Pa. gaming revenue reaches record high

Hollywood Casino at Penn National generated a state-high $80,928,428 in total revenue in March 2023 as monthly Pennsylvania gaming revenue exceeded a half billion dollars for the first time. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported Tuesday that the combined total revenue generated from all forms of gaming, together with fantasy contests in March 2023 was $515,278,831. The total represented an increase of 11.35% over the $462,740,098 in revenue generated in March 2022. 

The March 2023 monthly revenue amount exceeded the half billion mark for the first time since gambling was legalized in 2006. 

Slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and video gaming terminals (VGTs) are the sources of gaming revenue regulated by the PGCB. 

“After a slower month of February, Pennsylvania sportsbooks saw plenty of betting action again in March, recording more than $723.5 million in handle last month,”  said in a statement. 

March Madness betting has played a role in getting sports betting figures back to where they were during the NFL season. March’s handle was up around $124 million from February and increased about 1.2% compared to March 2022.” 

Hollywood Casino at Penn National’s total revenue in March increased by 27.02% over the $63,711,802 generated in March 2022. 

Also in central Pennsylvania, Hollywood Casino Morgantown generated $9,472,589 in revenue in March 2023, Hollywood Casino York $9,390,319, and Parx Shippensburg $3,065,542. In the Lehigh Valley, Wind Creek in Bethlehem generated $47,247,055 in revenue in March 2023. 

According to the PGCB, March’s revenue from slot machines was $225,408,088, a 4.98% increase in revenue over the $214,721,028 from March 2022. 

Retail Table games revenue for March 2023 decreased, with revenue of $85,880,299 indicating a drop of 8.91% from March 2022 when revenue was $94,280,351. 

March 2023 saw casino games deliver online generated gross revenue that showed an increase of 25.46%, $148,189,028 compared to $118,118,408 in March 2022. 

The total sports wagering handle in March 2023 increased to $723,545,806, a 1.20% rise above the $714,976,578 from March 2022 total. The taxable revenue figure for March 2023 of $50,645,259 represented a 66.59% higher than the March 2022 revenue of $30,400,581. 

Imperiale said Pennsylvania online casinos continue to set records within the country. 

“In March, they once again posted a new all-time, all-market US iGaming record by producing $181.5 million in monthly revenue. The incredible showing overshadowed their previous best from December 2022 (166.9 million) by around 8.8%, growing about 27.2% year-over-year,” he said. 

“This latest record month helped push the state past the $500 billion mark in monthly revenue from all forms of March gambling. This is the first time Pennsylvania has exceeded this number.”

Pa. has record year for gaming revenue

Pennsylvania’s casinos had a record year for fiscal year 2021-22. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported that gaming took in $5,042,967,392 in revenue.  

It was the first-time overall revenue for games topped $5 billion during a fiscal year.  

The combined tax revenue from these games during the fiscal year will also top $2 billion for the first time. The estimated amount, prior to any adjustments by the PA Department of Revenue is $2,052,630,568.  

The previous high for gaming revenue and tax revenue in a fiscal year was during 2020/2021 was $3.87 billion and $1.59 billion respectively.  

The board notes said the overall revenue increase from the previous high fiscal year can be attributed to a record high in revenue for table games, along with continued growth in the Sports Wagering, iGaming and Video Gaming Terminal markets. 

Fiscal Year 2021/22 gross revenue from slot machines at the casinos was $2,410,313,212 a 27.69% increase in revenue when compared to the $1,887,573,437 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. 

Gross revenue from table games at the casinos was $1,015,735,661, a 40.73% increase in revenue when compared to the $721,763,471 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21, a record for a fiscal year. 

Revenue from iGaming was an $1,232,309,138, a 37.35% increase in revenue when compared to the $897,216,020 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21, a record high for a fiscal year. 

Revenue from sports wagering was $315,716,247, a 2.22% increase in revenue when compared to the $308,849,184 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. That’s a high mark for a fiscal year. 

