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PA Sports Betting January Handle Hits $32M, With Mixed Revenue Results

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PA sportsbook revenue Jan 2019

According to financials released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) on Friday, the six operating PA sportsbooks combined for the industry’s biggest month yet. Collectively, the books took in more than $32 million in wagers in January. A combined $2.6 million in gross revenue resulted, representing a respectable hold of 8.1 percent.

That said, not all shined bright for Keystone State properties.

Consider SugarHouse Sportsbook, which became the first PA sportsbook to report an eight-figure handle. However, of its $10,795,121 in accepted wagers, the property came away with a mere $103,523 in gross revenue or 0.96 percent of its handle.

Like SugarHouse, Hollywood Sportsbook and Rivers Sportsbook, saw their revenues drop month to month.

Yet there should not be much concern about these figures. It is only January after all.

SugarHouse, Rivers paces PA sports betting

SugarHouse gross revenue fell by nearly $640,000 from December, while Rivers by just over $200,000. Nonetheless, the two sportsbooks still stand as the go-to properties in the state.

Together, the Rush Street Gaming sportsbooks combined for 63.5 percent of the state’s overall handle.

PropertyHandleGross RevenueTax
SugarHouse Sportsbook$10,795,121$103,523$37,268
Rivers Sportsbook$9,543,112$853,316$307,194
Parx Sportsbook$5,382,620$1,170,348$421,325
Hollywood Sportsbook$4,817,151$284,624$102,465
South Philadelphia Turf Club$858,130$91,835$33,061
Harrah's Philadelphia$615,704$103,569$37,285
Total$32,011,839$2,607,205$938,597

Of course, Parx Sportsbook reported the highest January revenue in the state. Its $1.17 million represents a massive hold of 21.7 percent.

Like South Philadelphia Turf Club and Harrah’s Philadelphia, Parx opened mid-month and includes revenue generated during its two-day testing period prior to commencing regular operations, according to the PGCB.

State reaps rewards of PA sports betting

As the industry continues to grow, so will the overall handle and revenue.

In its second full month of PA sports betting, Pennsylvania collected $938,597 in taxes, pushing its total to $1,844,191.77 since launching in mid-November.

Of that January total, 34 percent (or $886,453) goes to the state, while 2 percent ($52,144) stands as the local share assessment.

Online betting will certainly help the industry

Certainly, a sports betting industry doubling its handle month to month is nothing to scoff at. And even January’s overall revenue is solid. After all, December’s total of just over $2 million represented a loftier 12.4 percent hold with the skewed results of just three sportsbook.

What last month’s report does indicate is the need for online sports betting.

So far, PA sports betting has only taken place within brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Online betting apps, meanwhile, have stalled in the Keystone State.

Regardless, the longer Pennsylvania holds off on online sports betting, the more money it will leave on the table.

In New Jersey, for example, sports betting has been dominated by mobile products. Last month, 79 percent of overall handle came via online sportsbooks. As did $15.5 million in revenue, or about 80 percent of the overall total.

Pennsylvania could become one of the nation’s top sports betting states. Its population is among the highest in the country and features strong professional markets in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The potential for PA sports betting is huge. But it will need online betting to get there.

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.

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