Pennsylvania Sports Betting Wagers Exceed $100M in August

  • Valley Forge attracted most handle thanks to FanDuel online sportsbook
  • SugarHouse boasted highest retail revenue in August
  • Rivers ended up with negative online revenue because of promotions
  • Sports betting created $2.2 million in tax revenue for the state
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Total combined retail and online sports betting handle in Pennsylvania was $109 million in August, making it the first month to exceed the $100-million mark. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

August handle was $109 million

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported on Monday that monthly sports betting handle from the state’s sportsbooks surpassed $100 million for the first time in August. Total revenue from the $109 million in bets – the amount of money the sportsbooks made on those wagers – was $6.1 million.

Sports betting has been live in the Keystone State for just under a year, with Hollywood Casino opening the first retail book in November 2018. There are currently eight retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania.

Total revenue from the $109 million in bets was $6.1 million

The real shot in the arm, though, was when SugarHouse launched the first online sportsbook in May. Pennsylvanians can now choose from four different sports wagering sites.

Valley Forge, SugarHouse lead the way

There are two clear leaders in the Pennsylvania sports betting market: Valley Forge Casino Resort and SugarHouse Casino. The former accepted $37.8 million in wagers while the latter took $30.4 million in bets.

Valley Forge, located just northwest of Philadelphia’s city limits, is the online sports betting king of Pennsylvania. Its FanDuel online sportsbook took $35.3 million in bets in August, accounting for over 93 percent of Valley Forge’s total sports handle. It made $2.9 million on that online handle, compared to $175,300 in revenue from its retail sportsbook.

For comparison, the other three online sportsbooks – SugarHouse, Rivers, and Parx – totaled $47.9 million in online handle combined.

SugarHouse is the flip side of the sports betting coin from Valley Forge. It is located in the middle of Philadelphia and, as such, led the state in August retail revenue with $816,768 (second was Rivers Casino, which is in the middle of Pittsburgh). It still had much more online handle than retail handle, though. SugarHouse’s online sports betting handle was $25.0 million, about 82 percent of its total handle.

Rivers, Parx noteworthy

Finishing third for the month was Rivers Casino, with $21.8 in total sports betting handle. $16.9 million of that was from its online sportsbook. Rivers was the only online book to have negative gross taxable revenue in August.

The reason for this was promotional credits. Its online revenue was just over $1 million, but it doled out $1.4 million in promotional credits, giving it a net loss for the month. Its retail revenue was $631,012 on $4.9 million in handle.

Also of note in August was Parx Casino, just outside of Philadelphia to the northeast. It had the fourth largest handle at $11 million, but with $1.2 million in total revenue, it was almost tied with SugarHouse, even though SugarHouse took in nearly three times the wagers.

Rivers was the only online book to have negative gross taxable revenue in August

All told, the Pennsylvania casinos had $25.8 million in retail handle and $83.2 million in online handle in August for a total of $109 million. That figure doubled July’s totals. Retail revenue was $3.6 million and online revenue was $2.5 million for a total of $6.1 million. The tax revenue generated from that revenue was $2.2 million.