Revenue for Video Gaming Terminals at Truck Stops was $41,584,158 an 32.71% increase in compared to the $31,334,744 in Fiscal Year 2020/21 also a record high. However, at the end of this fiscal year, there were 65 VGT facilities operating in Pennsylvania compared to 50 facilities in operation at the end of Fiscal Year 2020/2021. 

There was one drop. Revenue from fantasy contests was $27,308,782, a 3.11% decrease in revenue when compared to the $28,186,529 generated in Fiscal Year 2020/21. 

March Madness betting boosts; Pennsylvania’s sportsbook wagers to more than $560 million

March Madness helped spur online betting in Pennsylvania this spring, according to PlayPennsylvania, an online gaming research and analysis site.

The national college basketball tournament helped Pennsylvania’s retail and online sportsbooks take in more than $560 million in wagers in March, according to PlayPennsylvania, an increase of 326.6% over the $131.3 million in the early shut-down days of March 2020.

“March’s results show just how important the NCAA Tournament can be in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, giving a huge boost to sportsbooks at a time when football is dormant,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com, in a statement. “This really sets sportsbooks up for a strong rest of the year, especially in comparison with 2020.”

Sportsbooks produced $41 million in gross gaming revenue in March, according to the data, up 376.7% from $8.6 million in March 2020. That brought in $29.4 million in taxable revenue, up 326.1% from $6.9 million a year ago, and produced $10 million in state taxes, the site’s analysis reports.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks have now generated $506.7 million in gross gaming revenue since launching.

“$500 million in gross gaming revenue is a threshold reached by only two other markets, Nevada and New Jersey, a sign of Pennsylvania’s increasingly mature market,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Regardless of where Pennsylvania finds itself in the state rankings, it is in an excellent position as online betting gains steam and retail sportsbooks find themselves with fewer pandemic-related restrictions.”


Pennsylvanians wagered more than $53M on Super Bowl 2021

More than $53.6 million in bets were placed on this year’s Super Bowl in Pennsylvania, in the third year that sports betting was legal in the state.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said that was 74% higher than wagers on last year’s game and includes bets made through in-house and online sportsbooks in the state.

It’s particularly good news for the state’s casinos, which expect to take in $9.4 million in revenue, after losing money on wagering from the 2020 Super Bowl. The casinos reported a loss of $3.3 million on that year’s wagering.

Most of the wagers were made online. In person sports betting brought in just $6.1 million in wagers, down from $6.7 million in 2020, when there were fewer online betting options and COVID-19 precautions had yet to begin.

Online bets for 2021 totaled $47.5 million of the total wagering, more than double that of Super Bowl 2020 when $24 million in bets were made online.

While it was the third year betting was allowed, it is only the second year online sports wagering was available in the state.

The Super Bowl also seemed to drive people to Pennsylvania casinos’ websites.

The board reported 300,000 unique users logging onto online sports wagering sites in Pennsylvania on Super Bowl Sunday, up from 200,000 for last year’s big game.

The board obtained that data from geolocation service, GeoComply. Sports wagers placed on Pennsylvania casinos’ websites must come from within Pennsylvania.

With COVID-19 delayed playoffs, Pennsylvania sets record with $462M in sports betting in September

Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry is back in a big way as sporting events that had been shut down during the spring because of the COVID-19 pandemic began returning – all at once.

The state’s relatively new sports betting industry took a huge hit earlier this year when nearly all sports were canceled in the U.S and across the globe.

Sportsbooks run by Pennsylvania’s casinos took just $46 million in online bets during April.

That was about $300 million less than analysts had predicted before the virus hit, said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayPennsylvania, an online gaming research and advocacy firm.

For September, a month that saw the beginning of the NFL season, a full schedule of baseball, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, it meant a variety of sports betting options that had never come at the same time before.

As a result, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said the state’s casinos received a record $462.8 million in bets for the month.

