Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Slip in May But Break $5 Billion Handle Mark

Written By Katie Kohler on June 17, 2021 - Last Updated on July 1, 2021

Pennsylvania sportsbooks continued their to-be-expected spring slump. PA sports bettors wagered $447.5 million in May according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It’s a 6% decrease in handle from April. PA sportsbooks reported $37.4 million in revenue, a $1.4 million increase from last month.

As has been the trend since the birth of sports betting apps in PA, most (91%) wagers were placed online. Sportsbooks’ win percentage/hold was 8.4%, a jump from 7.5% in April.

May pushed Pennsylvania sportsbooks over the $5 billion mark for wagers in the fiscal year with one month left.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks gave $9.7 million in promotional credits in May. Promos reduced sportsbooks’ taxable revenue to $27.7 million. The state pulled in $9.4 million in taxes from sports betting in May with an additional $555K headed to local entities.

FanDuel Sportsbook continues to hold the top spot in the Pennsylvania sports betting industry. It was the far-and-away leader for handle ($163.5 million) and revenue ($17.9 million). Through its partnership with Valley Forge Casino, FanDuel accounted for about 40% of all online bets.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks versus other states

At first glance, PA sportsbooks’ 477% YoY increase in handle seems stunning. However, last May the sports calendar was still basically bare due to the coronavirus. Pennsylvania online sportsbooks started launching in June 2019. It’s a toddler. It’s going to have…shall we say…behavior fluctuations.

How did other states’ sports figures measure up in May? Yesterday, New Jersey reported one of its best months with $814.3 million in handle and $52.9 million in revenue. Handle in Michigan for May was $257.7 million. Nevada has yet to report May figures.

Illinois just released April sports betting numbers. Illinois reported a handle of $537.2 million in April, beating PA’s April handle of $479.4 million.

FanDuel and DraftKings top PA online sportsbook operators

Different month, same story for who is the leader in PA sports betting. FanDuel online sportsbook finished first again for online handle ($160.9 million) and revenue ($14.2 million after promos).

DraftKings held on to the No. 2 spot with about $100 million in wagers and $3.9 million in revenue.

Barstool gets out of the red in May

In April, Barstool Sportsbook had a gross revenue of $2.6 million, but after giving out $2.7 million in promos, it reported a negative taxable revenue (-$102,568). Barstool got out of the red in May, reporting a taxable revenue of $1.6 million.

Barstool Sportsbook remains in distant third place for handle and revenue in PA. May handle was about $43.6 million and gross revenue was $2.8 million.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in May 2021

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley ForgeFanDuel$163,461,947$17,944,300$160,874,459$17,562,981$2,587,488$381,319
Hollywood MorgantownBetMGM$32,448,710$2,150,154$32,448,710$2,150,154$0$0
Rivers PittsburghBetRivers$24,525,389$1,849,979$19,137,531$1,209,040$5,387,858$640,939
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse$18,862,912$1,869,193$12,186,094$832,368$6,676,817$1,036,825
Mount AiryFox Bet$14,747,293$979,704$14,165,955$964,405$581,338$15,299
Mohegan SunUnibet$6,556,344$473,745$5,544,408$390,170$1,011,936$83,575
Presque IsleTwinSpires$5,403,729$562,770$3,158,288$120,582$2,245,441$442,188
Live PhiladelphiaN/A$4,269,735$529,581$0$0$4,269,735$529,581
Wind CreekWind Creek$3,166,123$170,269$2,504,946$101,781$661,178$68,488
South Philly OTBN/A$2,203,667$250,812$0$0$2,203,667$250,812
Lehigh OTBN/A$1,096,962$169,648$0$0$1,096,962$169,648
Live PittsburghN/A$684,558$78,732$0$0$684,558$78,732

PA sports betting handle, revenue, taxes on the rise

Here is a look at a 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: $5.2 billion
  • Revenue: $398.2 million
  • Taxable Revenue: $274.6million
  • State tax: $93.7 million
  • Local share: $5.5 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.

May fantasy sports figures

Fantasy operators reported about $2 million in revenue in May. DraftKings and FanDuel account for nearly all of the DFS revenue in PA.

Lead Image: FanDuel Sportsbook at Live! Casino Philadelphia by Katie Kohler.

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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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