PA Sports Betting Begins To Rebound But Still Lags NJ In Handle

Posted on August 17, 2020 - Last Updated on August 18, 2020

Sports betting in Pennsylvania made a big surge in July as major US sports finally returned to the airwaves.

Pennsylvania’s handle jumped 85.1% over June to $164.8 million in July, according to the state’s monthly report. Revenue climbed 71.5% to $13.7 million last month.

The vast majority of business came online despite the fact that casinos are once again open in the state. Online handle accounted for 94.3% of the total while online revenue made up 90.7% of the total.

This should only be the beginning of the Pennsylvania sports betting market’s return. August features a full month of MLB, NBA and NHL games and NFL betting is right around the corner in September.

PA sports betting totals fall behind NJ

It looks like the fight for sports betting supremacy outside of Nevada is not as close as previously thought at the moment.

While $164.8 million in handle is significant considering there were just a few days of MLB and NBA games, it pales in comparison to the $315.1 million bet in New Jersey last month.

The biggest difference, of course, is the fact that New York City serves as a feeder market for New Jersey sports betting. Bettors from New York bet an estimated $837 million in New Jersey last year.

It could be those New Yorkers driving the difference this year. New Jersey sportsbooks have taken $1.9 billion in bets so far in 2020, compared to $1.2 billion in Pennsylvania.

Operators use promos to get bettors back

A deeper dive into the PA sports betting results suggests getting customers reactivated might have been a little pricy.

Operators wrote off $5.5 million in promotional credits in July. That was good for 40.3% of total revenue for the quarter. That’s about 11 percentage points higher than the 29% of total revenue for fiscal 2020, which ended in June.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the state’s two biggest sportsbooks responsible for the majority of the promo credits. FanDuel Sportsbook used $3.2 million in promos while DraftKings Sportsbook used $1 million.

Those two sportsbooks accounted for 66.3% of total handle and 55.1% of revenue in July.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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