Gouker noted that September’s handle was up 137.9% over last year from $194.5 million in September 2019 and betting greatly surpassed the previous record of $365 million, which was set last month.

Even with the added sports, Gouker noted that Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry fared much better than other states, pointing out that only two other states, Nevada and New Jersey, have broken the $450 million mark in sports wagering before.

“The question now becomes whether Pennsylvania can sustain this level once the sports calendar returns to normal,” said Valerie Cross, another analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Pennsylvania has etched a place in the top tier of gaming markets and could possibly pass Nevada as the nation’s No. 2 market before the end of the year.”

In-person betting also did well with $48.7 million in bets in September.

In other areas, online casino games and poker continued their strong performance in September.

Combined, they produced a record $57 million in gross operator revenue. That’s $1.9 million per day over the 30 days of September.

Those numbers are up from August, when online gambling generated $55.9 million, or $1.8 million per day for the 31 days of August.

Total gaming and fantasy contests revenue generated in Pennsylvania during September 2020 was actually up slightly after taking a dive earlier this year.

Casinos took in $284.24 million, an increase of 1% over September 2019.

Results for September were mixed for the state’s casinos.

Most Pa. casinos see lower over-year revenue after June reopening

In June, 11 of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos reopened their doors for the first time since the COVID-19 shutdown in mid-March and most are reporting a drop in gaming revenue.

But one did not.

Valley Forge Casino had a nearly 16% increase in gaming revenue over last June. It took in $12.9 million in June 2020 as compared to $11.2 million in June 2019, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

The news wasn’t as good for Wind Creek Bethlehem, which had the largest drop off of all casinos —   92.5% — taking in only $3.2 million in June 2020 as compared to $43.4 million in June 2019.

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono fared better. It saw only a 4.3% decrease in gaming revenue over June of last year. It took in $15.1 million in June 2020 compared to $15.8 million in June of last year.

It should be noted that most casinos did not open until mid- to late- June.

The revenue includes slot machines, table games, internet gaming, retail and internet sports wagering, fantasy contests and video gaming terminals. Wind Creek Bethlehem does not have its sports wagering set up.

Even with a decreased amount of sports to bet on, those who study the gaming industry are expecting wagering to continue to be a major profit driver for the state’s casinos.

“Online gambling will continue to be a force for the foreseeable future,” said Dustin Gouker of PlayPennsylvania. “Online and retail sportsbooks, like brick-and-mortar casinos, will navigate an uncertain landscape as long as the pandemic is ongoing. If a setback can be avoided, though, the return of major sports later this month will be huge for the industry.”

The Gaming Control Board reported that Sportsbooks generated $89 million in wagers in June, up 14.8% from $77.5 million in May.

Without sports, sports betting industry tumbles

With no sports to bet on Pennsylvania’s nascent sportsbook industry took a big dive in March.

The industry took in only $131.3 million in bets in March. Before the COVID-10 virus shut down most sports across the globe it had been estimated that the state’s sportsbooks would take in more than $350 million.

Dustin Gouker of PlayPennsylvania, a gaming industry research company, said the figure accounts for about two weeks of sports betting in the state.

“Sports were still going on in early March. There were still betting going on until then,” he said.

With virtually all sports shut down by April another sharp decrease in sports betting is expected, but he said it won’t be zero.

“People are still betting on some things,” he said.

He said there is some futures betting going on, such as bets on who is going to win the Super Bowl next year.

He noted that there are some sports being played in other parts of the world, including soccer in certain South American and Eastern Europe countries, that people can bet on. “Table tennis is one of the things people are betting on, strangely,” he said.

With the industry just starting to gain momentum the shutdown came at a bad time for Pennsylvania and it might take a while for that momentum to return when sports resume, Gouker said. Illinois and Michigan were hit slightly harder. Gouker noted that both statex launched their sportsbooks the week the shutdown started.

