Pennsylvania Sports Wagering Momentum Continues with Record October Report

Pennsylvania Sports Wagering October

  • PA shatters September record joining New Jersey & Nevada in the “$500m month club”
  • Best news for the state was dramatic increase in revenue share and tax contribution
  • With online surge continuing, November offers prediction for another record month

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The news for Pennsylvania’s thriving sports wagering industry keeps on getting better, trailing only New Jersey as the nation’s second-leading state.

Pennsylvania set a new US state record for monthly sports wagering handle in October with over $525.8 million in bets, placed both online and at onsite locations within the state. The impressive figure eclipsed their previous monthly record of nearly $462.8 million by 13.6%. It also marked the Keystone State joining New Jersey and Nevada to surpass the $500 million mark in wagering for one month.

The primary reason was attributed to popularity of online gambling, with revenue dramatically increasing and providing an 89.8% market share. October results showed betting handle of $472.3 million vs. $414.1 million in September, a 14% increase.

The best news for the state was in the category of taxable gross sports betting revenue. Numbers increased from September’s total of $6,269,883 to October’s $36,776,926. As a result, the state’s portion was $12.5 million in October compared to only $2.1 million in September. Results for local government were also favorable with $736,000 in October vs. $125,000 in September.

Rankings by Location and Sportsbook Operator

Leading the way in October was the Valley Forge Casino in Montgomery County, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. Together with their partner FanDuel handled $185 million during the month and provided $15.6 million in taxable gross revenue. The wagering site sits in a heavily populated and well-traveled corridor.

In second place was the Meadows casino, located in western PA. This harness racetrack site is operated by DraftKings and accumulated $123.4 million in handle with $6.8 million in taxable gross revenue.

Combining the BetRivers wagering sites, Rivers Pittsburgh with $36.1 million and Rivers Philadelphia with $32.4 million totaled $68.5 million. Penn National’s Hollywood Casino outside of Harrisburg, PA with sportsbook partner Barstool Sports contributed $63.8 million in handle, of which $3.4 million is taxable gross revenue. Barstool, part of Penn National Gaming began operating on September 18 in PA.

The balance of the Pennsylvania onsite locations also showed large handle increases in October with Parx, a racetrack outside of Philadelphia ($29 million), Mohegan ($11.8 million), Presque Isle, a racetrack in Erie, PA ($4.8 million), Harrah’s ($3.8 million), South Philadelphia Race & Sports Book ($3.8 million) and Mohegan-Lehigh Valley ($2 million).

Noteworthy PA Numbers

  • Gross sports betting revenue for October was $36.8 million, up 486.6% from September’s $6.3 million and up 146% from October 2019’s $14.9 million. This is impressive as five sportsbook operators dispensed more than $1 million in promotional credits. FanDuel provided $3.1m and DraftKings $2.3m. Barstool also provided $1.8m in promotional bets, with Unibet $1.8m and BetRivers issuing $1m.

Often monthly revenue results are attributed to promotional offers necessary plus bonuses offered to new customers by competing operators.

  • The interactive slots handle in October was $1.1 billion, up 4.6% from September ($1.06 billion).
  • The October interactive slots gross revenue was $40.3 million, up 1.0% from September ($39.9 million). Both slot figures are indicative regarding the effect of COVID-19 and the almost 90% online gaming ratio. That pattern would likely continue into the following three to six months.

With Barstool and Penn National Gaming increasing exposure plus many other major sportsbook operators increasing advertising during the prime sports wagering month of November it will not be difficult forecasting Pennsylvania breaking the $600 million threshold and setting another monthly record.

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Larry Gibbs

Expert on Sports Betting Industry

Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.

Email: larry.gibbs@wsn.com