Wagering at Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks dropped for a third consecutive month, but that didn’t stop sportsbooks from making significant revenue gains as the summer offseason trudged on. The down month closed a dramatic fiscal year that saw more than $5.5 billion in sports wagers and an online casino gaming market that continues to compete with New Jersey as the nation’s largest, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks regulated online gaming and sports betting in the state.
“Betting volume typically falls over the summer, but sportsbooks tend to win more per bet on sports like golf and tennis,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for the PlayUSA.com network, which includes PlayPennsylania.com. “That really helped sportsbooks in June and will help them to continue to weather the offseason even as bettors engage less.”
Online and retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania combined to take in $420.2 million in wagers in June, down 6.1% from $447.5 million in May, according to official data released Monday. Sportsbooks’ gross gaming revenue jumped to $42.5 million, though, which was up 13.6% from $37.4 million in May. The month’s gross receipts produced $34.2 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $11.6 million in state taxes and $684,510 in local share assessments.
Still hampered by pandemic-related shutdowns, sportsbooks generated just $89.0 million wagers and $8.0 million in gross gaming revenue in June 2020. But those results would hardly be a harbinger of the fiscal year ahead, which brought:
- $5.6 billion in sports wagering, up 121.0% from $2.5 billion in FY 2019-20.
- $440.7 million in gross gaming revenue, up 169.9% from $163.3 million in FY 2019-20.
- $308.8 million in taxable revenue, up 128.0% from $135.5 million in FY 2019-20.
- $111.2 million in state and local taxes, up 128.0% from $48.8 million in FY 2019-20.
Pennsylvania, which celebrated two years of online sports betting in June, has now taken in $8.1 billion in online and retail wagering since launch. Only New Jersey and Nevada have taken in more over that time.
“By any measure, Pennsylvania’s entry into sports betting has been an unqualified success, and the market has yet to fully mature,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Importantly, with more than $111 million in state and local taxes over the fiscal year no state takes in more in tax revenue from sports betting than Pennsylvania. That is where the state truly stands out.”
In June, 90.3%, or $379.3 million, of all sports bets were made online, a fitting end to a fiscal year that saw an increasing number of bets made online. FanDuel only increased its dominance of the online market, producing $162.5 million in online wagering, up from $160.9 million in May. By taking in 42.9% of all online wagers in June, FanDuel posted its largest share of the market since August. Gross gaming revenue in June jumped to $19.7 million from $17.6 million in May, generating $16.4 million in taxable revenue.
DraftKings was second in the state with $86.0 million in bets, down from $100.0 million in May. That resulted in $6.4 million in gross revenue, up from $5.2 million in May, and $5.7 million in taxable revenue. Penn National’s Barstool-branded app was fourth with $31.9 million in June wagering, down from $43.6 million in May. Those bets yielded $3.2 million in gross revenue, up from $2.8 million in May, and $2.2 million in taxable revenue.
The online leaders were followed by:
- BetMGM ($37.4 million handle, up from $32.4 million; $3.2 million in gross gaming revenue, up from $2.2 million)
- BetRivers ($18.5 million handle, up/down from $19.1 million; $1.4 million GGR, up from $1.2 million)
- Fox Bet ($12.6 million handle, down from $14.2 million; $934,728 GGR, down from $964,405)
- PlaySugarHouse ($11.3 million handle, down from $12.2 million; $918,873 in GGR, up from $832,368)
- Parx Casino ($9.8 million handle, down from $11.1 million; $1.1 million GGR, even with May)
- Unibet ($4.7 million handle, down from $5.5 million; $376,848 GGR, down from $390,170)
- TwinSpires ($2.2 million handle, down from $3.2 million; $194,104 GGR, up from $120,582)
- Caesars ($1.5 million handle, down from $2.7 million; $56,986 GGR, up from -$65,823)
- Betfred ($771,648 handle, down from $2.5 million; $33,801 GGR, down from $101,781)
- Betway ($14,883 handle, $3,655 in GGR)
Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks continued on their road to health with $40.9 million in wagers in June, up from $40.1 million in May. Those bets yielded $4.9 million in taxable revenue, up from $5.2 million in May. Rivers-Philadelphia led the retail market with $8.0 million in bets, topping Parx Casino’s $6.4 million handle.
“With no Sixers to bet on and with the Phillies and Pirates sagging in the standings, sportsbooks will have to get creative in driving action in July and August,” Gouker said. “The Olympics later this month should help fill the gap, but it won’t be until football season that we see significant growth return to either retail or online sportsbooks.”
Online casinos and poker
Gross gaming revenue at online casinos and poker rooms topped $100 million for the fourth consecutive month, even as it fell to $100.8 million in June, down from $110.8 million in May. June’s Gross revenue produced $88.9 million in taxable revenue, down from $101.3 million in May, and $37.2 million in state and local taxes.
Pennsylvania’s online gambling market has boomed since the beginning of the pandemic, taking in more than $1 billion in gross revenue over the fiscal year. New Jersey’s $107.1 million in gross gaming revenue topped Pennsylvania in June, making the Garden State No. 1 among U.S. markets in June. But near the two-year anniversary of the launch of online casinos in Pennsylvania, which debuted on May 31, 2019, online gambling has generated more in monthly gross gaming revenue than New Jersey for two of the last seven months, including in May.
For fiscal year 2020-21, Pennsylvania’s online casinos and poker rooms generated:
- $1.1 billion in gross gaming revenue, up 259.8% from $297.3 million in FY 2019-20.
- $897.2 million in taxable revenue, up 272.5% from $240.9 million in FY 2019-20.
- $372.7 million in state and local taxes, up 283.4% from $97.2 million in FY 2019-20.
- $31.9 billion in online casino wagering, up 291.4% from $8.1 billion in FY 2019-20.
“The growth of online casinos over the past 15 months has forever altered the landscape of Pennsylvania’s gaming industry,” Cross said. “The potential of Pennsylvania was obvious from the start. But the expansion over the last year to the cusp of becoming the largest online gambling market in the country, capable of generating more than $1 billion in revenue in a single year, has been remarkable.”
Other highlights from May:
- Wagering on online casino games reached $3.1 billion in June, up from $1.7 billion in June 2020 but down from $3.3 billion in May.
- Online casino and poker rooms generated $3.4 million per day in gross gaming revenue over the 30 days in June, down from $3.6 million per day in May.
- Penn National, which includes the DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool, and Hollywood casinos, topped the market with $37.2 million in revenue. Rivers-Philadelphia, which includes PlaySugarHouse, Borgata, and BetRivers casinos, was second with $27.3 million in revenue.
- Betway PA soft-launched its online casino and sportsbook in late June through its partnership with Live! Casino Philadelphia, adding another operator to the Pennsylvania landscape.
- Poker revenue in June fell to $2.4 million from $2.6 million in May. Mount Airy/PokerStars topped operators with $2.0 million in June.
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