Nearly $303 million in total PA gaming revenue for January 2020 represents a strong start to the year.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reports a 17% increase year over year, compared to January 2019. With the addition of so many more avenues of regulated gaming over the last year, that revenue increase is none too surprising.
In addition to traditional casino slots and table games, PA now has many more gaming revenue streams, including a host of PA online gambling sites. Included in the gaming revenue are online casino and online poker, retail and online sports betting, daily fantasy contests and video gaming terminals.
It all adds up to growing revenue for operators and healthy tax dollars for the Commonwealth. For the month of January alone, total tax revenue from gaming in PA came out to just over $124 million.
Online gaming scene grows, FanDuel leading the charge
Last year concluded with a total of eight PA online sportsbooks and five online casinos. In January, three new casino operators joined the market ahead of the Super Bowl Sunday.
Two of those, FanDuel Casino and BetAmerica, reported revenue in January. BetRivers also added an online casino just in time for the Big Game but was not included in the monthly revenue report.
BetAmerica, which launched through Presque Isle Downs, barely got off the ground in January, launching Jan. 30. That explains their low $9,900 total revenue for the month. It’s interesting to note, table games revenue made up more than two-thirds of that total.
FanDuel Casino, on the other hand, made a huge splash in its eight days with online casino last month. In fact, most of the reported 31.4% month-over-month revenue increase for January can be attributed to the new casino offering. In its limited time, FanDuel Casino brought in the second-most monthly revenue among online operators with $2.1 million.
Table games dominated that revenue, accounting for $1.7 million, more than 4.5 times that of online slots. Slot revenue totaled $375,000 for the month at FanDuel. The small sample size so far for FanDuel Casino could signal big numbers to come.
Comparing apples to apples
The five operators that have been around in the last three months have seen slow but relatively steady overall growth of late. PlaySugarHouse, Hollywood and Parx were first with online casinos back in July 2019. PokerStars and Unibet Casino joined them in November.
All five operators had month-over-month growth from December to January, apart from PokerStars/Mount Airy, which had a revenue dip last month, in both slots and table games. Here’s a look at revenue for the last three months at each of these online casinos.
|Casino||Nov. 2019 revenue||Dec. 2019 revenue||Jan. 2020 revenue|
|SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)||$3,171,762||$2,970,222||$3,549,970|
|Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)||$1,867,657||$1,692,797||$2,405,023|
|PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)||$1,023,637||$1,559,057||$1,322,829|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)||$131,415||$406,445||$786,447|
Slot revenue at these operators in the last three months have experienced similar slow, steady growth. Healthy bumps at PlaySugarHouse and Hollywood carried the December to January slot revenue growth.
|Casino||Nov. 2019 slots revenue||Dec. 2019 slots revenue||Jan. 2020 slots revenue|
|SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)||$2,086,283||$1,875,628||$2,420,204|
|Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)||$1,656,204||$1,472,941||$2,143,292|
|PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)||$365,657||$753,570||$589,879|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)||$95,173||$442,922||$505,867|
Table games revenue is growing at a slower pace among these operators. Unibet, which posted a small loss in tables revenue in December, showed the biggest gain in January.
|Casino||Nov. 2019 table games revenue||Dec. 2019 table games revenue||Jan. 2020 table games revenue|
|SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)||$1,085,479||$1,094,594||$1,129,765|
|Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)||$211,453||$219,855||$261,731|
|PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)||$657,980||$805,487||$732,950|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)||$36,242||($36,477)||$280,580|
Online slots vs. table games breakdown varies by operator
Of the $11.8 million January online casino revenue (not including online poker), $7.2 million was from slots and $4.6 million was from table games. That breakdown is not uncommon in online casino, but it doesn’t tell the whole story in PA.
Overall at PA online casinos, table games are bringing in more wagers, though slots produce more revenue for the operators and more tax revenue for the state.
On some online casino sites, table games prove dominant in terms of revenue, but even more so in total wagers. The most drastic example comes from FanDuel Casino. In its eight days operational in January, FanDuel brought in an impressive $84.7 million in table games wagers and only $9.3 million in slots bets.
Table games also dominate at PokerStars, with total wagers coming in at more than double that of slots. Revenue difference is less dramatic, with $730,000 for tables and $590,000 for slots.
Unibet Casino is another interesting case, with $18.7 million in table games wagers compared to $11.1 million in slots wagers. Slots still produced more revenue, however, with $500,000 to $280,000.
Here you can compare the handle and revenue across PA online casino operators in January.
|Online Operator||Slot wagers||Slot revenue||Tables wagers||Tables revenue|
|SugarHouse (Rivers Philly)||$70.4 million||$2.4 million||$76 million||$1.1 million|
|Hollywood (Penn National)||$47.3 million||$2.1 million||$22.3 million||$260,000|
|FanDuel (Valley Forge)||$9.3 million||$380,000||$84.7 million||$1.7 million|
|Parx Casino||$32.4 million||$1.2 million||$23 million||$490,000|
|PokerStars (Mt. Airy)||$22.1 million||$590,000||$49.3 million||$730,000|
|Unibet (Mohegan Sun)||$11.1 million||$500,000||$18.7 million||$280,000|
|BetAmerica (Presque Isle)||$57,000||$3,000||$90,000||$7,000|
|Monthly totals||$192.7 million||$7.2 million||$274 million||$4.6 million|
A 34% state tax on slot revenue yielded over $2.4 million-plus over $1.4 million more for local entities. By contrast, 14% of table games revenue brought $645,000 for the state and $92,000 for the local share assessment (2%) in January.
Online poker strong and steady with a single operator
January was the third month into online poker in PA, and there remains just one operator. PokerStars PA continues its strong foothold in the state, posting strong revenue for the third month in a row.
A steady stream of online tournament series so far has helped contribute to the consistent intake. The newest is the Bounty Builder Series, running Feb. 20-March 1.
Here’s a look at revenue and tax for PokerStars PA since its start in early November.
|Month||Revenue||State/local tax (16%)|
|Total to date:||$6,595,897||$1,055,343|
Online casino and poker may have gotten off to a slow start in PA, but the addition of new operators looks likely to supercharge the slow and steady growth we’ve seen thus far. When more sites join PokerStars in offering online poker remains a question that will likely be answered in the coming months.