Online casinos maintain momentum as Pennsylvania sports betting slows

A short month stopped Pennsylvania online casinos and poker rooms from surging to further records through February, as sports betting through the region suffered an expected post-NFL hangover.

The former generated revenue of $123.7m during the month, which is down 4.8 per cent from $130m month-on-month but up 36.6 per cent from the $90.6m secured during the same period one year earlier.

This saw online casinos, which contributed $120.9m of the total, gain a record $4.4m in gross gaming revenue per day over the 28 days of February, up from January’s $4.2m. This created $102.4m in taxable revenue, which yielded $42.3m in state taxes and local assessments.

Penn National, which includes DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool, PointsBet, and Hollywood casinos, topped igaming entities with $51.6m in gross revenue.

Rivers Philadelphia, which includes PlaySugarHouse, Borgata, and BetRivers casinos, was  next in-line with $30.8m.

“Online casinos aren’t subject to the same seasonal shifts as sportsbooks, which is a major reason why it is such a better revenue generator,” said Katie Kohler, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania. 

“When states see the success of online casinos in states like Pennsylvania, it’s a wonder why we haven’t seen the same wave of legalisation that we have seen with sports betting over the last few years.”

Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks attracted $597.1m in wagers in February, up 17.2 per cent from $509.5m one year earlier. This was the lowest since $578.8m in September, and down 24.8 per cent from the record $793.7m in January.

This produced $22.2m in gross revenue for sportsbooks, a drop of 33.2 per cent from $33.2 YoY and 58.5 per cent from $53.4m in January. 

With $22.6m in promotional spending, Pennsylvania sportsbooks ended up with a loss of $442,847 in taxable revenue, which put tax revenue in negative territory at a loss of $268,976.

“The Super Bowl is the most bet-on singular game in the US, but it can’t alone replace a full schedule of football games,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA. 

“The lull in February is expected and always short-lived. March Madness should get sportsbooks back into record or near-record territory.”

Online sportsbooks generated $558.1m, or 93.5 per cent of the state’s handle in February. FanDuel topped the state with $213.2m in wagers, which yielded $6m in revenue.

DraftKings followed with $140.1m in wagers that produced revenue of $4.9 million, ahead of BetMGM (handle: $72.3m & revenue: $4.3m), and Barstool (handle: 46.8m & revenue: $2m).

Retail sportsbooks took in $39m in wagers in February, down from $56.3m in January, which produced $1m (January: $5.8m) in taxable revenue. Parx led all retailers with $6.4m in wagers.

“The biggest concern for sportsbooks was whether or not they’d lose a significant portion of the baseball season, which makes up a relatively small share of annual handle but is the main bets generator over the slow summer months,” Kohler added. 

“With the Phillies and Pirates now expected to play full schedules, sportsbooks can look forward to the first normal sports calendar since 2019.”