Pennsylvania celebrates first $500m month as sportsbooks turn two

Pennsylvania has celebrated its third consecutive record month, as the state’s online and retail sportsbooks bring in the second anniversary of the launch of legal sports betting in the state with a first $500m performance. 

The region’s online and retail sportsbooks generated a best ever $525.8m during the period, with the month’s handle up 118 per cent from $241.2m in October 2019 and topped the previous record of $462.8m from a month earlier.

The month’s bets produced a record $47.8m in operator revenue, more than doubling the $19.1m from a year earlier and shattering January’s previous record of $31.6m. This yielded $12.5m in state taxes and another $735,539 in local share assessments.

Online betting made up 89.8 per cent, or $472.3m, of October’s total handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino led online operators with $181m in bets, up 7.7 per cent from $168m wagered in September. Those bets produced $14.7 million in taxable revenue.

Retail sportsbooks accepted $53.5m in bets in October, up from $48.7m in September. Rivers Philadelphia topped the tree with $11.1m in bets and revenue of $1m.

“Local interest is a clear factor in the swell in betting this fall, pushing Pennsylvania to a record with a sports schedule in October that more resembled normal than any since March,” noted Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayPennsylvania.com

“Pennsylvania could conceivably catch Nevada in a matter of months to become the nation’s number 2 market, especially if the Steelers continue to roll and the Eagles can somehow make a playoff run to spike local interest.”

Online casinos and poker rooms also continued the trend of record performances, finishing with $59.8m in gross operator revenue, or $1.92 per day over the 31 days of October. That beat the previous best of $57m, or $1.9m per day, generated during September.

October’s revenue yielded $16.4m in state taxes. Online table games and slots wagers hit $2.2bn in October, up from $2bn in September, resulting in $57.3m in revenue.

“Cooler weather unquestionably benefits online gaming, and that should be even more pronounced this year because of the pandemic,” added Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “As retail casinos in the state struggle, another uptick should be a significant boost to Pennsylvania’s gaming industry.”