PA Sports Betting Heats Up In 2020 With Record-Breaking $348 Million January

Posted on February 19, 2020 - Last Updated on February 20, 2020

A limited slate of football action and a normally dreary month for sportsbooks didn’t stop Pennsylvania from experiencing record-breaking numbers.

Pennsylvania sports betting took a record $348.4 million in wagers and revenue increased to over $22.8 million in January, 2020.

About 89% of the bets were placed online, a slight uptick from last month. Online revenue set a new record as well, reaching nearly $18 million for the month.

FanDuel maintained its top spot but January was fit for a “king.” Much of the Commonwealth’s growth can be attributed to DraftKings Sportsbook which saw its online handle and revenue jump significantly.

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PA sports betting continues healthy growth

NFL and college football fueled a big fall season for sportsbooks in Pennsylvania. From October to November, they experienced a $75.2 million increase in bets placed. November to December had a smaller, but still respectable increase of $26 million in handle. Revenue did take a small dip in December as the books brought in $11.4 million.

January is usually a stagnant period since the draw of football is limited to only about ten college football games and the NFL playoff slate. Numbers for the Super Bowl are not listed in the January report but you can find them here.

January’s record $348.4 million in wagers broke December’s record handle of $342.2 million according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The numbers represent the huge expansion of sports betting across the state in one year.

Last January, PA took $32 million in wagers and there were no mobile options. Currently, there are eight PA sports betting apps which took $308.6 million in bets.

In the larger scope of sports betting in the United States, Pennsylvania remains third behind New Jersey and Nevada. New Jersey had a scorching January with $540 million in wagers. It’s the third straight month NJ has passed the half a billion dollar handle threshold. Nevada’s December handle was $571 million. January figures are not yet available.  

PA sports betting handle & revenue by operator in January 2020

Here’s a look at the numbers for operators in terms of revenue and handle:

Casino or Off-Track Betting FacilityTotal HandleTotal RevenueOnline HandleOnline RevenueRetail HandleRetail Revenue
FanDuel/Valley Forge Casino$156,080,599$8,087,886$153,148,315$7,696,874$2,932,284$391,012
DraftKings/The Meadows$60,234,745$3,047,162$58,666,846 $2,835,089$1,567,899 $212,073
SugarHouse/Rivers Philadelphia$35,766,620 $3,338,117$28,400,983$2,190,024$7,365,638$1,148,093
Rivers Pittsburgh$32,520,067 $2,488,775$25,802,156$1,696,898$6,717,910$791,877
Parx $27,926,078$2,916,749$21,260,350$2,041,480$6,665,728$875,269
FOX Bet/Mount Airy$16,109,696$1,372,718 $15,376,883$1,290,925$732,813$81,793
Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono$6,712,251$264,581$4,797,213$126,879$1,915,039$137,702
Presque Isle Downs$3,431,482$326,470$1,152,944$44,717$2,278,539$281,753
South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook$3,031,265$501,51500$3,031,265$501,515
Harrah’s Philadelphia$2,997,474$219,59700$2,997,474$219,597
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$2,597,979$180,24900$2,597,979$180,249
Oaks Race and Sportsbook$973,451$97,39400$973,451$97,394
Statewide Total$348,381,708$22,841,213$308,605,690$17,922,885$39,776,018$4,918,327

Revenue records for online operators, DraftKings climbing

Sports bettors in PA wagered $348 million on PA online betting apps and $153 million came via FanDuel Sportsbook. Despite experiencing its smallest month-over-month increase in handle ($5.8 million) since entering the state, FanDuel pulled in a record for an individual operator in Pennsylvania with $8 million in revenue.

DraftKings doubled its handle from December and leapfrogged its competitors from fifth place to second in terms of handle. In January, they kept the momentum rolling by taking $58.6 million in bets and earning $2.8 million in revenue, a big gain from the previous month’s $732,883 revenue.

The revenue growth moves them firmly into second place, as they jumped over Rivers Casinos in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia as well as Parx.

DraftKings can expect continued growth in Pennsylvania. It has the benefit of name recognition, a customer database from DFS, and it has been generous with its promotional credits. DraftKings ranked second behind FanDuel with most promotional credits ($2.8 million) given out in January.

Some other interesting figures from January’s sports wagering report:

  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia with $28.4 million in online bets placed and Rivers Pittsburgh ($25.8 million) lost ground to DraftKings for the second straight month. However, both of Rivers’ Casinos had an increase in revenue.
  • Parx online sportsbook remains in fifth place with $21.6 million in handle, a drop from December’s $25.5 million. Still, it raked in a record $2 million in revenue.
  • FOX Bet (Mount Airy) also had a record month in revenue with $1.2 million. Despite offering an array of odds boosts, the sportsbook is struggling to crack the top four.
  • Out of the red and into the black. Unibet, with Mohegan Sun as its PA gaming partner, finally turned a profit ($126,879). After an increase in handle last month ($6 million, up from $1.8 million) it saw a dip. Unibet online sportsbook took about $4.8 million in bets in January.
  • Rivers Philadelphia (formerly SugarHouse) led all retail locations with $7.3 million handle with $1.4 million in revenue.

Fantasy contests in Pennsylvania

It’s just fantasy, but the numbers are very real, despite being much smaller than sports betting figures. Pennsylvania’s nine daily fantasy sports operators combined for $2 million in revenue in January.

It represents a sharp decline from the $3.4 million the operators raked in for December and a 2.4% decrease from last January.

Of the nine operators, three finished the month with $0 revenue, Boom Fantasy made $62, and Fantasy Draft was in the red (-$1,125). All the revenue can thus be attributed to DraftKings (over $1 million), FanDuel ($960,000), Yahoo Fantasy Sports ($53,000) and Sportshub Technologies ($6,000).

The minimum age for DFS players is 18. To bet on sports in Pennsylvania you must be 21 years or older.

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Katie Kohler

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

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