Pennsylvania kicked off 2022 by having one of its most lucrative months yet for its online gambling industry, as records were achieved by its sportsbooks and online casinos, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks regulated online gaming and sports betting in the state.
The Keystone State’s online and retail sportsbooks took advantage of five weekends of football in January to break the state’s monthly wagering record, while online casinos also set a new revenue record during the month.
According to official data, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks generated $793.7m in wagers, up 29.0% year-over-year from January 2021’s $615.3m. January’s handle grew by 5.8% compared to December’s $750.4m, and it also smashed the previous best of $776.3m wagered in October 2021.
“Pennsylvania’s sports betting growth has lagged behind similarly-sized states like Illinois, but the growth has still remained consistent,” said Dustin Gouker, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayPennsylvania.com.
“Simply put, whether it’s sports betting or online casino gaming, more people are betting more often now than a year ago. And there is little reason to believe the growth will stop this year.”
Sportsbooks in the Keystone State won $53.4m in gross revenue in January from the $793.7m handle, an 8.3% improvement YoY (January 2021: $49.3m) and up 17.9% on the previous month (December: $45.3m).
Operators closed the month with $32.2m in taxable revenue after $21.2m in promotional spending, yielding $11.6m in state taxes and local share assessments.
Katie Kohler, an analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, stated: “The NFL did sportsbooks a big favor this year by adding a week of regular season games and expanding the playoffs, then playing remarkably close games that kept bettors engaged from start to finish.
“With five full weekends of NFL games for the first time ever in January, a full slate of NBA action, and college football’s national championship, anything less than a wagering record would have been a disappointment.”
Broken down per online and retail, Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks accounted for $737.4m (92.9%) of the January handle. FanDuel led the online market with $273.3m in wagers (34.8%), producing a state-best $25.1m in operator revenue.
DraftKings followed ($197.6m in wagers, $8.4m in gross revenue), then BetMGM ($84.4m handle, $5.5m in gross revenue), and then Penn National’s Barstool-branded app ($74.7m in online wagers, $3.4m in gross revenue).
The Keystone State’s retail sportsbooks generated $56.3m in January wagers (December: $57.1m), yielding $5.8m in gross revenue (December: $2.8m). Rivers Pittsburgh topped the market with a $9.2m handle, followed by Parx’s with $8.3m.
Meanwhile, online casinos and poker rooms set a gross gaming revenue record in January of $130.0m, beating the previous best set in December of $127.6m by 1.9%. Revenue also improved YoY by 42.5% (January 2021: $91.2m), generating a record $108.3m in taxable revenue, producing $44.6m in state taxes and local assessments.
Online casinos and poker rooms gained $4.2m in gross gaming revenue per day over the 31 days of the month (December: $4.1m per day). However, wagering at online casinos fell to $4.1bn (December $4.3bn).
Penn National, which includes the DraftKings, BetMGM, Barstool, and Hollywood casinos, led all online casino operators in January with $51.2m in gross revenue. Rivers Philadelphia, which includes SugarHouse, Borgata, and BetRivers casinos, followed with $33.5m.
Poker saw $3.4m in revenue in the first month of 2022, with Mount Airy/PokerStars ahead of all other operators with $2.2m in revenue.
Kohler added: “The popularity of online casinos have had a positive effect on online sportsbooks, especially with apps like DraftKings, BetMGM, and Barstool that have a strong foothold in both. In essence, online casino gaming is the tide that lifts all boats.”