Sports betting has reached a new high in Pennsylvania, after figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) have shown that the state’s online and retail sportsbooks nearly doubled the state’s previous record handle in September.
Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks generated $194.5 million in handle last month, 78.4% above the handle of $109m recorded in August, with the start of the NFL season said to have played a part in the jump in revenues.
“A significant jump was expected with the NFL season kicking off in September, and the data did not disappoint,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.
“Because of the sport’s popularity with bettors, the football season is the most effective time to gauge the health of a market. After a summer of growing pains and one month of football, it is safe to say that Pennsylvania is indeed healthy.”
Last month’s handle is reported to have yielded $19.3 million in revenue, up from August’s $9.9 million win, generating $5.1 million in state taxes.
Online operations have continued to be the largest contributor to income for operators, representing 81% of the state’s total handle. Licensees have reported a total of $13.7m in revenue for the month, compared to $6.3m in August, while online spend also climbed from $83.2m to $158.2m.
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino continued to hold a strong position in the online market, handling $85.1 million in September bets, up from $35.3 million in August, and generating $7.1 million in revenue.
The figures comes at a time when Pennsylvania’s online market is continuing to evolve. DraftKings at The Meadows and others are expected to launch in the coming months, while the parent companies of FanDuel and Fox Bet plan to merge, creating a potential Goliath.
“The merger of FanDuel and Fox Bets, two of the most recognizable brands in the industry, could be a game-changing development,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.
“Regardless, the competition in the online vertical will remain fierce as sportsbooks vie for a greater share of a rapidly growing market.”
From a retail perspective, Rivers dominated the market, accepting $7.3 million in bets in September, up from $4.9 million in August which subsequently yielded $957,791 in revenue.
SugarHouse, Parx and Penn National casinos also had a successful September, generating $5.3 million in gross revenue, a jump of 56% from August. Betting was up 21% from $111.8 million in August. September’s action produced $1.6 million in state taxes.
Penn National led the way with $3 million in revenue, up from $684,452 in September, on $41.1 million in bets. SugarHouse led with $57.2 million in wagers.
“Pennsylvania’s three pioneering online casinos are all off to strong starts and should initially have an advantage over any newcomers,” Welman said. “But at least five online casinos are planning to launch before the end of the year, so the market should morph dramatically over the next few months.”