Online PA Sports Betting Points Up As Major Sports Near Return

Posted on June 16, 2020

No one will mistake $78 million in PA sports betting handle for a traditionally good month.

In the current environment, however, few likely would complain about nearly doubling April’s total wagered.

Pennsylvania sports betting operators took just short of $78 million in wagers last month, generating $4.8 million in revenue. The entirety of that amount arrived via online wagering, as casinos remained closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Apples to apples for PA sports betting?

May 2020 would have presented the first opportunity to compare online PA sports betting revenue to the previous year. Mobile wagering started in Pennsylvania in May 2019, although just one operator (SugarHouse) went live at that time.

Despite waiting almost a year beyond opening its retail sportsbooks to approve mobile, Pennsylvania regulators did not dampen enthusiasm for online betting. The Keystone State quickly shot to the top of mobile share nationwide at nearly 90% within just months.

Nine Pennsylvania casinos feature online PA sports betting at the one-year mark. Another four casinos operate only retail sportsbooks.

In April 2019, with no mobile betting available, retail sportsbooks in PA took more than $36 million in wagers. That total alone nearly matched just the online handle in April 2020.

FanDuel keeps significant edge in Pennsylvania

FanDuel Sportsbook did not launch its mobile app in Pennsylvania until July 2019. That did not stop the US market share leader from opening up a sizable lead in the state though.

Via its partner Valley Forge Casino, FanDuel again paced the Pennsylvania market with $29.6 million in handle and $2.5 million in revenue. That handle outpaced rival DraftKings Sportsbook and its partner Meadows by $8 million for the month. DraftKings posted more than $900,000 in revenue.

The former DFS giants continue to dominate the PA market overall. Their combined handle of $51.3 million comprises two-third of total wagers placed in May.

Rivers and SugarHouse combined for roughly $13 million in handle. Their first-mover status in the market appears at least good enough to hold a solid third place behind the more recognizable top duo.

Pro sports should boost PA more than most

Few states could receive the jolt Pennsylvania might gain from the return of professional sports in July or August.

The Keystone State features seven teams in the four major US pro sports leagues. The NBA and NHL both plan to restart their operations by late summer, with hub cities hosting regular-season finishes and playoffs.

The NFL appears targeted to start on-time in September as well, which would boost the state market.

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Adam Candee

Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas, where he works as a sports radio host for ESPN and VSiN. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun, and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]

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