PA Sportsbooks And Online Casinos Saw Revenue Boost In August

Pennsylvanians aren't giving up as much money to retail casinos, however
august revenue up

Pennsylvania’s iCasino industry rebounded nicely in August and sportsbooks in the state had a strong month against bettors, even without a whole lot of additional action from them.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Monday reported revenue figures for last month showing total revenue of $425.4 million from all forms of commercial gaming, which was off slightly from $429.1 million in July but an increase from $408.1 million in August 2021. Total tax revenue to the state from last month’s gaming was $175.3 million.

The state’s 18 online casinos generated $107.2 million, up from $98.6 million in July and $88.7 million at 17 sites a year earlier. Meanwhile, the sports betting handle of $363 million was only 7.9% higher than the July figure, but the gross revenue earned by the online and retail sportsbooks increased 27.1% to $42.2 million. They were taxed on $34 million of that, after deductions for $8.2 million in promotional credits.

Bettors weren’t as sharp last month

Sports betting handle fluctuates substantially based on the sports calendar, with the summer months being slow prior to a surge in activity during the fall football season. Sportsbook revenue also varies significantly by month, based on how well bettors do with their selections.

In August, those bettors did not fare well compared to prior months. Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks had a hold percentage (what they retain in gross revenue from losing bets) of 11.6%, which was well above the typical 7% to 8% and marked the highest hold rate since mobile betting began in the state.

The September handle will undoubtedly be much higher for the books, whose volume reached $578.8 million in September 2021, but there’s no way of knowing whether their revenue will exceed last month’s $42.2 million.

Online betting at 14 sites made up 92% of the August handle, and FanDuel and DraftKings represented nearly two-thirds of last month’s betting volume and more than that in gross revenue.

FanDuel took 39.3% of the digital handle at $130.9 million. It claimed $16.9 million in gross revenue and $13.4 million taxable revenue after a state-high $3.6 million in adjustment for promotional credits. DraftKings’ $90.7 million in bets was 27.2% of statewide activity, and it showed $10.5 million in gross revenue and $9.1 million in adjusted revenue.

Unlike most online competitors, third-place BetMGM actually saw a drop in handle last month, to $38.9 million from $42.1 million in July. It had gross revenue of $3.8 million and taxable revenue of $2.5 million.

PENN Entertainment’s Barstool Sportsbook had $23 million in mobile handle, with a gross of $2.2 million and with $1.6 million of it taxable.

$100 million iCasino threshold reached again

July’s collective iCasino revenue of $98.6 million had been a rare slip below $100 million in 2022, but the $107.2 million put the operators back on track in August.

The breakdown for that amounted to $75.7 million in slots play, $28.7 million from table games, and $2.7 million in online poker play at the four sites available for that. The latter was actually a slight decrease from July in iPoker play.

The state gaming board does not break down iCasino revenue for individual operators the way it does for sportsbooks, as multiple sites fall under the umbrella of individual license holders. Among those, Hollywood Casino at Penn National and operators with whom it has partnerships amounted to $43.9 million in revenue, while Rivers Casino Philadelphia and its partners totaled $26.8 million.

Action reduced at casinos themselves

The 16 brick-and-mortar casinos had less to like about the August numbers than did their iGaming counterparts, but that could have had something to do with the month having had just four weekends for customarily heavy visitation, compared to five in July.

Statewide retail slots and table revenue of $279.7 million in August was 7% less than in July. It was also less than the $296.1 million the casinos made in August 2021 and the $282.4 million that customers left with them back in the pre-COVID days of August 2019, when only 12 casinos were operating instead of 16.

Of the casinos, only Valley Forge Casino Resort, Mount Airy Casino Resort, and Live! Pittsburgh showed more slots revenue in August 2022 than in August 2021, but even those properties joined the rest last month in earning less from table games than they did the year before.

Photo: Shutterstock


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