PA Sports Betting Sets Handle Record, ESPN Bet Promos Hinder Revenue

Written By J.R. Duren on December 21, 2023
Sports Betting Illustration Balls And Cash Pile

Another record has fallen in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board posted November gaming figures and the data reveals that the month’s sports betting handle of $934.1 million broke the state’s record and inched Pennsylvania closer to a $1 billion month.

Despite the unprecedented sports betting handle that sportsbooks brought in, revenue was down month-on-month.

ESPN Bet launch fuels handle but foils revenue

It’s not common for states to see a sports betting revenue decline and a record-breaking handle in the same month. However, as the PGCB explained, ESPN Bet caused the anomaly.

“The Board explains the steep drop in revenue occurred due to both the offering of a significant amount of non-taxable promotional play by the newly-launched ESPNBet operated by under the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course sports wagering certificate and a low hold percentage that benefited bettors,” the PGCB noted in its November data release.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course partners with ESPN Bet, and the PGCB data shows exactly how those promos affected the casino’s sportsbook revenue. Though it generated the third-highest handle total in the state last month, total revenue was -$7.8 million, or more than what 15 casinos earned in November.

Casino OperatorTotal
Handle
Retail
Revenue
Online RevenueTotal Revenue
Valley Forge Casino Resort$384,083,610$13,255$8,382,920$8,396,175
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows$253,073,537$20,451$7,855,930$7,876,381
Parx Casino$24,474,910$756,756$252,573$1,009,329
Harrah's Philadelphia$47,602,201$137,451$861,391$998,843
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh$35,987,333$262,072$319,646$581,718
Rivers Casino Philadelphia$26,019,491$208,325$168,650$376,974
Live! Casino Philadelphia$9,596,133$160,159$84,114$244,273
Hollywood Casino York$13,033,168-$80,228$289,135$208,907
Hollywood Casino Morgantown$54,304,013$200,516$2,994$203,510
Live! Casino Pittsburgh$2,034,544$186,691$0$186,691
South Philly Race & Sportsbook1$1,739,396$161,918$0$161,918
Wind Creek Bethlehem$1,813,732$128,133$5,114$133,247
Presque Isle Downs and Casino$1,928,956$125,165$0$125,165
Mohegan Sun Lehigh Valley2$1,175,238$104,861$0$104,861
Mohegan Pennsylvania$9,554,327$146,427-$61,455$84,972
Mount Airy Casino Resort$834,031$35,277-$13,296$21,981
Parx Shippensburg$49,471$14,045$0$14,045
Hollywood Casino at Penn National$66,826,062-$16,394-$7,828,563-$7,844,956
Total$934,130,152$2,564,880$10,319,155$12,884,034

Pennsylvania casino revenue down 1.74% year-on-year

Total revenue for all Pennsylvania casinos reached $444.5 million, down 1.74% from November 2022’s $452.4 million.

CasinoNovember 2023 Total RevenueNovember 2022 Total Revenue% Change
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$74,438,892$65,578,93013.51%
Valley Forge Casino Resort$63,879,036$57,360,53111.36%
Parx Casino$55,269,233$57,065,721-3.15%
Wind Creek Bethlehem$47,705,213$49,467,064-3.56%
Rivers Casino Philadelphia$45,938,417$49,134,718-6.51%
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh$33,155,807$31,580,9424.99%
Hollywood Casino at the Meadows$26,053,840$20,992,96724.11%
Live! Casino Philadelphia$24,553,822$25,640,507-4.24%
Mount Airy Casino Resort$22,801,213$20,118,28413.34%
Mohegan Pennsylvania$20,677,705$22,626,524-8.61%
Harrah's Philadelphia$18,443,017$20,092,750-8.21%
Live! Casino Pittsburgh$9,811,229$10,105,866-2.92%
Presque Isle Downs and Casino$9,062,561$11,076,244-18.18%
Hollywood Casino York$8,691,414$8,102,9107.26%
Hollywood Casino Morgantown$6,746,127$5,094,76432.41%
Video Gaming Terminals$3,534,347$3,750,735-5.77%
Parx Shippensburg$2,770,228N/AN/A
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin$1,639,632$2,123,735-22.79%
Fantasy Contests$1,551,398$1,711,425-9.35%
Total$476,723,131$461,624,6173.27%

The decline was felt across most casinos, from the top revenue earner for the month, Hollywood Casino at Penn National (-6.45%), to other key properties like Valley Forge Casino Resort (-6.26%) and Rivers Casino’s properties in Philadelphia (-4.13%) and Pittsburgh (-2.70%).

The bright spots for the month were Wind Creek Bethlehem, which saw its revenue jump 8.27% from $42.37 million in November 2022 to $45.87 million this past month, and Live! Casino Philadelphia also had a solid year-on-year performance, rising 6.68% from $21.46 million to $22.88 million.

Month-on-month, total revenue was down nearly $40 million compared to Pennsylvania’s October gaming revenue. That drop is a concerning one, as revenue from October 2022 to November 2022 ticked up around $2 million.

Photo by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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