Pennsylvania sportsbooks recorded a solid showing in April, attracting $36.8m in bets across the month, as analysts at PlayPennsylvania.com warn that what lies in the immediate future is crucial for the state’s fledgling sports betting industry.

Dropping 17 per cent from March’s record $44.5m, it comes as the state gets set to launch its first online sports betting app within days or weeks, with more online sportsbooks to soon follow suit.

The critical need for progression is highlighted across the border in New Jersey, with online action generating approximately 80 per cent of total bets.

April wagers generated $4.2m in revenue, down from $5.5m in March, and injected $1.5m into state government coffers, dropping from $1.99m in March.

“The launch of online sports betting will give the first real window into the overall strength of the industry,” commented Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.

“Online sports betting will ultimately transform the market and put it more in line with Nevada and New Jersey, the country’s two largest sports betting markets.”

Rivers Casino, the only sportsbook in the Pittsburgh market, remained the market leader, bringing in $8.2m in April bets, down from $11.9m in March, and $871,753 in revenue as compared to $1.3m the previous month.

This is ahead of SugarHouse Casino with $7.9m handle (March: $9.2m) and $871,753 revenue (March: $1.2m), and Parx Casino’s $6.9m handle (March: $7.96m) and $907,298 revenue (March: $984,339).

Only two entities saw some month-on-month rises, with the Valley Forge Casino Resort’s FanDuel offering finishing with an increase in handle to $3.1m (March: $2m) offset by revenue of $379,731, down from $449,597, while the Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook, the lowest earner, seeing $1.5m in handle, up from $706,089, and $195,856 revenue (March: $120,836).

Should Pennsylvania bettors show a similar fervour for online betting as those in New Jersey, the potential impact is said to be a game-changer.

Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, added: “There is no reason to believe that Pennsylvania bettors will behave significantly different than New Jersey in their preference for online sports betting products.

“The convenience and ease of use of sports betting apps make them appealing to most bettors. And having established operators will help get the online market off on the right foot.”

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also released further financial figures, which showed a 3.72 per cent increase in table games revenue, reaching $77.4m from $74.6m.

However, when combined with slot machine revenue a slight 1.08 per cent dip is highlighted, as total gaming income finished on $277.8m, compared to the previous year’s $280.8m.