Minor Slump For PA Sportsbooks in April; FanDuel And DraftKings Hold On To Market Share Dominance

Posted By Katie Kohler on May 18, 2021

Pennsylvania sportsbooks experienced an expected spring slump in April. A lull after March Madness resulted in a handle of $479 million and $36 million in revenue for Pennsylvania sportsbook operators.

Like previous months, most (92%) of the wagers were placed online. Sportsbooks’ win percentage/hold was 7.5%, an incremental increase from 7.3% in March.

Compared to March, handle decreased 14.4% and revenue dropped 12.1%. Pennsylvania sports betting handle topped $500 million during the previous four months. However, April stopped the streak of surpassing a half a billion in monthly wagers.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks handed out $9.7 million in promotional credits in April, the lowest amount of freebies since August 2020. Promos reduced sportsbooks’ taxable revenue to $26.3 million. The state collected about $9 million from sports betting in April with an extra $526K earmarked for local entities.

FanDuel Sportsbook continues its reign as the top Pennsylvania sportsbook leading all sports betting apps in April for handle ($167.6 million) and revenue ($13.7 million). FanDuel, through its partnership with Valley Forge Casino, took 38% of all online wagers in April.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks benefitted from NCAA Title game

Monthly sports betting figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board are not broken down by sport. However, it’s safe to assume that the biggest event for PA sports betting apps in April was the 2021 NCAA Championship game between Baylor vs. Gonzaga on April 5.

The two most-bet games of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at DraftKings in Pennsylvania were the National Championship game and the UCLA vs. Gonzaga Final Four game on April 3. A rep from BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse said the National Championship was the most bet-game of the tournament and the entire 2020-2021 college basketball season.

During the rest of the month of April, a full slate of NBA, NHL and MLB action filled sportsbooks’ menus along with a few UFC fights.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks compared to last year, rest of country

A 941.8% YoY increase in handle seems astonishing at first glance. However, it needs to be understood in full context. In April 2020, sportsbooks started feeling the impact of coronavirus cancelling sporting events. Monthly handle sunk to $46 million and revenue dipped to $3 million.

In terms of the broader picture of sports betting in the United States, Illinois knocked PA out of the No. 3 spot for highest handle (behind New Jersey and Las Vegas.). Illinois took the spot in February with $509.8 million and recorded $633.6 million in March. Illinois is a month behind in reporting sport betting figures.

New Jersey continues to reign with the highest sports betting handle in the country. NJ sports bettors wagered $748 million in April. Like PA, the majority of the bets were placed online. Nevada’s April numbers have not been released yet. In March, Nevada’s sports betting handle reached $640 million.

FanDuel and DraftKings continue to lead all PA sportsbooks

In April, out of all 12 Pennsylvania sports betting apps, FanDuel again finished first for online handle ($167.6 million) and revenue ($11 million). DraftKings continues to tighten its grip on the No. 2 spot with $105 million in handle and $5.4 million in revenue.

In its fourth full month, BetMGM Sportsbook, through its partnership with Hollywood Casino Morgantown, took $33 million in bets. Parx ranked seventh for handle but thanks to a monthly-high 11.7% hold, was third for revenue ($1.6 million gross revenue).

Barstool goes big on promos in April but revenue in the red

Barstool Sportsbook‘s handle went from $63.6 million in March to $57 million in April. Gross revenue was $2.6 million but after handing out $2.7 million worth of promos, it’s taxable revenue was in the red (-$102,568). In April, Barstool handed out the most promos of any Pennsylvania sportsbook, slightly out-giving FanDuel.

Shares of Penn National Gaming dropped 15% in April, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in April 2021

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleTotal Revenue (GGR)Online HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley ForgeFanDuel$169,851,386$14,076,240$167,566,186$13,747,625$2,285,200$328,615
MeadowsDraftKings$106,896,007$6,555,727$105,749,236$6,441,002$1,146,771$114,725
HollywoodBarstool$58,552,637$2,837,619$57,164,750$2,598,066$1,387,887$239,553
Hollywood MorgantownBetMGM$33,018,430$2,500,211$33,018,430$2,500,211$0$0
Rivers PittsburghBetRivers$23,155,312$2,561,486$18,751,934$1,766,180$4,403,378$795,307
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse$21,162,479$1,745,619$13,423,685$995,423$7,738,794$750,196
ParxParx$19,474,407$2,463,983$14,168,663$1,651,342$5,305,744$812,640
Mount AiryFox Bet$15,809,522$1,160,001$15,212,192$1,081,799$597,330$78,202
Mohegan SunUnibet$10,906,437$638,873$7,157,578$436,595$3,748,859$202,278
Harrah'sCaesars$4,831,177$164,011$2,057,002-$75,375$2,774,175$239,387
Live PhiladelphiaN/A$4,572,647$254,485$0$0$4,572,647$254,485
Presque IsleTwinSpires$3,971,847$459,255$2,071,468$33,622$1,900,379$425,633
Wind CreekWind Creek$3,541,201$137,320$2,724,524$49,074$816,677$88,247
South Philly OTBN/A$1,970,528$347,839$0$0$1,970,528$347,839
Lehigh OTBN/A$1,073,309$37,884$0$0$1,073,309$37,884
Live PittsburghN/A$623,695$93,173$0$0$623,695$93,173
Total$479,411,021$36,033,727$439,065,648$31,225,563$40,345,373$4,808,163

PA sports betting handle, revenue, taxes on the rise

Here is a look at fiscal year breakdown of the handle, revenue and taxes for sports betting in Pennsylvania.

Fiscal year 2018/2019

  • Handle: $244.6 million
  • Taxable Revenue: $21.7 million
  • State tax (34%): $699,319
  • Local share (2%): $41,136

Fiscal year 2019/2020

  • Handle: $2.5 billion
  • Revenue: $163.3 million
  • Taxable Revenue: $135.5 million
  • State tax: $38.6 million
  • Local share: $2.3 million

Fiscal year 2020/2021 (July to present)

  • Handle: $4.7 billion
  • Revenue: $360.7 million
  • Taxable Revenue: $246.9 million
  • State tax: $84 million
  • Local share: $5 million

Where do PA sports betting taxes go?

Pennsylvania levies the highest tax on sports betting revenue at 36%.

The money collected from taxes from sports betting goes into the general fund; 34% is a state tax and 2% is a local share assessment.

April fantasy figures

Fantasy operators reported about $2 million in revenue in March. It’s a small bump from $1.8 million in March DraftKings and FanDuel earn nearly all of the DFS revenue in PA.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She is the Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania and covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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