How Much Did ESPN Bet Spend To Make PA Sports Betting Splash In November?

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PA sports betting

ESPN Bet made its PA sports betting debut in November, providing Penn Entertainment with its highest monthly handle since early 2022.

The latest state report released last week put Penn’s handle at $66.8 million, with 97.5% bet online. It is the highest Pennsylvania sports betting figure for Penn since online and in-person handle totaled $74.7 million in January 2022.

ESPN Bet took over following a rebrand after Penn severed ties with Barstool over the summer. Using Barstool’s October handle as a guide, it is possible ESPN Bet accepted more than $50 million in online bets between November 14 and the end of the month.

Promo domination continues

ESPN Bet made up the bulk of November promotional spending in other markets where that data is published, and Pennsylvania was no different.

ESPN Bet offered $14.8 million in free bets, nearly 41% of the $36.3 million market-wide promo spend. The initial push led to the third-most handle in Pennsylvania for the month.

Penn CEO Jay Snowden said he liked the idea of a mid-November launch because bettors would likely be finished with promos received at the beginning of football season.

PA sports betting handle share

Penn claimed the third-highest handle share, with nearly 7.5% of all online PA sports betting in November.

Market leader FanDuel took in 43.5% with $381.9 million in bets. DraftKings and its $250.6 million online handle claimed 28.5% market share.

Caesars Sportsbook accepted 5% of all online bets with $45 million staked through its app. Caesars has maintained steady online handle share since late spring.

Taxable online revenue drops

PA sports betting apps can deduct promotional budgets from overall revenue to reduce their monthly tax bills.

ESPN Bet’s promo-heavy month helped pull taxable online revenue down to $10.3 million across the market, a 76% drop from the month before.

After writing off its bet credits, ESPN Bet posted a $7.8 million loss.

Market leaders drive revenue

FanDuel ($8.4 million) and DraftKings ($7.9 million) generated the most taxable revenue after deducting monthly bet credits.

Caesars posted a 3% win rate in November, producing $861,400 in taxable revenue behind a limited promotional budget.

Caesars reduced its free bet spending as it shifted focus to reducing customer acquisition costs.

PA sports betting by the numbers

The ESPN Bet launch helped the Pennsylvania sports betting market have back-to-back months of record-high handle. The record-setting monthly handle of $934.1 million marked an 18% increase over November 2022.

Taxable revenue, including sportsbooks’ retail winnings, reached $12.9 million. It is one of the lowest sports betting revenue totals since promos outweighed winnings in February 2022.

Combining a market-wide 5% win rate by PA sportsbooks with Penn’s increased promo spending, the state collected one of its lowest tax totals in recent years at $4.6 million.