Pennsylvania: Third State Ever to Cross $600M Monthly Handle

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Pennsylvania has become the third US state ever to cross $600 million monthly sports betting in handle in January, after New Jersey and Nevada. As Pennsylvania sportsbooks continue to snowball the state’s monthly sports betting records, January brought in an unprecedented $615 million of bets.

According to the official report released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday, Pennsylvania’s latest handle shattered the previous record of $548.6 million achieved in December, which was up 12.2% month-over-month. However, the January bets drew $33.9 million in gross revenue, representing a slight decrease from December’s $34.1 million. Additionally, the sports betting action generated $11.5 million in state taxes.

This news continues the upward trend that the Pennsylvania industry has been witnessing. During the first six-month months in the current fiscal year, Pennsylvania sports betting handle reached $3.1 billion. The 2020/2021 fiscal year also eclipses the previous fiscal year’s total of $2.2 billion in just six months. In fact, since its legalization, Pennsylvania sports betting has raised more than $111.7 million for the state’s tax dollars.

Online Sports Betting Continues Shine

More than 94% of total bets were made online in Pennsylvania last month, making January’s mobile total almost $580 million. Though it was an 8.4% increase from December’s $535 million, its online share in terms of percentage was less than December’s 97.6% online share.

The leading online players like FanDuel were the obvious beneficiary. The New York-based online operator that partners with Valley Forge Casino took $220.7 million in bets, breaking their December record of $207.6 million. Boston-based DraftKings and its partner, the Meadows Casino, sustained its second spot with $143.5 million in the handle, representing an increase from December’s $131 million. It also witnessed the revenue jump from $7.7 million in January from December’s $5.4 million.

Barstool Sports and its partner, Penn National’s Hollywood Casino, reported an 8% decrease in January, falling to $66.5 million from December’s $72.6 million. Still, it managed to post the third-highest individual handle after FanDuel and DraftKings. The combined BetRivers entries, River Piisburgh ($31.7M), Rivers Philadelphia ($27.7M), totaled more than $59 million. BetMGM, which saw the first full month of operation in January, also recorded a promising handle of $39 million, generating a revenue of $414,300.

The sportsbooks offered $15 million worth of promos credit, taking gross revenue to nearly $30 million, resulting in almost $10 million in state taxes. It should be noted that the Keystone State levies the sports betting industry at the highest rate in the US at 36%.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting on a Roll

Following a handle decrease in November, Pennsylvania is back in action, with two consecutive months of growth. The Keystone State finished 2020 the third-largest sports betting market in the US, after New Jersey and Nevada.

With the highest annual handle, New Jersey reported $6 billion in 2020, followed by Nevada that posted $4.2 billion for the same duration. Pennsylvania was not much behind the Silver State as $3.6 billion suggests a difference of around $600 million, which many believe will narrow down during this year. Some even believe the year 2021 will witness Nevada and Pennsylvania vying for the second spot.

However, as the US online sports betting market is flourishing, and with Colorado, Illinois and Michigan posting startling figures, and with more populous states – such as New York and Texas – considering legalization, the top three leaders, including Pennsylvania, will be facing tough challenges to retain their leading positions.

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