Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks celebrated the third anniversary of legal sports betting in the state by handling more wagers in October than any other month, with a record of $776 million in sports bets. This also pushed the state’s lifetime handle to more than $10 billion, this as Pennsylvania’s ever-expanding online gambling industry set another revenue record and joined New Jersey as the only two states to produce $1 billion over a calendar year, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks regulated online gaming and sports betting in the state.
Spurred by five full weekends of football, and boosted with postseason baseball and the opening of the NHL and NBA seasons, bettors poured $776.3 million in wagers into Pennsylvania's online and retail sportsbooks in October, according to official data released Tuesday. That was up 47.6% from $525.8 million in October 2020 and up 34.1% from $578.8 million in September. Only New Jersey and Nevada have ever produced more in bets over a single month.
Operators generated $42.3 million in gross revenue in October, down 11.6% from $47.8 million in October 2020 and down 12.1% from $48.1 million in September. In the end, sportsbooks produced $23.5 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $8.4 million in state taxes and local share assessments.
$714.1 million of October's wagers came through online sportsbooks. FanDuel generated $270.8 million in wagering, up from $183.7 million in September. Revenue fell to $19.3 million. DraftKings was second in the state with $201.7 million in wagers, yielding $9.6 million in gross revenue. Penn National's Barstool-branded app was third in October with $71.5 million in wagers.
Retail sportsbooks accounted for $62.2 million in wagers in October, up 16.2% from $53.5 million in October 2020. Those wagers created $5.05 million in gross revenue. Rivers Pittsburgh led retailers with $9.3 million in bets.
Katie Kohler, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, explained: "The convergence of all that betting inventory, particularly with five weekends of football, made a record in October all but assured. Such a big leap in October shows that Pennsylvania still has an increasing base of bettors, and those bettors are placing more in wagers as they become increasingly comfortable with in-game and proposition betting."
"Online sportsbooks in particular benefit from NFL regular season games, which offer hundreds of options for in-game betting in addition to more conventional bets. Props and in-game betting are now a cornerstone for growth”, Kohler said.
Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, added: "Three years in, and the state's sportsbooks continue to expand. Remarkably, about half of all wagers and revenue have come through sportsbooks in the last 10 months. Pennsylvania clearly has room to grow before it reaches its ceiling."
The state also set a new record for monthly gaming revenue last month with almost $426 million. These figures exceed the state’s previous monthly high of $423.6 million set in July, and was 33% up from October 2020. The record-breaking month generated $172.3 million in taxes for the commonwealth.
Parx Casino in Bensalem was the top revenue generator at $57.4 million, followed closely by Hollywood Casino at Penn National with $57.1 million. Rivers Casino in Philadelphia saw $46.3 million, Wind Creek Bethlehem made $46.2 million and Valley Forge Casino Resort got $42.9 million.
Only two casinos in the state saw a decrease in revenue: Mount Airy Casino in the Poconos and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Compared to October 2020, Pennsylvania casinos perceived a substantial boost from in-person slots and table games, which compensated for a 36% year-over-year decrease in revenue from sports betting.