Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks betting volume was near an all-time high in December with more than $750m in wagers as revenue slipped from November’s record, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks regulated online gaming and sports betting in the state.
The Keystone State’s online casinos generated a record $127.6m in revenue. 2021 saw the state’s sportsbooks produce $6.5bn in wagers, $122.5m in tax revenue, while online casinos earned nearly $1.3bn in revenue.
Katie Kohler, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, commented: “With so many records set this fall, a modest pullback in December is not a particular surprise. Importantly, though, sportsbooks remained near all-time highs for wagering, extending a four-month stretch in which wagering reached nearly $3m. It’s been a fitting end to an impressive year.”
According to official data, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks betting volume was the third-highest ever in December with $750.4m in wagers, up 36.8% year-over-year (December 2020: $548.6m).
Sportsbooks saw $38m in gross revenue, down 16.3% YoY (December 2020: $45.3m). With $19.1m in promotional spending, sportsbooks generated $18.8m in taxable revenue, yielding $6.8m in state taxes and local share assessments.
In 2021, wagering in the Keystone State nearly doubled and no US state produced more tax revenue. However, the state was surpassed in its overall handle by Illinois.
During the year, Pennsylvania sportsbooks produced: $6.5bn in wagers, up 83% YoY (2020: $3.6bn); $505.5m in gross revenue, an 87.3% improvement YoY (2020: $269.9m); and $122.5m in state taxes and local share assessments, a 79.4% growth YoY (2020: $68.3m).
Dustin Gouker, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayPennsylvania.com, said: “If the carrot for legislators to legalize sports betting is to create a sustainable and consistent revenue source for the state, no state has been more successful than Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania’s relatively high tax rate does seem to contribute to slower growth overall, but that seems to be a worthwhile tradeoff that has been an overall benefit to the state.”
In December, online sportsbooks took $693.3m in wagers, 92.4% of the state’s handle, with FanDuel topping the market with $246.8m (32.9%).
Kohler added: “With college football winding down in December, betting on NBA and college basketball made up the difference. Basketball betting quietly has become an important cog for sportsbooks, especially in the Northeast where basketball takes in more in wagering than football, even as football gains the most attention.”
Online casinos and poker rooms produced $127.6m in gross gaming revenue in December, beating the previous record set in October of $117m, and up 17.6% YoY (December 2020: $108.5m). The vertical also produced $102.1m in taxable revenue, yielding $42.5m in state taxes and local assessments. Wagering rose to $4.3bn as well (November: $3.8bn).
In 2021, Pennsylvania’s online casinos and poker rooms generated $1.3m in gross revenue, up 91.1% YoY (2020: $680.2m) and $466.4m in state taxes.
Kohler concluded: “The growth in online casino gambling seems almost endless. Online casino revenue nearly doubled year over year, a significant jump from 2020 when the global pandemic kept people at home. Growth should taper some in the year ahead, but online casinos have yet to reach their ceiling.”