Pennsylvania’s Sports Betting Surges With FanDuel’s Addition

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FanDuel’s immense brand advantage with the betting public was on full display in Pennsylvania in August, as it surged to the top of the state’s online sportsbooks in its first full month of operation and bolstered sports betting revenue overall.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board posted new monthly sports wagering numbers Monday showing that as an online partner of Valley Forge Casino Resort, the FanDuel Sportsbook took $35.3 mm in wagers in August. It was a sizable chunk of the $83.2 mm in online/mobile sports bets overall. It moved FanDuel well ahead of Play SugarHouse and its $25 mm in online wagers.

And further, FanDuel, which launched July 22, helped drive the online share of sports handle in Pennsylvania to 76.3% — from 65.7% in July. That’s still behind New Jersey’s 85%, but Pennsylvania is tracking each month closer toward the kind of balance seen in New Jersey, where online sports wagering started many months earlier and with more apps operating.

Overall, Pennsylvania’s sports betting handle at nine retail locations and from four online operations jumped from $59.3 mm in July to $109 mm in August. (In New Jersey, it was $293 mm the same month from 10 retail locations and 15 online sites.)

Revenue in Pennsylvania more than doubled, from $2.9 mm to $6.3 mm, but it was offset in part by the large amount of promotional credits offered to new players at the various online sites. The promotions amounted to $3.8 mm given away to sports bettors in August.

Expect another surge in September

Pennsylvania’s figures are certain to go significantly higher in September from the start of football season, the most popular betting sport in the U.S. The September figures will also include both the Mount Airy Casino Resort retail sportsbook, which began operating Sept. 9, and more significantly, its online partner, FOX Bet, which started taking wagers Sept. 4.

In addition to August being the first full month for FanDuel, that was also the case for Presque Isle Downs & Casino’s retail sportsbook, which handled $1.2 mm in wagers, with revenue of $282,384. The Erie County casino’s online operation is expected to start this fall.

In addition to handle and revenue figures being bolstered by the newcomers, all of the state’s sportsbooks saw significant growth in August over July, presumably helped in large part by the NFL’s preseason contests.

The August revenue breakdown

Among Pennsylvania’s online operators, the handle and revenue figures in August were:

Total: $83.2 mm/$6.3 mm

The retail sportsbooks’ handle and revenue in August:

  • SugarHouse: $5.4 mm/$816,768
  • Parx: $5 mm/$722,945
  • Rivers: $4.9 mm/$631,012
  • Valley Forge: $2.5 mm/$175,330
  • Hollywood: $2.1 mm/$309,171
  • South Philadelphia: $2 mm/$337,680
  • Harrah’s: $1.9 mm/$251,296
  • Presque Isle: $1.2 mm/$282,384
  • Oaks: $942,856/$48,230

Total: $25.8 mm/$3.6 mm

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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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