Without sports to bet on people with a yen for gaming turned to other online offerings including casinos’ slots and poker games, which helped revenue, he said. Casinos and poker generated $782,768 per day in the 31 days of March, up from $672,097 per day in the 29 days in February.

“It’s still a small amount of traffic. Poker is not going to make up for physical casinos or sports betting,” Gouker said. “But it is still money that wasn’t coming in before.”

He said he still sees hope for the industry, and so do others. He noted that Wyomissing’s Penn National is actively hiring for its Penn Interactive division, which handles online gaming and sports betting.

With Golf looking to resume in June, that should bring in some sports bets and, with good fortune, the sports world will have returned more to normal by the time football begins in the fall, which is traditionally the biggest sports for betting.



Wagering analysts expect $400M in Super Bowl bets with up to $80M in Pa.

Super Bowl LIV is coming up on Sunday and those who keep watch on the sports betting industry are expecting around $400 million in wagering in the U.S. 

Super Bowl LIV is coming up on Sunday and those who keep watch on the sports betting industry are expecting around $400 million in wagering in the U.S., with Pennsylvania enjoying a fairly big slice of the pie.

Pennsylvania is one of 13 states that currently offer legal sports betting, however, it is one of the newer ones. Still, Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for Play USA, is predicting that between $40 million and $80 million could be wagered on the big game in Pennsylvania, with his best bet that it will fall right in the middle at around $60 million.

“It is a little difficult to predict,” Gouker said. “It’s based a little bit on what we know from what we’ve seen in Pennsylvania so far.”

To predict the amount of money that will be wagered on the big game, which features the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, Gouker said he looked at Las Vegas, the original home of legal sports betting in the U.S.

Last year, bettors in Nevada wagered $150 million on the Super Bowl alone.

In New Jersey, which had about a year of sports betting under its belt by Super Bowl Sunday last year, saw around $40 million in betting, but most casinos in the state didn’t have online betting yet, which Gouker said generally accounts for around 80 percent of all sports wagering in states that have both in-house and online betting.

In Pennsylvania, 10 of the 12 casinos have retail sports betting, eight offer online betting as well.

At the time of last year’s Super Bowl, only six casinos offered any sports betting and they were mostly very new operations.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board doesn’t break down wagering by sport, however bettors waged around $31.5 million in February 2019, with the Super Bowl being the largest sporting event that month.

Gouker said sports betting helps casinos in ways beyond the direct revenue it brings in.

“They can acquire customers that they might not have otherwise,” he said.

So Super Bowl Sunday is seen as a big opportunity to extend their reach.

He notes that sports betting is still in its earliest growth stages in the state and he expects a continued upward trend in the amount of dollars being wagered.

“We’re really years out from a mature sports betting industry,” he said, and based on what sports betting has meant for casinos in Nevada, he expects revenue increases to continue.

For the record and for those interested, most sports books are favoring the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. They are a one-and-a-half point favorite over the 49ers according to Gouker.

After one year, sports wagering tops $1B in Pa.

Mount Airy Casino cut the ribbon on its Mount Pocono sports bet in November. (Submitted) –

After one full year of legal sports betting in the state of Pennsylvania, the industry continues to grow.

The industry launched in November 2018 with one sports book operator generating $1.4 million in bets and $508,997 in gross revenue.

PlayPennsylvania.com, a website that researches and advocates for the state’s gaming industry, said since that relatively small launch, the number of casinos offering sports betting and the volume being wagered has grown dramatically.

The state has now surpassed $1 billion in wagering.

One year after the launch, there were seven sports book operators in November 2019 with the November launch of DraftKings, under The Meadows license, and Unibet, under the Mohegan Sun Pocono umbrella. Mount Airy Casino Resort and Fox Bet also launched a sports book online and at the Mount Pocono casino.

Wind Creek Casino Resort in Bethlehem does not yet offer sports betting.

