Online gaming in Pennsylvania secures near record performance in May


Online casino and poker rooms in Pennsylvania surged to a near record performance during May, but sports betting slowed once more despite nudging beyond the $5bn barrier for wagering during the 2020/21 fiscal year.

The former charged to $110.8m in gross gaming revenue during the month, which is up 54.6 per cent from $71.6m year-on-year but fell a fraction shy of the record $111.6m set in March.

Wagering on online casino games reached $3.3bn in May, up from $1.8bn in May 2020 and $3.2bn in April. May’s revenue produced $41.7m in state and local taxes.

Since online casinos launched in 2019, they have generated $1.3bn in revenue from slots, table games, and poker, yielding $432.7m in taxes.

“Online casino revenue continues to dwarf revenue from sports betting, and that gap should only grow over the summer months,” Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania, stated. 

“Even as customers return to brick-and-mortar casinos, the gains in revenue at online casinos and poker rooms made over the last year should hold. It has become a revenue-generating powerhouse for the gaming industry and for the state.”

Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks dropped 6.7 per cent to record $447.5m in wagers in May (April: $479.4m). Through 11 months of the fiscal year, sportsbooks have accepted $5.2bn in bets.

Sportsbooks won $37.4m off May’s wagers, which is up 3.8 per cent from $36m in April, which produced $27.7m in taxable revenue. The month yielded $9.4m in state taxes and $554,930 in local share assessments.

Online betting accounted for 91 per cent, or $407.4m, of May’s handle, with FanDuel/Valley Forge the market leader again with $160.9m in wagering. Retail sportsbooks took in $40.1m in handle in May, led by Rivers Philadelphia’s $6.7m.

“The seasonal slowdown will continue to be a factor until bettors can place bets on Eagles, Steelers, and Penn State football games,” added Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for the PlayUSA.

“And with the popularity of online casinos holding even as retail casino customers return, the state’s gaming industry is in relatively good shape.”