Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Gaining Momentum

Sportsbooks from Pennsylvania set a new monthly handle record and topped $1bn in November’s lifetime wagers. According to analysts from PlayPennsylvania.com, the industry is gaining momentum as its online product matures, a process boosted by the recent online launch of DraftKings and Unibet.

In all, last month’s sportsbooks in the state approved $316.5 million in wagers, up 31.2% from $241.2 million in October. These bets yielded revenue of $20.6 million, up from $19.1 million in October, generating $3.9 million in state taxes.

The total is a huge improvement on November 2018, when Hollywood Casino, the first and only sportsbook in the state, generated $1.4 million in bets and $508,997 in gross revenue. Pennsylvania has developed into the country’s third-largest legal sports betting jurisdiction over 12 months, and continues to chase neighbouring New Jersey, which in November welcomed $562.2 m in bets.

The most important factor in the development of Pennsylvania was the introduction of online sports gambling in the summer of 2019. Online product roster has risen to seven following DraftKings ‘ November releases under the licence of The Meadows, and Unibet under the umbrella of Mohegan Sun Pocono. Those seven online sportsbooks created 84.3 percent of November’s handle from the state— a maximum of $266.7 m, up from October’s $198.7 m.

Dustin Gouker, PlayPennsylvania.com analyst said: “Pennsylvania has come a long way in a year. 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.”

He added: “Online sports betting has unquestionably been the key driver of the state’s growth. Not only has online betting grown to account for an overwhelming majority of the state’s handle, but it has also helped spur growth among retail sportsbooks. That is a pattern that we saw in New Jersey, too.”

In spite of fresh competition from rival DraftKings and Unibet, FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino remains dominant on the online market. In November bets, FanDuel received $149.7 m, up from $113.9 m in October, taking sales to $9.2 m, up from $8.1 m.

“With the addition of DraftKings, Pennsylvania now has the two largest sports betting brands in the country,” Gouker said. “The question is whether DraftKings can make a dent in FanDuel’s market dominance, or has FanDuel’s early launch baked in its market advantages for the foreseeable future.”