3 Big Surprises In Pennsylvania’s August Gambling Revenue Report

Written By Martin Derbyshire on September 23, 2019

There were a number of surprising figures found in the state of Pennsylvania‘s August gambling revenue report.

The basics showed that PA experienced more than a 6% increase in total gambling revenue compared to August 2018. The total rose from $275,954,421 last August to $293,434,082 this year.

Of course, the increase comes as no surprise, since sports betting and online gambling were not part of the mix in 2018.

The state’s first retail sportsbook went live in November 2018. PA online and mobile sports betting followed in May. The first PA online casinos went live in July.

Total online casino revenues of $3,428,640 and sports betting revenue of $6,115,016 certainly helped boost the August 2019 numbers. However, there was a 2.25% uptick in August slot machine revenue from $201,729,431 to $206,260,869. Plus, there was a 4% jump in table games revenue from $73,281,370 to $76,184,709. Both seem equally as responsible as sports betting and online gambling for the increase.

#1: More Pennsylvania sports betting revenue is from retail than online/mobile

The first surprise in the report comes while looking at the sports betting numbers.

Pennsylvania sports betting operators generated a little more than $6.1 million in revenue from slightly more than $109 million in bets. Retail sportsbooks were responsible for $3.5 million of that revenue and online operations were just $2.5 million.

Over in the more mature New Jersey sports betting market, online and mobile operations now represent upwards of 80% of the market.

In PA, online and mobile sports betting operators are currently generating just 40% of the revenue. That means either online and mobile bettors in PA are extremely sharp or that online and mobile operators are lagging behind their NJ neighbors in terms of the number of bets.

Of course, the first theory is a little more surprising than the second, as the PA online and mobile sports betting is still in its infancy. Online betting could easily topple retail betting in the coming months.

#2: Parx generates big online table games numbers

The second surprise in the report comes when you take a good look at the Parx Online Casino numbers.

Parx managed to post respectable August online gambling revenue totals of $1,095,761. What is surprising is the fact the online casino’s table games revenue figure was slightly bigger than its online slots number. In fact, it was $552,114 to $543,647.

The over $1 million in total revenue was good enough to make Parx second to SugarHouse Online Casino in total August 2019 revenue. However, SugarHouse’s $1,648,427 in total online gambling revenue came from $1,362,585 on slots and only $285,841 on table games.

It’s not surprising to see SugarHouse Online Casino leading the market. After running an online casino in NJ the past few years, SugarHouse is back home in PA. However, it’s downright shocking to see Parx put up such a significant table games number.

It’s also a big boost to the Parx bottom line. The state taxes online table game revenue at 16% and online slots at a whopping 54%. That means while Parx generated close to $650,000 less than SugarHouse in total online gambling revenue, it got to keep only around $200,000 less after taxes.

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#3: FanDuel is 92% of online and mobile

Finally, it was somewhat of a surprise to see that despite 60% of the state’s total sports betting revenue coming from retail operations, the top-grossing sportsbook in the state derived most of its revenue from online and mobile betting.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort was the top sportsbook in the state in August 2019 with $2,217,754 in total revenue generated from $37,822,688 in total bets. A whopping $2,042,424 of that revenue total came from the FanDuel Sportsbook PA website and mobile sports betting app. Just $175,330 came from the retail sports betting operation at the casino.

That means FanDuel and Valley Forge are generating an incredible 92% of their sports betting revenue from mobile and online operations.

NJ sports betting has proven that as a US sports betting market matures, it will become increasingly online and mobile-driven. Seeing so much happen so fast with FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge has to be considered a surprise.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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