November to Remember for PA Sportsbooks: Record Revenue, Taxes and Huge YoY Growth

Posted on December 16, 2020 - Last Updated on January 19, 2021

Pennsylvania’s sports betting market continues to look merry and bright. Handle totaled about $492 million in November, down just 6.4% from the record $525.8 million set in October. Five months into the 2020-21 fiscal year, Pennsylvania surpassed the $2 billion mark for handle.

November was the second-highest ever for handle in PA and marked the best month yet for sportsbooks in terms of overall revenue. The commonwealth’s 10 online sportsbooks and 14 retail books combined for $37.4 million in gross (taxable) revenue, up a tick from the previous record of $36.8 million set the previous month.

Online wagering continues be the overwhelming preference of bettors, with 91%  of bets placed at PA online sports betting apps, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

FanDuel online sportsbook remains the leader in PA again, taking $176.7 million, or 36.6% of the state’s wagers.

Big month for revenue and taxes

NFL and college football betting fueled another big month for the books. $37.4 million in revenue represents a huge increase from $6.2 million in September 2020. Sportsbook apps also gave away $11.1 million in promotional credits, a nearly identical number to the previous month.

The state collected $12.7 million from sports betting taxes in November 2020, with another $747,005 for local taxes.

November numbers for PA and any other state with legalized sports betting pale in comparison to neighboring New Jersey’s. It set the all-time high for handle in any state for the fourth straight month with $931.6 million.

FanDuel and DraftKings lead the pack in PA

FanDuel took 36% of all wagers, which is a decrease from 41% in September. However, the market leader broke the record for revenue for a PA online sportsbook in October ($14.7 million) and again in November ($15 million).

DraftKings surpassed the $100 million threshold for the third consecutive month with a handle of about $110 million. It also posted the highest revenue since its November 2019 launch with $6.8 million in November 2020.

New sportsbooks in PA

The much-anticipated Barstool Sportsbook, through its partnership with Hollywood Casino, arrived in Pennsylvania in mid-September. In its third full month, Barstool took $55.86 million in wagers, a small decrease from about $61 million in October.

Barstool won’t be the baby of the books for much longer. There are rumors that BetMGM, which recently released its online casino in PA, will be rolling out its online sportsbook very soon.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in November 2020

Sports Betting OperatorTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley Forge Casino (FanDuel)$180,056,254$15,428,575$176,746,119$15,060,960$3,310,135$367,615
The Meadows Casino (DraftKings)$112,546,122$7,174,759$109,886,617$6,887,440$2,659,505$287,319
Hollywood/Penn National (Barstool)$57,806,082$3,784,120$55,656,541$3,488,727$2,149,541$295,392
Rivers Pittsburgh (BetRivers)$34,998,795$2,019,720$28,085,328$975,843$6,913,467$1,043,877
Mount Airy Casino (Fox Bet)$28,902,526$1,575,915$28,067,087$1,539,392$835,439$36,523
Parx Casino$28,529,299$3,563,619$19,371,783$2,054,563$9,157,516$1,509,056
Rivers Philadelphia (PlaySugarHouse)$27,386,960$2,029,993$19,399,744$917,164$7,987,216$1,112,829
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$9,991,516$605,958$8,181,449$194,793$1,810,067$411,165
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$4,610,010$378,802$957,165$8,632$3,652,845$370,170
Harrah's Philadelphia (Caesars)$3,328,342$418,773$1,066,617$58,141$2,261,726$360,632
South Philly Race & Sportsbook$2,031,016$90,795$0$0$2,031,016$90,795
Mohegan Sun Lehigh Valley$1,399,802$169,837$0$0$1,399,802$169,837
Wind Creek$164,486$62,065$0$0$164,486$62,065
Live! Casino Pittsburgh$159,503$47,317$0$0$159,503$47,317

Other PA online sportsbooks in November:

  • Barstool (Hollywood Casino): $55.6 million in handle (down from $60.9 million), $3.5 million in revenue
  • Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $28 million in handle (down from $28.2 million), $1.5 million in revenue
  • Rivers Casino Pittsburgh: $28 million in handle (up from $26 million), $975,843 in revenue
  • Parx online sportsbook: $19.4 million in handle (down from $21.7 million), $2 million in revenue
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia: $19.4 million in handle (down from $21.4 million), $917,164 in revenue
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono): $8.1 million (down from $9.8 million), $194,793 in revenue
  • Caesars Sportsbook (Harrah’s): $1 million in handle (up from $1 million), $58,141 in revenue
  • Bet America (Presque Isle Downs): $957,165 in handle (up from $912,236), $8,632 in revenue

Two years and counting for PA sports betting

Last month, Pennsylvania celebrated the second anniversary of the start of legal sports betting. Hollywood Casino launched Pennsylvania’s first legal sportsbook with partner William Hill on Nov. 17, 2018.

The PA sports betting industry is officially blossoming into maturity. Since its birth two years ago, the industry has experienced quite a growth spurt in terms of operators and handle.

Fiscal year total handle:
  • 2018-19: $244.6 million
  • 2019-20: $2.5 billion
  • 2020-21: $2 billion (five months)

PGCB Director of Communication Doug Harbach commented to PlayPennsylvania about the burgeoning sports betting market after its two-year anniversary:

“The type of customer and revenue growth in this gaming segment is similar to that seen other segments. Particular to sports wagering, certainly the rapid increase in the number of operators is the chief reason. The effective marketing of the operators then produces an exponential uptick in the total potential customers in their databases which, combined with an increased comfort from gamblers in participating in sports wagering in Pennsylvania, leads to growth in the amount of wagering. Finally, the parallel competition of major sports, particularly professional and college football, is certainly driving the record handle and revenue numbers seen in the last few months.”

PA sports betting: How it started, how it’s going

 December 2018 December 2020
Handle$16 million$548.6 million
Revenue$2 million$34 million
Retail operators314
Online operators0 12

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.

 Total HandleTotal Gross RevenueTax Revenue (36%)
Jan. 2020$348.4 million$22.8 million $8.2 million
Feb. 2020$329.8 million$4.7 million$1.7 million
March 2020$131.3 million$6.9 million$2.5 million
April 2020$46.0 million$2.9 million$1.0 million
May 2020$77.5 million$4.8 million$1.7 million
June 2020$89.0 million$6.7 million$2.4 million
July 2020$164.8 million$8.1 million$2.9 million
August 2020$365.0 million$18.3 million$6.6 million
Sept. 2020$462.8 million$6.3 million$2.3 million
Oct. 2020$525.8 million$36.8 million$13.2 million
Nov. 2020$491.9 million$37.4 million$13.4 million
Dec. 2020$548.6 million$34.1 million$12.3 million
2020 Totals

November fantasy figures

In November, fantasy operators combined to report about $3 million in revenue, an increase of 1.14% over November of last year. DraftKings and FanDuel  make up the lion’s share of DFS action in PA.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

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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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