Pennsylvania sports betting handle rockets in January

18 February 2019

Sports betting handle at licensed venues in Pennsylvania almost doubled month-on-month to just over $32m (£24.8m/€28.3m) in January, according to the US state’s Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Revenue generated by the state’s six licensed venues totalled $2.61m in January – up from $2.01m in December – suggesting a total market hold of 8.1% last month. December's market handle was reported as $16.2m.

The number of licensed venues in Pennsylvania doubled from three to six in January. One of the three licensed venues to begin offering a sportsbook last month, Parx Casino in Bucks County, generated more in revenue than any other venue – $1.17m from handle of $5.38m – despite having only launched on January 10. Parx Casino’s sportsbook is powered by Kambi.

Aside from Parx Casino in Bucks County, the other two venues to launch sportsbooks last month were Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment-owned Parx South Philadelphia Turf, which began operations on January 17, and Harrah’s Philadelphia in Delaware County, which started exactly a week later.

Parx South posted revenue of $92,000 on handle of $858,00 while Harrah’s Philadelphia generated revenue of $104,000 on handle of $616,000.

The figures for the three venues that had been operating sportsbooks the previous month also demonstrate the potential for fluctuating fortunes in what is a rapidly-evolving market. In December, the Penn National Gaming-owned sportsbook at Hollywood Casino, supported by a William Hill-powered sportsbook, was joined by Rush Street-operated, Kambi-powered products at Rivers and SugarHouse Casino.

SugarHouse Casino, active in the market since December 2018, saw revenue nosedive by 83% to $104,000 despite handle almost doubling to $10.8m in January. The venue had posted revenue of $641,000 from $5.54m of handle in December.

Rivers Casino posted a modest increase in revenue from $641,000 to $853,000 despite a 71% rise in handle to $9.543m. Meanwhile revenue and handle at the Hollywood Casino actually fell by 5% to $284,000 and $4.817m, respectively.

It had previously been expected that online betting and gaming would launch in Pennsylvania in the first three months of this year, after an anticipated launch at the end of 2018 was put back. However, NetEnt Americas managing director Erik Nyman told earlier this month that the supplier hopes the market will open up “sometime during Q2”.