Pennsylvania Sports Betting Handle Nears $200 Million in September

September football propelled Pennsylvania to new sports betting heights, but the betting volume paled in comparison to New Jersey's.

Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry soared to new heights in September.

According to figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Keystone State retail and online/mobile sportsbooks took a total of $194.5 mm in wagers, generating $19.3 mm in revenue.

Online/mobile accounted for the lion’s share with $158.15 mm in handle and $13.71 mm in revenue, though only $9.26 mm was taxable thanks to the books writing off promotional credits.

Retail books generated $5.65 mm in winnings off of $36.35 mm in handle.

Best month to date

Pennsylvania’s first retail sportsbook opened in November 2018, but it took until May for online/mobile wagering to begin — and it’s been a relatively slow rollout in terms of options.

September’s handle and revenue are both records for fledgling Keystone industry.

Still, Pennsylvania’s market pales in comparison to neighboring New Jersey, which saw $445.6 mm in handle and $37.9 mm in revenue last month. Garden State online/mobile handle was $374.2 mm compared to $71.3 mm for the brick-and-mortars.

New Jersey has a significantly smaller population, but it has had online/mobile for longer, thus creating greater awareness. However, Pennsylvania’s industry is hampered by a 36% effective tax rate on sports betting revenue. Pennsylvania sportsbooks paid $5.35 mm in taxes last month.

The tax rate is one reason why former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week called Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry a “rolling dumpster fire” at a prominent gambling conference.

Online casino

Pennsylvania’s online casinos saw $94 mm in slot handle, which generated $4.4 mm in revenue. More than 50% of that goes back to Pennsylvania, just like the slots at b&m casinos.

Online table games saw $46.8 mm in bets, and the platforms held onto $900k of it in the form of winnings. Internet table games are taxed at a 16% effective rate.

Combined with the $158.15 mm in online/mobile sports betting handle, online gamblers in Pennsylvania bet $298.9 mm last month. Online casino gaming kicked off in July.


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