The year 2023 will go down as a memorable one for online casinos in Pennsylvania. The industry has grown into the fastest-growing and largest vertical in the country.
Operators are setting new heights in revenue, innovation is at an all-time high and more platforms are being launched in the market. As crazy as it sounds, the best could be yet to come for PA online casinos.
Pennsylvania online casinos broke US revenue records three times in 2023
Pennsylvania online casino revenue soared to the point where the state broke three US records, including two over the past three months. The Keystone State set the initial record in March after generating $181.5 million in revenue.
It took until September for operators to top it, recording $187.3 million. For an encore, online casinos produced an all-time high of $191.9 million last month. With December still left in 2023, it’s certainly possible for online casinos to threaten the $200 million threshold.
Because of 2023’s incredible output, Pennsylvania online casinos are on the cusp of surpassing $2 billion in yearly revenue for the first time ever. As yearly earnings currently sit at $1.9 billion, another month of $190+ million in December would put the Keystone State at a minimum of $2.09 billion in overall 2023 revenue.
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DraftKings becomes Pennsylvania online casino market share leader
DraftKings had a terrific 2023 and climbed the ranks among many gambling categories. The company announced it became the market share leader in the online casino space during a Q2 2023 earnings call.
DraftKings Casino PA beat out BetMGM Casino PA, which was the previous leader, for the top spot in online casino market share. DraftKings and BetMGM are both partnered with Hollywood Penn National, along with PointsBet and Hollywood.
Although the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) does not break down revenue by operator, the license has dominated the market, recording $778.7 million in yearly revenue through November.
Company CEO, Jason Robins, and CFO, Jason Park, attributed DraftKings’ success to its mature markets, which include Pennsylvania. In a Q2 business update written by the executives, they said:
“Older states are generating significant contribution profit after the initial investment period as customers are retained, handle per player increases, hold rises, promotional intensity declines, and external marketing decreases.”
DraftKings later became the overall market leader in gambling, reaching 31% market share in August across both sports betting and online casinos on a national level.
PA online casino market launches four new platforms
There are 21 Pennsylvania online casino operators in the Keystone State thanks to four new launches. The state welcomed the following apps:
- Tropicana Casino PA (April)
- Bally Casino PA (June)
- Golden Nugget online casino PA (August)
- Jackpot City PA (December)
Each of the operators debuting before December has played significant roles in helping grow the online casino market within the state. Golden Nugget and Bally’s produced $4.6 million and $2.7 million, respectively, in November revenue. Both operators entered as Qualified Gaming Entities (QGE), and do not have to be partnered with a Pennsylvania retail casino.
Harrah’s Philadelphia is partnered with Tropicana Casino PA and Caesars Casino PA. The two combined to generate $8.2 million, the second-highest total ever for the license.
January is going to be the first full month of operation for Jackpot City. It’ll be interesting to see what it can add to the market.
New games offered on PA casinos online
A wave of innovation swept across the Pennsylvania online casino market in 2023. Operators found ways to provide players with fresh PA slots games that kept them coming back. BetMGM led the charge with the following initiatives in 2023:
- Using famous movies, such as The Godfather, to create slot content
- BetMGM partnering with a national chain, Buffalo Wild Wings, to launch a new slot
- Taking a popular retail slot, such as Buffalo, to produce a new online experience
- Launching new Wheel of Fortune slots in Pennsylvania to mirror the show’s promotional calendar
There are a total of 8,500 slots available for players across 21 different platforms. Here are the top five operators supplying the most games:
- Borgata Casino PA: 1,616
- BetRivers Casino PA: 756
- DraftKings Casino PA: 735
- BetMGM Casino PA: 729
- PlaySugarHouse Casino PA: 696
In addition to slots, live dealer games have also taken a step up in 2023. The PGCB disclosed that live dealer games accounted for more than 50% of online table games revenue in FY 2022/2023.
Evolution Gaming has expanded its offerings to game show content, which is likely to be a hit with players.
The vertical is expected to see much more competition now that Playtech, another gaming manufacturer, opened a new live dealer studio in Pennsylvania earlier this month.
PA online casino apps to leave the market
Despite Pennsylvania welcoming four new operators, another handful either left altogether or announced plans to exit.
PENN Entertainment’s new partnership with ESPN Bet PA meant that Barstool Sportsbook and online casino would be leaving the market. ESPN Bet PA went live in mid-November, which meant both Barstool platforms said goodbye to the gaming industry.
Because of Barstool’s departure, the Hollywood Casino PA app will discontinue and only be available through ESPN Bet PA’s platform.
Kindred Group, owners of Unibet, announced that the company is exiting the North American gaming market. Unibet Casino PA launched in September 2019, but was not able to secure meaningful market share.
Despite the Keystone State going down two platforms, it likely won’t affect the machine that the industry is turning out to be. There could be even bigger highlights to talk about once 2024 is over.