Sports betting in Pennsylvania slowed to its lowest level since September 2020, an expected drop with a sports calendar absent the NFL or a major betting holiday such as the NCAA Tournament, according to PlayPennsylvania, which analyzes and researches the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.
“Sports betting is following normal seasonal patterns seen in almost every legal jurisdiction, so it might be until September that the state’s sportsbooks begin to challenge the state record books again, With the Olympics and the NBA Playoffs later than usual this year, this will still be a summer that is better than a typical year. And that could be especially so if Sixers make a deep run into July.”said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.
Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted $479.4 million in wagers in April, according to official data released Tuesday, snapping a streak of four consecutive months above $500 million in wagers. April’s volume was down 14.4% from $560.3 million in March and the lowest since sportsbooks generated $462.8 million in September. Still, handle was up dramatically over the $46 million in bets taken in April 2020.
Sportsbooks won $36 million in gross gaming revenue of April’s wagering, up 1,025.1% from $3.2 million in April 2020 though down 13.9% from $41 million in March. April’s receipts produced $26.3 million in taxable revenue, yielding $8.9 million in state taxes and $525,930 in local share assessment.
Local interest in the playoff runs of the Philadelphia 76ers and Pittsburgh Penguins, helped shallow the seasonal lull.
“Local teams performing well, such as the Sixers and Penguins, are always a powerful incentive for bettors in any state,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “In the case of Pennsylvania, it was a key difference between meeting expectations and falling short in April.”
Online sports betting accounted for $439.1 million of April’s handle, or 91.6%. FanDuel/Valley Forge led online operators again with $167.6 million in online wagering.
Retail sportsbooks generated $40.3 million in handle in April. That was down from $45.9 million in March. April’s action produced $4.8 million in gross revenue, while Rivers-Philadelphia topped the retail market with $7.7 million in bets.
“Retail betting, whether casino games or sports betting, continues to inch toward normal, while the gains in online revenues made over the last year continue to hold,” Cross said. “That has created an overall gaming market that easily surpasses pre-pandemic level, even if retail betting is not quite where it was.”
Online casinos and poker
With $105.5 million in gross revenue and $92.7 million in taxable revenue in April, Pennsylvania’s online and retail sports showed more dramatic year-over-year growth. Online casino wagering hit $3.2 billion, up 128.6% from $1.4 billion in April 2020.
“Online casinos continue to thrive, even as retail casinos operate under few restraints and competition among online operators heats up,” Cross said. “New operators joining the mix shows there is still a belief that the online casino market in Pennsylvania has not yet reached its peak.”
Other highlights from April:
- April’s revenue produced $25.5 million in state taxes and another $13.1 million in local share assessments and county grants.
- Penn National topped the market with $36 million in revenue on $1.2 billion in wagers
- Poker revenue at Mount Airy/PokerStars hit $2.3 million.
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The PlayUSA.com Network and its state-focused branches is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the U.S.