PA Sportsbooks Blast Past Handle Record With $776M Bet In October

Posted on November 17, 2021
Written By on November 17, 2021

An extra full weekend in October helped push many US sports betting jurisdictions to new heights and PA sportsbooks are no different.

Handle hit a record $776.3 million in October, but that did not translate to record revenue. Bettor-friendly results dropped gross revenue to $42.3 million for a 5.4% hold.

Online Pennsylvania sportsbooks are allowed to deduct promo costs before revenue is taxed. Operators gave out $18.7 million in promos in October, second to September’s high of $19.9 million.

That dragged taxable sports betting revenue down to $23.5 million. Pennsylvania’s chunky 36% tax rate means nearly $8.5 million in taxes paid for the month.

More on record handle at PA sportsbooks

The record handle is a significant increase over other key comparison periods:

  • +47.6% over October 2020’s $525.8 million.
  • +34.1% over September 2021’s $578.8 million.
  • +26.2% over the old record of $615.3 million set in January 2021.

As mentioned, a mix of the calendar and the second-strongest promo month ever contributed to that record. Of that $18.7 million in promos, three sportsbooks accounted for nearly 80%:

FanDuel sees biggest online share increase

Online PA sportsbooks took $714.1 million in bets last month, or 92% of the total market.

The market leader, FanDuel, was just one of three sportsbooks to see its online handle share grow month over month:

Online OperatorHandleRevenueHoldHandle ShareShare growth M/M
FanDuel$270,847,489$19,325,6807.1%37.9%+3.1
DraftKings$201,709,455$9,559,3394.7%28.2%-3.0
Barstool$71,527,822$118,8490.2%10.0%flat
BetMGM$65,914,524$4,340,2806.6%9.2%-0.4
BetRivers$28,272,020$1,201,0594.2%4.0%+0.3
FOX Bet$20,060,768$721,3073.6%2.8%-0.1
Parx$19,787,619$871,0674.4%2.8%+0.5
SugarHouse$16,688,212$90,3340.5%2.3%-0.3
Unibet$8,884,691$313,2543.5%1.2%-0.2
TwinSpires$3,928,876$209,8905.3%0.6%-0.1
Caesars$3,626,528-$262,273-7.2%0.5%flat
Betway$1,572,968-$92,324-5.9%0.2%flat
Wind Creek$1,273,459$24,0741.9%0.2%flat
Total$714,094,431$36,420,5365.1%100.0%

*Handle share growth is in percentage points.

That growth for FanDuel makes sense when considering its promo spend for the month, but that did not correlate for DraftKings and BetMGM. DraftKings dropped three percentage points while BetMGM fell 0.4 percentage points.

Online table games also hit new high

Sports bettors and table games typically go hand-in-hand and it sure looks like bettors played a lot of online table games while placing those online bets.

Table drop for online banked games hit a record $2.1 billion for the month.

That’s up 22.6% over the previous record of $1.7 billion set in September.

Photo by Bart Young / The Associated Press
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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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