Records Fall In October As Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Take $776 Million In Bets

Written By Katie Kohler on November 17, 2021

October proved to be a record-breaking and milestone-reaching month for Pennsylvania sportsbooks. Handle hit $776.3 million shattering the previous high ($615.3 million January 2021). The huge month for handle put Pennsylvania’s lifetime sports betting handle over $10 billion in just under three years.

Handle jumped 34% from September to October, and in terms of YoY,  grew 68%. Sportsbooks’ revenue for October was $42.3 million, a decrease from $48.1 million in September. Sportsbooks’ win percentage/hold was 5.4%. Nearly all bets placed in PA during the month (92%) were placed online.

The start of the NFL season is also where sports betting apps spend their promotional dollars and it showed in PA with all operators combining to hand out $18.7 million in promos according to figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Pennsylvania took in $8 million in taxes from sports betting and an extra $470,656 went to local entities.

The top sports betting app in Pennsylvania in October was FanDuel. FanDuel continues to maintain a firm grip as the top spot with $275.4 million in handle and about $20 million in revenue.

Football fuels sports betting apps

October 2020 marked the beginning of a four month span where sports betting apps topped $40+ million in revenue and it should come as no surprise that this year will continue and expand on that trend.

October offers sports bettors a full menu of NFL, college football, NBA, and MLB playoffs. Sportsbooks have improved their product ahead of the start of football season and now there are hundreds of ways to bet on regular season games including single game parlays, player props and in-game betting.

Last month, New Jersey reported $1 billion in wagers. It was the first time any state has ever reached the milestone but they will surely top the $1 billion mark again when numbers are released soon.

On Nov. 8, Illinois sportsbooks reported $596.5 million in September betting handle.

FanDuel continues to rule PA, Barstool revenue sinks

FanDuel took about 38% of all bets placed online in Pennsylvania, which has been about the monthly trend for the leader.

October was a milestone month for DraftKings sportsbook in PA. They surpassed the $200 million mark for monthly handle for the first time and reported $9.5 million in revenue. DraftKings maintains a strong hold on the No. 2 position in PA and saw handle increase 151% from August 2021 to October 2021.

Last month, Barstool Sportsbook edged out BetMGM and took back the No. 3 spot. In October, Barstool had a higher handle ($71.5 million) than BetMGM ($65.9 million). However, Barstool online sportsbook’s revenue ($118,849) was one of the lowest. BetMGM online sportsbook’s October revenue was $4.3 million.

Pennsylvania sports betting 2021

Sports betting started in Pennsylvania in November 2018 and it was retail/in-person wagering until sports betting apps launched in the summer of 2019. Since then, most people prefer to place bets online. Currently, there are thirteen sports betting apps in Pennsylvania.

The coronavirus pandemic shut down the sports calendar (and bettors first chance to place wagers on March Madness from their phone in PA) in March 2020. While sports returned in the late summer and a full NFL season was played, the PA sports betting industry appears to be really hitting its stride in 2021.

  • To date, there have been $10.1 billion bet on sports in PA. Half of the bets ($5 billion were made in 2021)
  • Since the start of sports betting, operators have pulled in a total of $766.8 million in gross revenue. Over half of the revenue ($382.6 million) was made this year including  so far this year
  • As a result of increased handle and revenue, the state’s collected more taxes. Overall, Pennsylvania has collected $192.2 million in state taxes, including $92.7 million in 2021.

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator October 2021

LicenseeOnline BrandTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
Valley ForgeFanDuel$275,438,320$19,891,447$270,847,489$19,325,680$4,590,831$565,767
Hollywood Penn NationalBarstool$73,569,805$245,164$71,527,822$118,849$2,041,983$126,315
Hollywood MorgantownBetMGM$65,914,524$4,340,280$65,914,524$4,340,280$0$0
Rivers PittsburghBetRivers$37,584,632$1,620,181$28,272,020$1,201,059$9,312,612$419,121
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse$25,773,120$1,512,680$16,688,212$903,324$9,084,908$609,356
Mount AiryFox Bet$20,987,387$796,892$20,060,768$721,307$926,619$75,585
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$11,005,837$511,861$8,884,691$313,254$2,121,146$198,607
Presque IsleTwinSpires$8,682,985$641,851$3,928,876$209,890$4,754,108$431,962
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$7,453,213$135,195$3,626,528-$262,273$3,826,685$397,467
Live PhiladelphiaBetway$6,667,220$405,401$1,572,968-$92,324$5,094,253$497,725
South Philly OTB$2,918,611$282,069$0$0$2,918,611$282,069
Wind CreekWind Creek$2,698,641$182,027$1,273,459$24,074$1,425,183$157,953
Hollywood York$2,298,330$198,037$0$0$2,298,330$198,037
Lehigh OTB$1,747,045$180,231$0$0$1,747,045$180,231
Live Pittsburgh$1,400,031$209,004$0$0$1,400,031$209,004

October fantasy sports figures

Revenue increased month-over-month for DFS. Fantasy operators reported $3.6 million in revenue, up from $3.2 million in September. DraftKings ($2.1 million) and FanDuel ($1.5 million) get almost all of the DFS revenue in PA.

Lead Image: Bart Young/AP

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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.

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