Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks produced their second-best monthly handle ever and set a new revenue mark in November, but fell short of the state’s record $525.8m set in October. The result was surprising, according to analysts at PlayPennsylvania given that neighboring New Jersey catapulted to an all-jurisdiction record in the same month.
Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks reached $491.9m in November, ahead 35.7% from $316.5m in November 2019. Operator revenue before adjustments was particularly strong, reaching a record $48.5m in November despite taking in less in wagers. That topped the former record of $47.8m set in October and was up 235.8% from $17.5m in November 2019.
November revenue yielded $12.7m in state taxes and another $747,005 in local share assessments.
Only New Jersey, which shattered the all-jurisdiction record with $931m in November wagers, and Nevada have ever posted a more lucrative month. But the gap between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the nation’s largest market, widened in November after the Garden State accepted $931.6m in wagers
Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayPennsylvania.com, said: “So much has worked in favor of Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks this fall, but a lack of NBA, NHL, and college basketball games, along with the struggles of Penn State, an Eagles bye week, and a Steelers game postponed to December, conspired to slow bettors in November.
“With record revenue and the second-best handle in state history, it was still a great month for the industry. And I suspect that Pennsylvania will be back to setting record handles again in December.”
Fellow analyst Valerie Cross added: “November’s results show that each state is different in what are unprecedented times, and the relatively high win rate by sportsbooks may have dissuaded some bettors. Ultimately, though, record revenues are particularly important for the industry and for the state, which is relying on online gaming revenue more than ever.”
Online betting accounted for 91%, or $447.4m, of the state’s handle in November, which is up from 89.8% in October. FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino remained the market leader with $176.7m in online bets, down 2.3% from $181m wagered in October. Those bets produced $15.1m in taxable revenue, up from $14.7m in October.
DraftKings/The Meadows was in its familiar second position in November, producing $109.9m in bets, down from $121m in October. That yielded $6.9m in taxable revenue. The race for second tightened slightly with Penn National’s Barstool-branded app. In just its second full month since launching, Barstool/Hollywood Casino generated $55.7m in bets, down from $61m, which yielded $3.5m in taxable revenue.
“The Barstool app has been successful in shaking up the market, becoming the first online operator to legitimately challenge the stranglehold that FanDuel and DraftKings have had on Pennsylvania’s market,” Gouker said. “What the Penn National/Barstool partnership has done has not only altered the Keystone State, but it has served notice in other jurisdictions that it is indeed a force to be reckoned with.”
Retail sportsbooks, which have since been shut down, hit $44.5m in bets in November, down from $53.5m in October. Sportsbooks won $6.2m on those bets, down from $6.3m. The top retail sportsbook was Parx Casino with $9.2m in bets.