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

Written By Katie Kohler on June 17, 2021 - Last Updated on May 1, 2023
Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Handle Slips in May

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 and Managing Editor at PlayPennsylvania. Katie especially enjoys creating unique content and on-the-ground reporting in PA. She is focused on creating valuable, timely content about casinos and sports betting for readers. Katie has covered the legal Pennsylvania gambling industry for Catena Media since 2019.

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