Pennsylvania to feel long-term implications of online behavioural shift

Online casino and poker rooms have surged to a revenue record during April in Pennsylvania with land-based gaming options off the table for the entire month.

As sportsbooks generated just a fraction of bets that would usually be expected, losing out on an estimated $300m according to analysts, the Keystone State’s igaming entities combined to generate $43.1m in revenue during the month.

Seeing a 77.4 per cent rise from the previous record of $24.3m in March, and 121 per cent up from February’s $19.5m, revenue hit $1.4m per day in the 30 days of April, up from $782,768 per day in March.

Online table games and slots generated $1.4bn in wagers, up from $871.6m, producing $37.8m in revenue. Mount Airy/PokerStars, the state’s only online poker room, generated a record $5.3m in revenue, setting the online poker revenue record for any state.

“There will likely be long-term implications from this surge in online gambling interest with a behavioural shift that makes online gambling permanently more popular is likely to continue even after casinos reopen,” noted Valerie Cross, analyst for

“But the reality is that despite the gains made at online casinos, the closing of land-based casinos left a revenue hole that can’t be made up.”

The $23.6m revenue difference between April and February represents just 8.5 per cent of the $277.8m generated by land-based casinos in April 2019.

Rivers-Philadelphia led the online casino market with $13.7m in revenue on $477m in wagers, as the number of igaming entities in Pennsylvania grew to 10 with the launch of Caesars in April and DraftKings in early May.

“The competition between FanDuel and DraftKings has been a force for innovation in sports betting markets across the country, and we expect that will transfer well to their online gambling products,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for, commented.

During a month in which PlayPennsylvania would have estimated a handle of nearly $350m, Pennsylvania sportsbooks generated just $46m in wagers, according to official data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board

Representing a figure that has fallen from $131.3m a month earlier, sportsbooks yielded $3.2m in gross revenue, up from $8.6m in March. The win resulted in $988,255 in state taxes.

“The growth in online gambling as well as betting on non-traditional sports are industry bright spots,” added Gouker. “But there just isn’t any way for Pennsylvania operators to compensate for such a dramatic loss of revenue, including at retail sportsbooks and land-based casinos, which can’t generate a single dollar right now.”