Pennsylvania Sportsbooks in a Summer Slump With 27% Handle Decline

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Pennsylvania sportsbooks are the latest to bear the brunt of July – the slowest month of the sporting calendar – which saw handle free falling to more than 27%.

According to official numbers released Wednesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the state’s sportsbooks reported $304.4 million, down 27.6% from June’s $420.19 million. Though last month’s handle was an 84.7% gain from what Pennsylvania sportsbooks posted in July 2020, the year-over-year comparison is not an ideal indicator of the growth of the market as the whole of 2020 was eclipsed by the pandemic.

However, it is the first time since last August that the Pennsylvania sports betting reported a handle below $400 million.

Sportsbook revenue witnessed an even greater dip of 35.3% to $27.5 million despite a hold of 9%. The state drew $7.1 million in total taxes. Keystone State has one of the highest sports betting tax rates in the nation at 36%.

Mobile Sports Betting Remained Steady

Though Pennsylvania’s online sports betting numbers also saw a proportional decline, they remained steady relative to the overall market. In July, mobile sports betting accounted for 90.5% of the market, compared to 90.3% a month prior.

In July, Pennsylvania mobile sportsbooks posted $275.44 million, representing 27.4% from June’s $379.26 million. However, it was a 77.3% gain from last year’s $155.35 million.

While Pennsylvania sports betting witnessed a third straight month of decline in the mobile and overall handle, table games gross revenue shattered a monthly record, according to the PGCB.

FanDuel Remains No. 1 Despite Shrink

Despite witnessing a 4.2 drop in percentage, FanDuel remained no 1. operator, with 38% of the total market share. Through its partner Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia, the New York-based operator posted $108.48 million in July handle, down from $164.8 million a month prior.

Though DraftKings increased 1.4 percentage – a phenomenal jump – it secured second place in the Pennsylvania market. The Boston-based sportsbook – through its partner, The Meadows – saw $67.2 million in July handle, compared to $87.5 million in June.

BetMGM secured third place in the market, with a 10.5% mobile handle share, a slight gain month-over-month.

Barstool’s handle of $23.4 million last month was the lowest since launch.

The Rivers casinos in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh – with BetRivers – posted a combined $32.82 million in last month’s handle, compared to $42.5 million in June.

Why Pennsylvania Sports Betting Handle Nosedived in July?

From July 2020 to July 2021, the handle saw an 87% increase. But July 2020 was an unprecedented month, with sporting activity just returned after months of pandemic-led closures.

This July was the coolest in terms of sports betting activity in the nation this year. But the summer slump – as the phase is known in US sports betting – affected all the states. Even New Jersey reported just $578.7 million in July handle.

According to Dustin Gouker, a sports analyst, this July could not engage Pennsylvanian bettors due to nationwide travel. Despite the fact that the bettors had the NBA Finals and the Olympics to bet on, the “people were occupied with family vacations and other summer activities,” Gouker said.

However, he added, sportsbook operators cannot wait for football season to ramp up.

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