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Pennsylvania sportsbooks celebrate two years with record month

17 Nov 2020

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Pennsylvania's online and retail sportsbooks celebrated the second anniversary of the launch of legal sports betting in the state with its first $500 million month. The new high in October brought Pennsylvania's third consecutive record month, as bettors swarmed sportsbooks for football, according to PlayPennsylvania.

"Local interest is a clear factor in the swell in betting this fall, pushing Pennsylvania to a record with a sports schedule in October that more resembled normal than any since March," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at "Pennsylvania could conceivably catch Nevada in a matter of months to become the nation's No. 2 market, especially if the Steelers continue to roll and the Eagles can somehow make a playoff run to spike local interest."

Pennsylvania's online and retail sportsbooks generated a record $525.8 million in bets in October, according to official data released Tuesday. The month's handle was up 118% from $241.2 million in October 2019 and topped the previous record of $462.8 million set just last month. October's bets produced a record $47.8 million in operator revenue, more than doubling the $19.1 million in October 2019 and shattering the previous record of shattering the previous record $31.6 million, set in January. October's revenue yielded $12.5 million in state taxes and another $735,539 in local share assessments.

Pennsylvania's ascent into a sports betting powerhouse has been steady since launching in November 2018. In the 24 months since launching, sports betting has generated:
  • $4.3 billion in wagers
  • $273.8 million in sports betting revenue
  • $77.1 million in state taxes
"With $4 billion in wagers now, it seems like forever ago that Pennsylvania was plagued by a slow start, taking nearly a year to produce the state's first $100 million month," said Valerie Cross, analyst for "That's all ancient history now, as Pennsylvania's large market and its increasing comfort with online sportsbooks has turned the Keystone State into a sports betting juggernaut poised to surpass Nevada in size soon."

Online betting made up 89.8%, or $472.3 million, of October's total handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino Resort led online operators with $181 million in bets, up 7.7% from $168 million wagered in September. Those bets produced $14.7 million in taxable revenue.

"For two years FanDuel and DraftKings have dominated the market, but the new Barstool-branded app seems to be offering the first real threat to the leaders' market position," Gouker said. "Whether or not Barstool can truly challenge, its rapid rise is unlike anything we've seen."

Retail sportsbooks accepted $53.5 million in bets in October, up from $48.7 million in September. Rivers Casino Philadelphia led with $11.1 million in bets and revenue of $1 million.

Online casinos
Online casinos and poker rooms produced a record $59.8 million in gross operator revenue, or $1.92 million per day over the 31 days of October. That beat the record $57 million, or $1.9 million per day, generated over the 30 days of September.

October's revenue yielded $16.4 million in state taxes. Online table games and slots wagers hit $2.2 billion in October, up from $2 billion in September, resulting in $57.3 million in revenue.

"Cooler weather unquestionably benefits online gaming, and that should be even more pronounced this year because of the pandemic," Cross said. "As retail casinos in the state struggle, another uptick should be a significant boost to Pennsylvania's gaming industry."
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