Pennsylvania sportsbooks report $772.3m handle to kick off 2023

Large Philadelphia Eagles flag on a building
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Pennsylvania sportsbooks and casinos have begun 2023 with revenues improving by over 18% in January compared to the same month last year.

While the state’s Philadelphia Eagles marched towards the Super Bowl during the first month of the year, sports betting handle dropped by 2.7% year-over-year to $772.3m, but improved upon December 2022’s $754.8m. Taxable revenue in the vertical grew by just over 22% YoY to $39.3m.

According to data compiled by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the Keystone State’s combined total gaming revenue for January was $464.5m, an 18.15% improvement YoY (Jan. 2022: $393.1m), but down by 2.2% compared to the previous month (Dec. 2022: $474.9m).

Sports wagering, online casino, online slots, and retail slots all saw revenue growth by over 20% YoY. Retail tables and VGTs revenues also improved YoY, while online poker and fantasy contests saw decreases in revenues compared to the previous year.

Per operator, Hollywood Casino at Penn National was the top operator with $71.8m in revenue (Jan. 2022: $57.3m), followed by Valley Forge Casino Resort with $67.9m (2022: $50.9m), and Parx Casino with $55.5m (2022: $51.8m).

Pennsylvania operators generated $188.3m in state tax revenue during January.

Sports betting assisted by Eagles’ Super Bowl push

As previously mentioned, Philadelphia sportsbooks saw their handle drop by 2.7% YoY in January to $772.3m (2022: $793.7m), with $719.7m coming from online sports betting.

Yet, sports wagering operators earned revenues of $58m during the opening month of the year, and taxable revenues of $39.3m, up by 22.01% YoY (2022: $32.7m).

At the time, the Eagles performed well in the NFL playoffs and booked their spot in Super Bowl LVII, which likely supported good returns for sportsbooks.

Per operator, FanDuel led the way by a wide margin, with a handle of $313m, total revenues of $26.9m, and a hold of 11.4%.

DraftKings followed with $202.5m in handle, $4.1m in total revenue, and a hold of 3.9%. BetMGM completed the top three with a handle of $53.6m, $2.2m in total revenue, and a hold of 9.1%.

With a 36% tax rate on sports betting revenue (34% state tax, 2% county tax), sportsbooks generated $14.1m in tax revenue in January.

Igaming continues to perform

Igaming carried over its strong momentum from 2022 into the first month of the new year with $133.1m in revenue, an increase of 22.91% YoY (2022: $108.3m). 

Online slots improved by 25.57% YoY and generated $90.2m in revenue (2022: $71.8m), online table games grew by 20.97% YoY and produced $40m in revenue (2022: $33m), while online poker declined by 14.55% YoY with only $2.9m in revenue (2022: $3.3m).

Hollywood Casino at Penn National was the Keystone State’s best performing igaming operator during the month with $55.1m, followed by Valley Forge Casino Resort with $29.7m, with Rivers Casino Philadelphia completing the top three with $28.5m.

Mount Airy Casino Resort led the way in online poker revenue with $1.8m, and $4.9m in total igaming revenue. Igaming operators generated $55.6m in state taxes in January.

Pennsylvania’s retail slot machines tallied $202.2m in January revenue, a 20.07% increase YoY (2022: $168.4m), with the number of machines in operation decreasing to 25,799 compared to the previous year (2022: 26,158). Tax revenue generated by slot machines was $102.8m.

The top five slot machine operators during the month were Parx Casino ($32.6m), Wind Creek Bethlehem ($23.8m), Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($21.1m), Mohegan Pennsylvania ($15.4m), and Hollywood Casino at the Meadows ($13.8m).

Retail table games in January produced revenues of $83.9m, a 7.27% improvement YoY (2022: $78.2m). Tax revenue from the vertical for the month was $13.7m.

Wind Creek Bethlehem was the top table games operator ($19.8m), followed by Parx Casino ($17.8m), Live! Casino Philadelphia ($10.4m), Rivers Casino Philadelphia ($8.6m), and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh ($6.9m) round off the top five.

Pennsylvania’s VGTs revenue improved by 7.92% YoY in January to $3.3m (2022: $3.1m), while the state’s revenue from fantasy contests fell by 9.49% YoY to $2.6m (2022: $2.9m).