All totaled, the seven online sports books generated 84.3 percent of the state’s November handle, with a total of $266.7 million, which was up from $198.7 million in October.

“Pennsylvania has come a long way in a year,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Plagued with relatively high gaming taxes and early hurdles to its online launch, Pennsylvania’s future as a legal sports betting jurisdiction was murky at the beginning. But despite the issues in its infancy, the state has proven to be attractive for operators and the market is truly beginning to flourish.”

Pennsylvania taxes sports wagering at 15 percent, the highest of the states that allow sports wagering.

November continued the steady growth the industry had seen over the year, with sports betting operators accepting $316.5 million in wagers that month, up 31.2 percent from October where $241.2 million was wagered, according to the state gaming control board.

Those bets generated $20.6 million in revenue, an increase from October’s $19.1 million in revenue, and brought in $3.9 million in state taxes.

Football season bolsters Pa. new sports betting industry

Retail and online sportsbook revenue totaled $12.93 million for September as compared to $6.12 million in August. (Getty images) –

It looks like folks in Pennsylvania really do like betting on football games.

The state Gaming Control Boards said that sports wagering increased by 144 percent from August to September, bolstered mostly by the advent of the National Football League’s season.

The board said total retail and online sportsbook revenue totaled $12.93 million for September as compared to $6.12 million in August.

That revenue came from $194.5 million wagered in September as compared to $109.04 million in August, a 78.4 percent increase in bets.

The jump was expected by those studying the gaming industry.

“A significant jump was expected with the NFL season kicking off in September, and the data did not disappoint,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “Because of the sport’s popularity with bettors, the football season is the most effective time to gauge the health of a market.”

She said the numbers show a strong potential for the demand and profitability of sports betting in Pa.

Legalized sports betting began in Pennsylvania in December with online betting starting in June.

She compared Pennsylvania’s numbers to states with earlier adoption of sports betting.

She said by comparison, New Jersey generated a handle of $184 million in September 2018, the first full month Garden State bettors were able to legally wager on NFL games. New Jersey’s handle grew to $445.6 million in September 2019, hinting at just how much growth is possible in Pennsylvania.

College football boosts Pa. sports betting to $109M in wagers

Casinos offering sports betting in Pennsylvania scored their first big touchdown in August, with the start of the college football season.

Sports betting attracted a record of $109 million in bets for the month, bolstered by the popularity of college football for bettors and the increase in online sportsbooks.

But those studying the nascent sports betting industry in Pennsylvania say things will really heat up when the numbers come in for National Football League bets.

“The NFL is king in sports betting,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com a gaming research and advocacy organization. “College football is an enormous handle, but it’s next month when we expect things to explode.”

Welman is hesitant to predict just how much more revenue will come into the state’s casinos through NFL sports betting.

The closest comparison would be the $180 million in sports bets made in the state of New Jersey in September 2018. That’s the first September online sports betting was available in that state.

Still, she said that’s not a perfect comparison because New Jersey had nearly double the amount of sports betting operations than Pennsylvania currently has and was a little farther along in its development when the football season hit.

Therefore, she said, it will be difficult to predict just how much money NFL betting will bring in.

She also notes that additional online sports betting operations “continue to trickle in.”

There were four online operators that were taking bets for the entire month of August and by the end of September there should be five or six.

That’s significant, Welman said, because online betting is generally 75 percent to 80 percent of the entire sports betting market once it is established.

Welman said sports betting, and especially online sports betting, has been a big boost to casinos in New Jersey.

“In 2013, when sports betting began, casinos in Atlantic City was not in a great place,” she said.

Welman said casinos were failing and many were closing at the time.

“[Sports betting] created enough revenue to save many of those casinos and even convince companies to build new ones,” she said.

Ultimately PlayPennsylvania.com predicts that in five years the online sports betting industry will generate $500 million a year in revenue for Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania taxes sports betting at 34 percent. Welman said so far the state has received $11.3 million in tax revenue since sports betting began in the state.