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Pennsylvania sportsbooks surge in September as FanDuel dominates

George Miller

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Pennsylvania sportsbooks surge in September as FanDuel dominates
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Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks nearly doubled the state’s previous record handle in September, as bettors jumped at their first-ever opportunity to legally bet on the NFL, according to analysts for PlayPennsylvania.com.

“A significant jump was expected with the NFL season kicking off in September, and the data did not disappoint,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Because of the sport’s popularity with bettors, the football season is the most effective time to gauge the health of a market. After a summer of growing pains and one month of football, it is safe to say that Pennsylvania is indeed healthy.”

Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks generated $194.5 million in handle in September, according to official data released Thursday. That is up from 78% from the record $109 million in August. September’s handle yielded $19.3 million in revenue, up from August’s $9.9 million win, generating $5.1 million in state taxes.

By comparison, New Jersey generated a handle of $184 million in September 2018, the first full month Garden State bettors were able to legally wager on NFL games. New Jersey’s handle in September 2019 has grown to $445.6 million, hinting at just how much growth is possible in Pennsylvania.

“After a somewhat slow start, Pennsylvania is beginning to display similar growth patterns as New Jersey,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “New Jersey had the advantage of a more established gaming infrastructure when it launched sports betting. But now that the online sports betting infrastructure is in place, Pennsylvania is beginning to show its potential.”

Pennsylvania’s five online sportsbooks — including Fox Bet at Mount Airy Casino, which launched on Sept. 4 — generated $158.2 million in September, up from $83.2 million in August. Online betting represented 81% of the state’s total handle, up from 76% in August, and nearer to the 85% rate that online sports betting commands in New Jersey.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino dominated the online market, accepting a whopping $85.1 million in September bets, up from $35.3 million in August. FanDuel generated $7.1 million in revenue, up from $2.9 million in August.

FanDuel was followed in the online market by:

  • SugarHouse Casino ($31.2 million in online handle, up from $25 million in August; $2.6 million in revenue, up from $1.7 million in August)
  • Fox Bet at Mount Airy ($4.5 million handle; $268,844 in revenue)
  • Rivers Casino ($23.5 million handle, up from $16.9 million; $1.9 million revenue, up from $1 million)
  • Parx Casino ($13.8 million handle, up from $6 million; $1.8 million revenue, up from $620,573)

Pennsylvania’s online market continues to evolve. More online sportsbooks, including DraftKings, are expected to launch during the football season. And the parent companies that own FanDuel and Fox Bet are planning to merge, creating a potential Goliath in online sports betting.

“The merger of FanDuel and Fox Bet, two very recognizable brands, could be a game-changing development,” Gouker said. “Regardless, the competition in the online vertical will remain fierce as sportsbooks vie for a greater share of a rapidly growing market.”

Mount Airy also quietly launched a retail sportsbook just days after Fox Bet was unveiled. Still, Rivers edged Parx to lead the retail market, accepting $7.3 million in bets in September, up from $4.9 million in August. That yielded $957,791 in revenue, up from $631,012 in August. Rivers was followed by:

  • Parx ($7.3 million handle, up from $5 million; $1.1 million revenue, up from $722,945)
  • SugarHouse ($6.5 million handle, up from $5.4 million in August; $1.1 million revenue, up from $816,768)
  • Valley Forge Casino ($3.4 million handle, up from $2.5 million; $376,243 revenue, up from $175,330)
  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course ($3.3 million handle, up from $2.1 million; $590,006 revenue, up from $309,171)
  • South Philadelphia Race and Sportsbook ($2.3 million handle, up from $2 million; $490,153 revenue, up from $337,680)
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia ($2.2 million handle, up from $1.9 million; $347,873 revenue, up/down from $251,296)
  • Presque Isle ($2.2 million handle, up from $1.2 million; $495,548 revenue, up from $282,384)
  • Oaks Race and Sportsbook ($1.2 million handle, up from $942,856; $146,041 revenue, up from $48,230)
  • Mount Airy  ($372,418 handle; $45,568 in revenue)

Online casino revenue grows in September

SugarHouse, Parx and Penn National casinos generated $5.3 million in gross revenue in September, up 56% from $3.4 million in August, on $140.8 million in wagers. Betting was up 21% from $111.8 million in August. September’s action produced $1.6 million in state taxes.

Penn National led the way with $3 million in revenue, up from $684,452 in September, on $41.1 million in bets, up from $17.8 million. Penn National was followed by:

  • Sugarhouse ($1.1 million revenue, down from $1.6 million; $57.2 million in wagers, up from $40.9 million).
  • Parx ($1.3 million in revenue, up from $1.1 million; $42.4 million in wagers, down from $53.1 million)

“Pennsylvania’s three pioneering online casinos are all off to strong starts and should initially have an advantage over any newcomers,” Welman said. “But at least five online casinos are planning to launch before the end of the year, so the market should morph dramatically over the next few months.”

For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania sports betting, visit www.playpennsylvania.com/sports-betting/revenue/.

 

About the PlayUSA.com Network:

The PlayUSA.com Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States. With a presence in over a dozen states, PlayUSA.com and its state-focused branches (including PlayNJ.com and PlayPennsylvania.com) produce daily original reporting, publish in-depth research, and offer player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online gaming options for consumers. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.

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