After a harsh February, March brought splendid blooms across Pennsylvania — and we’re talking about conditions for sportsbook operators, rather than the elements outside.
On betting handle of $715 million last month, the online and retail sportsbooks combined to earn a healthy $48.5 million in gross revenue and $30.4 million in taxable revenue after adjustments for their promotional credits. The figures were part of a March revenue report released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Monday morning.
With the books buoyed by public interest in the NCAA’s March Madness, their successful month followed a February in which the operators collectively lost money for the first time since legal sports betting began in Pennsylvania in late 2018. Half of the 14 online sportsbooks reported a loss in February in their adjusted revenue and thus paid no taxes, whereas they all were in the black and taxable again last month.
The sports revenue rebound — while not something that would delight sports bettors themselves — was part of a record month overall for the state’s gaming industry, which was noted preliminarily at last week’s gaming board meeting.
Retail casinos, iCasinos, sports betting, and other forms of commercial gaming available claimed $462.7 million in March revenue, easily besting the prior November 2021 high of $432.5 million.
Online casinos, with revenue of $118.1 million, also easily surpassed their prior high of $108.3 million in January. Retail table games revenue of $94.3 million was another record, topping the $89.1 million from October.
DraftKings, BetMGM among those back in the black
Because Pennsylvania, unlike some other states, does not break out revenue by various sports and bet types, it’s difficult to decipher just what took place differently in March to boost the sportsbooks from the prior month.
Betting volume increased by nearly $118 million over the shorter month, but the main point was the books grossed far more money than the $18.1 million they gave away to customers in promotional credits during the month. That was due to a 6.8% hold rate (the sportsbooks’ winning percentage from all bets) last month, compared to an unusually low 3.7% in February, when they also gave away more incentives in competition for Super Bowl customers.
A big difference, for example, was experienced by DraftKings, which showed gross revenue of $6.7 million and taxable revenue of $4.2 million after reporting a net loss of $3.3 million in February. Its handle was $164.8 million, second in the state behind FanDuel, like always.
To a lesser extent, BetMGM had its own turnaround, after three straight months of losses in adjusted income, the largest of which by far was the $1.6 million loss reported in February. In March, it showed positive adjusted revenue of $298,147 on a gross of $5.2 million in revenue from betting handle of $78.4 million.
FanDuel, which unlike those competitors had also been positive in February, remained the state’s leader in both handle and revenue by a large extent last month. With online betting volume of $267.1 million, it had gross income of $21.9 million and adjusted revenue of $15.2 million in March.
The state’s fourth-biggest online betting site, Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook, reported $55.3 million in handle, $2.8 million in gross revenue, and $1.7 million in adjusted revenue, after giving away just more than $1 million in credits.