FanDuel dominates, online sports betting expands with two new brands, and Pennsylvania’s lifetime handle hits $1 billion, according to PlayPennsylvania.com
(LAS VEGAS) — Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks celebrated the industry’s first birthday in November by setting a new monthly handle record and surpassing $1 billion in lifetime wagers. The industry continues to gain steam as its online product matures, a process boosted by the recent online launch of DraftKings and Unibet, according to PlayPennsylvania.com analysts.
“Pennsylvania has come a long way in a year,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Plagued with relatively high gaming taxes and early hurdles to its online launch, Pennsylvania’s future as a legal sport betting jurisdiction was murky at the beginning. But despite the issues in its infancy, the state has proven to be attractive for operators and the market is truly beginning to flourish.”
Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks accepted $316.5 million in wagers in November, up 31.2% from October’s $241.2 million, according to official data released Tuesday. Those bets generated $20.6 million in revenue — up from October’s $19.1 million win — and yielded $3.9 million in state taxes.
The totals are a far cry from November 2018 when the state’s first and only sportsbook, Hollywood Casino, generated $1.4 million in bets and $508,997 in gross revenue. Since, Pennsylvania has grown into the third-largest legal sports betting jurisdiction in the country and continues to chase neighbor New Jersey, which accepted $562.2 million in bets in November.
The most important factor in Pennsylvania’s growth was the summer 2019 launch of online sports betting. The roster of online brands has grown to seven following the November launches of DraftKings, under The Meadows license, and Unibet, under the Mohegan Sun Pocono umbrella. Those seven online sportsbooks generated 84.3% of the state’s November handle — a total of $266.7 million, up from $198.7 million in October.
“Online sports betting has unquestionably been the key driver of the state’s growth,” Gouker said. “Not only has online betting grown to account for an overwhelming majority of the state’s handle, but it has also helped spur growth among retail sportsbooks. That is a pattern that we saw in New Jersey, too.”
FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino remains dominant in the online market, despite fresh competition from rival DraftKings and Unibet. FanDuel accepted $149.7 million in November bets, up from $113.9 million in October, yielding $9.2 million in revenue, up from $8.1 million. FanDuel was followed by:
- Rivers-Philadelphia ($32.4 million in handle, up from $30 million in October; $1.9 million revenue, down from $2.5 million)
- Rivers-Pittsburgh ($30.6 million handle, up from $26.6 million; $1.7 million revenue, up from $1.6 million)
- Parx Casino ($22.4 million handle, up from $18.4 million; $1.6 million revenue, down from $1.7 million)
- DraftKings at The Meadows ($16.2 million handle; $1.6 million revenue)
- Fox Bet at Mount Airy ($13.5 million handle, up from $9.8 million; $1.2 million revenue, up from $591,309 in revenue)
- Unibet at Mohegan Sun Pocono ($1.9 million handle; $26,440 revenue)
“With the addition of DraftKings, Pennsylvania now has the two largest sports betting brands in the country,” Gouker said. “The question is whether DraftKings can make a dent in FanDuel’s market dominance, or has FanDuel’s early launch baked in its market advantages for the foreseeable future.”
Rivers-Pittsburgh’s $8.88 million handle, up from $7.7 million in October, narrowly led the retail market. That yielded $486,449 in revenue, down from $699,611. Rivers was followed by:
- Rivers Philadelphia, formerly SugarHouse ($8.87 million handle in October, up from $7.2 million; $234,951 revenue, down from $813,839)
- Parx ($8.1 million handle, up from $7.5 million; $739,281 revenue, down from $1 million)
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course ($3.8 million handle, up from $3 million; $48,520 revenue, down from $350,083)
- Presque Isle ($3.7 million handle, down from $3.2 million; $302,458 revenue, up from $194,829)
- South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook ($3.6 million handle, up from $2.8 million; $339,310 revenue, down from $402,272)
- Valley Forge Casino ($3.2 million handle, down from $4.1 million; $192,492 revenue, up from $155,730)
- Harrah’s Philadelphia ($3 million handle, up from $2.3 million; $234,355 revenue, down from $277,295)
- Mohegan ($2.5 million handle, up from $2.1 million; $173,120 revenue, down from $305,697)
- Oaks Race and Sportsbook ($1.4 million handle, up from $1.1 million; $149,765 revenue, down from $162,127)
- Mount Airy ($868,026 handle, up from $641,087 handle; $43,680 revenue, down from $86,800 in revenue)
Online casino industry expands in November
The launch of poker and two new online casinos in November helped boost Pennsylvania’s gross revenue to a new high-water mark. The state’s fledgling industry, which now boasts five online casinos, generated $9.7 million in November gross revenue, up 98% from $4.9 million in October.
The launch of PokerStars Casino, Nov. 4, and Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono, Nov. 12, combined with the addition of poker, spurred wagers to $316.8 million, up 58% from $200.2 million in October. Poker alone accounted for $2 million in revenue in its first month, an impressive total considering the bit part it plays in neighboring New Jersey. In all, online casinos generated $2.4 million in state taxes in November.
Rivers-Philadelphia held on to the market lead with $3.2 million in revenue on $148.7 million in bets. That was up from $2.5 million in October revenue on $85.6 million in wagers. Rivers-Philadelphia was followed by:
- Penn National ($1.9 million in revenue, up from $1.8 million in October; $57.1 million in bets, up from $56.6 million)
- Parx ($1.5 million in revenue, up from $610,187; $55.5 million in wagers, down from $58 million)
- Mount Airy/PokerStars ($3 million in revenue; $48 million in bets)
- Unibet/Mohegan Sun Pocono ($131,415 in revenue; $7.4 million in bets)
“The online casino industry is finally gaining momentum, but Pennsylvania’s tax structure has definitely slowed its development,” Gouker said. “Still, with poker showing promise, especially compared to New Jersey, and new operators coming online, Pennsylvania’s market should really begin to take off.”
For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania sports betting, visit www.playpennsylvania.com/revenue.
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