Pennsylvania joins exclusive club of gaming markets as September soars

Pennsylvania has followed the lead of neighbouring New Jersey with betting and gaming producing a record breaking September that saw total revenue rise a little over one per cent to $284.2m (2019: $281.2m).

Online casino games and poker continued their recent hot streak by combining to produce a record $57m in gross operator revenue, or $1.9m per day during the course of the month. 

That is up from August, when online gambling generated $55.9m or $1.8m per day, with Rivers Casino Philadelphia leading the way with $16.1m, ahead of Hollywood Casino at Penn National’s $14.7m.

“Pennsylvania’s online casinos generate nearly five times as much in bets as sports betting, and revenue doesn’t fluctuate nearly as much,” noted Valerie Cross, analyst for

“That has quickly made online gambling a dependable and significant tax revenue driver for the state, accomplishing the main goal of regulation.”

Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks took advantage of an unprecedented bumper sporting schedule to generate a record $462.8m in bets. 

By doing so, the region entered an exclusive club of gaming markets, joining New Jersey and Nevada, that have surpassed $450m in wagers in a single month.

“With the beginning of the NFL season, a full schedule of baseball, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, there may never be such a confluence of sporting events again,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for

“Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania has created a well-rounded market that can drive significant action on every major sport. That market dynamic was able to bear fruit in September in a way that may never be fully possible again.”

September’s handle, which was released Friday, was up 137.9 per cent from $194.5m a year earlier and surpassed the previous record of $365m set just last month. 

But the record wagers produced just $6.3m in taxable revenue, down from $18.3m in August and $14.9m in September 2019, a result of heavy promotion and some unlucky results for sportsbooks. 

“The question now becomes whether Pennsylvania can sustain this level once the sports calendar returns to normal,” added Cross. 

“Pennsylvania has etched a place in the top tier of gaming markets and could possibly pass Nevada as the nation’s No. 2 market before the end of the year.”

Online wagering accounted for 89.5 per cent, or $414.1m, of September’s handle, with in-person betting reaching $48.7m.

FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino extended its online supremacy with $168m in bets, up 16.2 per cent from $144.6m wagered in August. Rivers Philadelphia claimed the top retail spot with $11.4m in bets and gross revenue of $1.2m.