No One Is Mad About PA Sportsbooks’ Record-Setting March Return

Written By Jessica Welman on April 20, 2019 - Last Updated on November 18, 2021
PA sports betting numbers

After a brutal February, Pennsylvania sportsbooks bounced back in a big way in March.

Thanks to the influx of March Madness sports betting, the eight books took in a combined $44.5 million in bets. Unlike Super Bowl betting, which caused big losses across the industry, casinos profited from the basketball betting.

More than doubled revenue record

Total betting revenue came in at $5.5 million, which more than doubled January’s $2.6 million, the state’s previous high mark.

Part of that revenue surge is on account of two new sportsbooks, FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge and Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook, formerly Valley Forge Turf Club.

While the PA off-track betting facility did not contribute much to revenue, FanDuel had an impact. Despite only being open half of March, the property took in $2 million in bets and generated $450,000 in revenue.

Here is a breakdown of all the financials from March:

PropertyHandleGross RevenueTax
Rivers Sportsbook$11,901,967$1,344,398$483,983
SugarHouse Sportsbook$9,223,827$1,237,301$445,428
Parx Sportsbook$7,965,932$984,339$354,362
Hollywood Sportsbook$5,337,483$521,864$187,871
Harrah's Philadelphia$3,794,014$326,752$117,631
South Philadelphia Turf Club$3,550,264$534,253$192,331
FanDuel at Valley Forge$2,047,998$449,597$161,855
Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook$706,089$120,836$43,501

Rush Street books continue to dominate

The top revenue-generator was Rivers Casino. With $1.4 million in revenue, the property was one of two with seven figures of revenue. The other one was Rush Street’s other property, SugarHouse Sportsbook in Philadelphia. SugarHouse. The revenue for SugarHouse came in at $1.2 million. This is all the more impressive given the competitive Philadelphia betting market.

That is not even counting SugarHouse’s take in New Jersey sports betting either.

Rush Street is looking good. It would make it even better is if it is the operator that is ready to begin online betting live testing in another couple of weeks. First to market and biggest retail market share is a great position to be in after all.

High handle a nice bonus

In February sportsbooks in PA only had a small amount of revenue and 6% hold. That is better than some other states, like New Jersey, which actually lost money on the Super Bowl.

Nonetheless, it was not a great month. Hold for March though was more than double that rate. A full 12% hold for books is a great number. It is also a relatively unsustainable one. So, while we can expect revenue and handle to pop with online betting underway, the rate of return is not guaranteed to grow.

State gets a nice tax boost

Many are reporting the lackluster numbers for PA sports betting tax revenue so far. What that narrative leaves out though are the massive licensing fees sports betting operators had to pay.

Currently, there are nine casinos either operating or in the process of launching sports betting. That means $90 million in licensing fees alone. With fiscal projections at just $100 million for gambling expansion this fiscal year, the state is right on schedule, if not a little ahead.

This month dropped nearly $2 million more in state coffers. This is the first seven-figure month for tax revenue. Since launch, the 34% tax on sports betting has generated around $4.5 million for the state.

While April will be the first full month with eight retail sportsbooks, with no March Madness, a dip is very possible. However, interest in the 76ers and their NBA Playoffs run as well as how the Pittsburgh Penguins fare in the NHL postseason could help make up for the lack of college basketball.

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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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