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Gambling in the USA

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.

Compliance Updates

PA Commonwealth Court Rules Pennsylvania Skill Video Game Machines are Slot Machines

Niji Narayan

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PA Commonwealth Court Rules Pennsylvania Skill Video Game Machines are Slot Machines
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The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that the video game machines manufactured and distributed by the company POM under the name “Pennsylvania Skill” are considered “slot machines” under Pennsylvania law.

“With this decision, we urge the Pennsylvania State Police, the Office of Attorney General, police departments and District Attorneys across the state to enforce Pennsylvania law to halt the proliferation of thousands of illegal Pennsylvania Skill slot machines now in convenience stores, bars, restaurants and other establishments in communities across the state,” Thomas C. Bonner, Group VP / Legal & Chief Counsel for Parx Casino said.

“We know that illegal slot machines and full-blown illegal casinos are popping up all over Pennsylvania. We know that minors are gambling, and we know that the state Lottery is losing tens of millions of dollars that should be going to our seniors because of these illegal machines. It’s time to confiscate these machines and put these illegal casinos out of business,” Bonner added.

The Commonwealth Court’s clarification that the “Pennsylvania Skill” games are “slot machines” under Pennsylvania law provides concrete and clear legal justification for law enforcement at the state and local levels to confiscate such machines and prosecute those responsible for manufacturing, distributing, leasing, or owning these machines.

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Gambling in the USA

TCSJOHNHUXLEY Enters into Asset Purchase Agreement with GPI

Niji Narayan

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TCSJOHNHUXLEY Enters into Asset Purchase Agreement with GPI
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Live table game developer TCSJOHNHUXLEY has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Gaming Partners International (GPI) that will see TCSJOHNHUXLEY acquire all operating assets related to GPI’s casino furniture, layouts and accessories businesses in the North American market.

This transaction is expected to strengthen TCSJOHNHUXLEY’s market leadership in this area, while allowing GPI to focus on its core competence in casino security equipment, such as playing cards, currency and dice.

The transition began on November 20, and subject to closing conditions, the deal is expected to close by the end of the year, or in January 2020.

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Gambling in the USA

IGT Rolls Out PlaySports Betting Platform in Oregon

Niji Narayan

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IGT Rolls Out PlaySports Betting Platform in Oregon
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The Mill Casino in Oregon has installed International Game Technology PLC’s IGT PlaySports platform. Patrons of Mill Casino can now place a range of sports wagers over the counter or via PlaySports kiosks.

“We are extremely pleased to be the only casino in Southern Oregon to provide our guests access to the excitement of sports betting through IGT’s PlaySports technology. This new option perfectly complements our slots and table games offering and gives our customers even more reasons to visit our waterfront destination,” Terri Porcaro, CEO of The Mill Casino said.

“Enabling The Mill Casino in Oregon to offer world-class sports betting experiences is another important milestone in the expansion of IGT’s position in the U.S. sports betting market. The solution’s market-readiness and proven capacity to seamlessly process high volumes of bets across devices and channels continues to differentiate IGT PlaySports in the market and has helped fuel its expansion into 11 U.S. states,” Enrico Drago, Senior VP of IGT PlayDigital said.

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