PA sports betting benefited from the return of major league sports, nearly doubling the handle between June and July. Moreover, according to PlayPennsylvania analysts, the Keystone State’s online casinos built momentum as Pennsylvania’s market continued to rebound into July.
“Obviously, the return of the NBA and baseball were important moments for Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks,” observed Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “There’s no making up for what we lost during the shutdowns. But with online casinos sustaining fantastic growth, major league sports in play, and retail casinos reopening, thankfully, the industry is moving forward.”
The Keystone State has always had a great love for sports. Now, it’s gaining ground in the competitive sports betting industry. Sports bettors in Pennsylvania have a good selection of both retail sportsbooks and online PA sports betting options.
PA Sports Betting Takes the Lead
Both online and retail sportsbooks generated nearly $165 million in bets during July, up more than 85% from June’s $89 million. July’s sports bets were up by nearly 178% year-over-year, from $59.3 million in July 2019, when PA sports betting was still in its infancy.
PA sports betting gross revenue soared to more than $8 million, up more than 22% from $6.7 million in June and up 185.7% year-over-year from $2.9 million in July 2019.
July’s PA sports betting revenue produced nearly $3 million in state taxes. Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks have now generated more than $51.5 million in state taxes and local share assessments since late 2018.
“Just over a week of baseball and a few days of basketball was enough to release the pent-up demand for betting on major league sports,” Gouker said. “August should be a big month, with the NHL and NBA playoffs drawing bets that aren’t the norm during the late summer. That should help Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks make up some of the revenue lost this spring.”
Online Sports Betting Dominates
Online sports betting accounted for more than 94%, or nearly $155.5 million, of July’s handle. The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Valley Forge Casino dominated the online sports betting market with close to $69 million in wagers. Those numbers are up from nearly $33 million in June, generating close to $1.5 million in taxable revenue.
Retail PA sports betting was slow in July with less than $9.5 million in wagers, up from June’s $689,534, yielding $1.3 million in net revenue.
“Obviously, the key for PA sports betting going forward is the continuation of major league sports in the U.S.,” commented Valerie Cross, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “We saw that a shutdown, in response to a pandemic, can abruptly stop major league sports. College football is still in jeopardy this fall, and the NFL still working out its post-pandemic plans, so the fall remains uncertain.”
Online Casino Gambling
Online casino gambling in Pennsylvania generated nearly $54.5 million in gross operating revenue; that equals $1.8 million per day in July. That was up from a little more than $50 million in June, or $1.7 million per day. Moreover, July’s revenue generated $15.5 million in taxes for the state of Pennsylvania.
Online slots and table games in July generated $1.8 billion in wagers, up from June’s $1.7 billion, producing nearly $51.5 million in revenue. Leading the PA online casino market is Rivers-Philadelphia, with $15.4 million in revenue on more than $612 million in bets, up from June’s $15 million in revenue on $567.3 million in bets.
“The pandemic shutdown dramatically accelerated the growth of Pennsylvania’s online gaming market,” Cross said. “In comparison, it took New Jersey over six years to top $50 million of online gaming revenue in one month. The Keystone State managed to do that in less than a year. That growth has been essential to the stability of Pennsylvania’s growing gaming industry.”
Overall, it looks like Pennsylvania’s sports betting and online casino industry is off to a strong start. It’s a good bet that the Keystone State will give neighboring New Jersey a run for its money.