Legal sportsbooks in Pennsylvania took in more than $16 million in wagers during December, the first full month of regulated sports gambling. Revenue inched over $2 million during that period, good for a hold of 12.4 percent.
Data comes from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) report released on Thursday.
PA sports betting at a glance
The PA sports betting industry still has the stickers on its tires, having just launched in mid-November. Hollywood Casino was the first property to open its retail location, followed by Rivers and SugarHouse.
For those keeping score at home, here are the true numbers for December:
- Handle: $16,173,090
- Revenue: $2,006,546
- Taxes: $722,356
As with the early days in any new market, these figures are hard to put into any meaningful context.
We can look next door to New Jersey for a rough comparison, at least. The first full month of NJ sports betting (July) saw operators hold almost $4 million on total tickets exceeding $40 million. It took five sportsbooks to generate those numbers, though, including FanDuel Sportsbook just a stone’s throw from New York City.
The PA numbers look just fine so far, all things considered. With online/mobile betting still pending launch, wagering at the end of last year remained limited to those three retail sportsbooks.
Expect to see the first PA sports betting apps roll out in the coming months.
Inside the PA numbers
Perhaps the most encouraging takeaway from the report is the distribution of betting activity across the three sportsbooks. Here’s how the handle breaks down:
- Hollywood: $5,051,730
- Rivers: $5,581,553
- SugarHouse: $5,539,806
For whatever reason, the two Rush Street Gaming properties held an unsustainably high percentage of wagers for the month.
Rivers was responsible for more than half of the total PA sports betting revenue — $1,066,157 with a hold of more than 19 percent. SugarHouse added another $641,167 to the group’s take, with Kambi managing the risk for both books. They officially opened in tandem on Dec. 15, so their reports include just 17 days of wagering.
William Hill operates the Hollywood sportsbook, drumming up $299,222 for the month. Its hold of just under 6 percent is more in line with long-term expectations.
Parx has since opened two retail sportsbooks in Philadelphia, as well, so revenue from those will be reflected in the January report.