PA Sportsbooks Miss NFL Betting As Handle Drops $100 Million In February

Posted on March 16, 2021
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Written By on March 16, 2021

Pennsylvania sports betting handle took a step last month, falling from a record $615 million in January to $510 million in February.

That marked a 17% decline in monthly handle, but the dip was somewhat unexpected. It was broadly in line with seasonal trends around the US as February marked the first month without football since August.

New Jersey, for example, saw handle drop by 22% to $743 million. The latest handle figure still represents a 55% leap from the period a year ago, according to the state report.

Revenue dip for PA sportsbooks

PA sports betting revenue was also cut in half. Net revenues after accounting for bonuses were down from $34 million in January to $16.4 million in February. Some of that was because the decline in handle, but hold rate was also down significantly to 3.2%.

Operators dished out approximately half of all gross revenue as bonuses. That meant $16.8 million in bonuses on $33 million in GGR.

For comparison, operators in newly-launched Michigan just handed out more than $20 million in bonuses in January.

FanDuel is PA market leader

FanDuel continued to lead the PA sportsbook market with a 35% share of handle. The operator made $7.6 million in net revenue, despite dishing out more than $5 million on promotional credits.

DraftKings was the second largest firm by handle, at a 22% share. The firm made $3 million in new revenue, thanks to a relatively low bonus spend of $1.6 million.

The company said at its recent investor day it was deliberately spending less in PA because of the nation-high 36% tax rate on net revenue.

Barstool bonusing big

Barstool Sportsbook had the third largest handle share among PA sportsbooks at 13%, but had negative net revenue. The Penn National-owned brand bonused $5.8 million compared to $4.9 million in gross revenue.

Rivers held onto fourth spot in the market with around 10% of handle.

Elsewhere, BetMGM saw around 6.5% of handle in its third month in the market. The sportsbook made about $200,000 in net revenue after giving away $1.8 million in bonuses.

Where do PA sportsbooks stand in US betting hierarchy?

Pennsylvania finished 2020 with the third-highest handle, behind New Jersey and Nevada:

  • New Jersey: $6 billion
  • Nevada: $4.2 billion
  • Pennsylvania: $3.6 billion

However, newer states like Illinois and Michigan are maturing quickly and closing the gap fast.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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