PA Sportsbooks Promo Their Way To Negative Revenue In February

Written By Matthew Waters on March 21, 2022
PA sportsbooks

Not many states had a great February but heavy promos made results even bleaker at PA sportsbooks.

A slower sports betting calendar led to $597.1 million in handle, which was a 24.8% drop from January’s record $793.7 million. Hold was 3.7% for $22.2 million in sports betting revenue, but promo deductions of $22.6 million led to an overall loss of for the month.

Sports betting in Pennsylvania, and pretty much everywhere else in the US, should rebound this month thanks to March Madness betting.

Four PA sportsbooks promo into the red

There were four operators who deducted more in promos than their gross revenue in February.

DraftKings led all operators with $8.2 million in promos, or 36.1% of total promos in February. BetMGM ranked second with $5.8 million deducted, or 25.8% of the total.

PointsBet gave out nearly $1.1 million in promos compared to $855,495 in revenue in its debut month. The operator finished the month with the strongest hold rate of 10.8%.

TwinSpires is a surprising operator to see dishing out promos above revenue, even if it was just $161,303 in promos. Churchill Downs is exiting the online sports betting and casino business because of how competitive the market is, with some competitors not caring about profitability, CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a recent earnings call.

FanDuel still dominates mobile share

Despite ranking third in overall promos, FanDuel still leads all PA sportsbooks with nearly 40% handle share:

Online OperatorHandleRevenueHoldPromos
FanDuel$213,152,290$5,969,1872.8%$4,415,776
DraftKings$140,065,075$4,860,6263.5%$8,177,627
BetMGM$72,320,602$4,268,6105.9%$5,828,833
Barstool$46,772,593$1,986,7894.2%$859,553
BetRivers$23,969,096$1,170,5364.9%$762,797
SugarHouse$14,598,213$258,2691.8%$134,924
Parx$14,196,354$915,9116.5%$430,447
FOX Bet$9,124,518$551,9616.0%$220,067
PointsBet$7,915,820$855,49510.8%$1,075,203
Unibet$6,618,459$484,5947.3%$469,932
TwinSpires$2,893,234$155,0635.4%$161,303
Caesars$3,250,975($173,263)-5.3%$11,533
Betway$2,213,325($122,637)-5.5%$0
Wind Creek$1,018,495($48,426)-4.8%$75,405
Total$558,109,049$21,132,7153.8%$22,623,400

The top three operators handled 76.3% of the $558.1 million bet online in February. After Barstool‘s 8.4% share in fourth place, that leaves 10 brands with 15.3% of online handle share.

Do PA sportsbooks need football to set records?

It looks unlikely that a new handle record will be set in a month without NFL betting.

March would certainly be the month to do it with all the attention on college basketball, but last year’s trends do not suggest a new record is coming.

Last March’s handle was $560.3 million, which was 8.9% off the then-record set January 2021.

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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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