November 4, 2019, finally brought legal, online poker to Pennsylvania. That makes Pennsylvania the fourth state with legal, real-money online poker. PokerStars was the first operator online, and the PokerStars launch came in conjunction with the launch of the Fox Bet sports betting app.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported a January poker revenue of $2.1 million for the Mount Airy Casino Resort/PokerStars partnership. That revenue is down from December’s $2.4 million.
PokerStars oversees FOX Bet for sports betting in Pennsylvania. It also helped boost its partner casino Mount Airy’s revenue to all-time highs. In fact, Mount Airy reported $19 million in sports betting revenue in January, which is up significantly from January 2019’s $12 million.
Online gaming is robust in the Keystone State
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recently reported that January’s casino revenue in the Keystone State topped $302 million. That’s a 17% increase over the same month last year.
These robust numbers could be due to PokerStars hosting its first Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker in December.
It’s becoming obvious that Pennsylvanians love online poker; January’s $2.1 million in poker revenue was more than any nearly any online casino slot or table game revenue, except for Rivers Casino Philadelphia. Rivers Casino Philadelphia reported hefty online slot revenue of $2.4 million.
Sports betting is hitting a home run
The big increase in the state’s casino revenue was primarily driven by the popularity of sports betting. The fact is, sports betting revenue continues to grow at a steady pace. In January, $348 million was wagered on sports; that’s a 1.7% increase over December’s numbers.
The robust sports betting numbers could be due to Pennsylvania offering both live on-site sportsbooks as well as mobile and online sports wagering.
This is the second Super Bowl season that sports wagers have been legal in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reports that $30.7 million was wagered on Super Bowl weekend.
While last year’s sports betting market had only six retail outlets, this year, bettors could also place Super Bowl wagers through eight online wagering sites as well as a dozen retail locations.
PokerStars Bounty Builder could boost February numbers
PokerStars is launching its Bounty Builder Series in Pennsylvania, which will run from now through March 1, 2020. This event has the potential to significantly boost PokerStar’s revenue for February. A similar series is also being held by PokerStars in New Jersey.
The Pennsylvania Bounty Builder series has a $500,000 guarantee, with buy-ins ranging from a modest $10 to a hefty $750. The series has 32 events, including the $300 Main Event with a $100,000 guarantee.
The state of legal online poker
Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey were the first three states to legalize online poker in 2013. Sadly, it took Pennsylvania six long years to jump onto the lucrative online poker bandwagon. Currently, PokerStars is the sole online poker operator in the Keystone State.
Pennsylvania has a large population of 13 million residents, and that number of potential players bodes well for the growth of the online poker industry in Pennsylvania. With the 9% tax on gambling revenue, the state stands to fill its coffers quickly.
Recently, the World Series of Poker announced fourteen online bracelet events over the summer for players in New Jersey and Nevada. Hopes were high that WSOP.com would launch similar events in Pennsylvania.
However, officials from the World Series of Poker have stated that a Pennsylvania launch was not currently in the works. Both WSOP and PartyPoker have filed for a license in the Keystone State to launch such events, so it’s only a matter of time before players in Pennsylvania can get in on the action.
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