April another record month for PA online gambling sites

Another Record Month Of Online Gambling Helps Stem Losses For Pennsylvania Casinos

The story for Pennsylvania in April was much the same as for the rest of the country.

The coronavirus-related shutdown of brick-and-mortar casinos and the suspension of sports has decimated overall gaming revenues. At the same time, PA online casinos and poker sites saw a surge of traffic from customers with more free time and few other entertainment options available.

While total gaming revenue for the Keystone State fell 84% annually in April, gambling sites posted a record win of $43 million. The state’s only poker platform fared especially well, with PokerStars recording its most-profitable month in the US since Black Friday.

Data comes from the latest report published by the PA Gaming Control Board.

PA online gambling highlights: April 2020

Here’s what stands out from the April numbers for PA online casinos and poker sites:

  • Combined monthly revenue for online casino and poker reached a record $43,067,881.
  • Slots revenue more than doubled to $27,324,955.
  • Table games gained comparatively little, with revenue increasing just 19% month-on-month.
  • Online poker revenue increased 68% to a record $5,253,304.

Rush Street Interactive, which powers BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse, remains far and away the largest operator in the state. Its interactive revenue doubled from March to April, further padding its position as the market leader.

The relative ordering of other operators in terms of share of total revenue didn’t change much.

PokerStars still holds the runner-up position, followed closely by FanDuel Casino. Although Hollywood crept ahead of Parx and into fourth place, the two remain effectively deadlocked just off the podium.

DraftKings Casino soft-launched at the very end of the month with just a few slot titles available for testing on April 30 and 31. Even with just those two days, however, it produced more revenue than BetAmerica did for the entire month.

Operators paid a combined $17,271,366 in state and local taxes in April — a monthly increase of 94% thanks largely to the strong performance the more-heavily taxed slots.

Sports betting revenue conversely continued to tumble. PA online sportsbooks won less than $3 million in April, down from a peak of nearly $18 million back in January.

PA online gambling revenue breakdown

Revenue / ∆ Monthly / ∆ Yearly:

  • Total: $43.1 million / +73% / —
  • Online casinos: $37.8 million / +74% / —
  • Online poker: $5.3 million / +68% / —

It’s hard to separate the effects of the COVID-19 shutdown from those of organic growth for the Pennsylvania market. It is, however, apparent that both played a role.

While PA online gambling revenue has demonstrated consistent growth every month since launch, that growth has accelerated dramatically since the closure of the state’s land-based casinos.

Growth for PA online poker and casino games were remarkably similar in April. Not all casino products did equally well, though, as slots saw much greater gains than blackjack and other table games. That’s good news for the state but not as great for operators bound by the high taxes levied on slots.

Lifetime online gambling revenue in PA has now exceeded $78 million for slots, $40 million from table games, and almost $17 million from poker. That gives a grand total of around $135 million in revenue since online gaming first began in the state in July last year.

Around $51 million of that has gone to taxes, making for an effective combined tax rate of around 38%.

Detailed numbers by operator/product

Rivers Philadelphia$11,019,767$2,686,693$-$13,706,460$6,380,545
Mount Airy$2,770,750$2,424,525$5,253,304$10,448,579$2,724,658
Valley Forge$4,099,097$3,836,818$-$7,935,915$2,827,403
Mohegan Sun$1,186,040$647,358$-$1,833,398$744,039
Presque Isle Downs$114,389$99,682$-$214,072$77,719

PA online sports betting revenue

  • Total PA sports betting: $2.88 million
  • Online sports betting: $2.91 million

Pennsylvania sportsbooks are all located in one of the state’s land-based gambling venues. As a result, they shut down at the same time as the casinos in mid-March.

Online sports betting revenue fell by more than half due to a near-total lack of sports to bet on. Sportsbooks still won a combined $2.91 million, however, as dedicated bettors placed wagers on whatever second-tier sports were still running.

One bit of good news for legal sportsbooks in PA and other states is that the Ultimate Fighting Championship has resumed. It is holding weekly events in Florida with only medical staff, coaching teams, and judges in attendance. That, along with the return of NASCAR, should provide a boost to PA sports betting revenue in May.

See more of April’s sports betting data at Legal Sports Report.

- Alex is a journalist from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. Now site runner for Online Poker Report, he has been writing about poker and the online gambling industry in various capacities since 2014.
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