out $117,000 in credit to sports betting customers.

Retail sports betting still important and growing

Yes, online betting accounts for the bulk of the betting, but retail sportsbooks continue to be an important part of the equation. The nine retail sportsbooks produced $25.8 million in wagers, generating $3.6 million in revenue. Those numbers are up over July when retail books took $20 million in wagers and brought in $2.2 million in revenue.

Preseason football, NFL futures, and the start of college football can help explain the spike. It is also just a precursor to September sports betting revenue numbers when revenue and handle should explode thanks to football being in full swing.

SugarHouse did retain the top spot when it came to retail betting performance, with $5.3 million in handle and more than $800,000 in revenue. That is almost twice what the property generated in online revenue.

Parx had a similarly high hold, with $723K in revenue off of $4.9 million in bets. Rivers, meanwhile, rounded out the top three with just less than $4.9 million in handle and $631,000 in revenue.

FanDuel’s partner, Valley Forge, was a distant fourth in the retail race. The property had $2.5 million in bets, with just $175,000 in revenue.

The three casinos without an online betting option yet all generated between $1 million to $2 million in bets. Meanwhile, the South Philadelphia OTB performed well with almost $2 million in bets. Oaks Race and Sportsbook, on the other hand, failed to crack $1 million in wagers.

Fox Bet and football will turn September on its head

While it is not on the report for August, expect big things from Mount Airy Casino in September. The property launched the online betting app Fox Bet on Sept. 4, then followed with a retail sportsbook launch last week. Mount Airy’s remote location may mean minimal retail returns. However, the big push for Fox Bet does have us wondering how it will fare against the existing online competition.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for

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