PA Sports Betting Handle Climbed 24% Last Month, FanDuel Sportsbook Dominating

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Pennsylvania’s sports wagering handle climbed 24% in October, reaching a new high of $241.2 mm that is only certain to be exceeded in November.

The numbers released Monday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board showed the surge was again driven by the vast number of bettors drawn to the FanDuel Sportsbook website/app affiliated with Valley Forge Casino Resort. FanDuel attracted $113.9 mm in wagers in October, which was a 33.8% hike from September and represented 57.3% of the online wagers in the state.

Sports bettors within Pennsylvania last month were putting 82.4% of their money into play online at the five sites that were available instead of at the 12 retail locations, which include 10 casinos and two Philadelphia OTB sites affiliated with Parx Casino.

Pennsylvania’s $241.2 mm in overall sports betting still trailed far behind the $487.9 mm reported in New Jersey in October, but the Keystone State should continue to close that gap in November due to the launch this month by both DraftKings and Unibet.

Retail wagers also grow at the 12 sites

Even though online sites are the focus of most sports betting, the retail side in Pennsylvania grew 16.9% in October to $42.5 mm. That was bolstered by the first full month of the sportsbooks operating within Mohegan Sun Pocono and the Mount Airy Casino Resort, plus the start of the bricks-and-mortar operation by the Meadows Racetrack & Casino.

October is always a strong month for sports betting because of the NFL, NCAA football, NBA, and NHL all being in play, in addition to the MLB postseason. November will also be strong, with NCAA basketball substituting for baseball.

From their new record high wagering volume, the sportsbooks retained $19.1 mm in revenue, a hold percentage of 7.9%. The hold percentage was higher in September, meaning the books actually made more revenue that month: $19.3 mm.

With the $4.2 mm in promotional credits the sportsbooks gave away to customers as enticements in October, their taxable gross revenue was $14.9 mm, with the state’s tax bite amounting to $5.4 mm.

FanDuel gets more action than competitors combined

The online wagering handle broke down as:

  • FanDuel: $113.9 mm
  • Rivers Philadelphia: $30 mm
  • Rivers Pittsburgh: $26.6 mm
  • Parx: $18.4 mm
  • FOX Bet: $9.7 mm

At retail locations, the handles were:

  • Rivers Pittsburgh: $7.7 mm
  • Parx: $7.5 mm
  • Rivers Philadelphia: $7.2 mm
  • Valley Forge: $4.1 mm
  • Presque Isle: $3.2 mm
  • Hollywood: $3 mm
  • South Philadelphia OTB: $2.8 mm
  • Harrah’s: $2.3 mm
  • Mohegan Sun: $2.1 mm
  • Oaks OTB: $1.1 mm
  • Meadows: $773,178
  • Mount Airy: $641,087
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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press.

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