PA Sportsbooks Report Handle, Revenue Drops in December

Written By Matthew Waters on January 21, 2022
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PA sportsbooks reported their second straight month of handle decline – something that has not happened previously during football season.

Total handle for December was $750.4 million, down 1.5% from the $761.6 million reported in November and 3.3% from the record $776.3 million bet in October.

The unusual two-month skid during NFL betting season might be attributed to the Philadelphia Eagles, who had their bye week in December.

The month-over-month dropoff for sports betting revenue looks pretty stark, too, but that can be marked to bettor-friendly results in December. Pennsylvania sportsbooks held just 5.1% for $38 million in revenue in December, compared to a record $84.9 million on an 11.2% hold in November.

Sportsbook operators deducted $19.1 million in promos last month, leading to $18.8 million in taxable revenue. That led to $6.8 million in taxes paid, according to the report.

PA sportsbooks followed national trends

While December does not look great in a vacuum, Pennsylvania’s results line up with other reported states:

StateDec. 2021 handlevs. Dec. 2020vs. Nov. 2021Dec. 2021 revenuevs. Dec. 2020vs. Nov. 2021
New Hampshire$86,449,52867.4%3.9%$2,645,934-41.7%-57.1%
New Jersey$1,229,561,89123.4%-2.3%$59,047,673-11.1%-48.6%
New York$21,129,98113.7%-1.8%$764,614-66.1%-80.7%
West Virginia$57,274,811-18.3%-32.0%$4,144,869-35.9%-41.7%

Only six of the 15 reporting states saw handle grow over November. Two of those, Connecticut and Louisiana, are recent launches and are still ramping up.

Meanwhile, no state reported revenue growth after the strong month operators had in November. December’s total US sports betting revenue is down 48.6% so far from November.

Worth watching is whether the launch of mobile New York sportsbooks Jan. 8 has a tangible impact on Pennsylvania’s reports. That does not seem likely based on early returns: only 1.1% of the 878,000 unique bettors in New York through the first 10 days had previously bet in Pennsylvania.

FanDuel, BetMGM pick up online handle share

Online again dominated with 92.4% of all bets placed over the internet. Two of the top three US sports betting operators saw their share of that market grow month-over-month in December.

Online OperatorDec. HandleHandle ShareChange vs. Nov.Dec. RevenueRevenue ShareHoldDec. PromosPromo share
FOX Bet$15,204,9132.2%-0.2$788,1442.2%5.2%$243,9731.3%
Wind Creek$804,9420.1%-0.1$7,5750.0%0.9%$2,4150.0%

*Handle share change vs. November is in percentage points.

FanDuel Sportsbook increased its market lead to 35.6% of handle. The operator also had the highest share of promo dollars handed out at 31.8% of the month’s total.

BetMGM, second in promos with 27.4%, took 12.1% of the online bets in December and widened the gap between itself in third place and Barstool Sportsbook in fourth place.

DraftKings Sportsbook is still safely Pennsylvania’s second online sportsbook in terms of handle despite dropping a percentage point in December.

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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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