May another record month for PA online gambling sites

Online Gambling Revenue Blooms During Final Month Of Pennsylvania Casino Shutdown

A confluence of factors made May an exceptional month for online casinos in Pennsylvania, one in which operators won a record $55.8 million.

The state’s interactive gaming industry is closing in on its first full year of operation, and the young market is still growing organically. There hasn’t been a month yet that hasn’t set a new record for combined casino and poker revenue, and May was no exception.

On top of that, online slots and poker revenue have surged across all states in which casinos closed this spring due to COVID-19. DraftKings Casino additionally made its PA debut on May 1, bringing with it a noticeable increase in total revenue.

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

PA online gambling highlights: May 2020

Here’s what those PA online gambling trends look like by the numbers:

  • Online revenue from slots, casino games, and poker totaled $55,838,788 — up from $43,067,880 in April.
  • Coin-in for online slots exceeded $1 billion for the first time.
  • PA gambling sites produced nearly $24 million in state and local tax revenue for the month.

Revenue under the Penn National license nearly doubled due in large part to the launch of DraftKings Casino. The DK app operates under the same umbrella as the existing Hollywood Casino, so their revenues are combined in the PGCB report.

The impact on slots revenue was particularly dramatic for Penn. Prior to DraftKings’ launch, table games made up a little more than 10% of the company’s total revenue. Although its slots revenue grew by 73% from April to May, table games revenue nearly quadrupled to make up 21% of the total.

That echoes the makeup of Valley Forge revenue, which comes from DraftKings’ primary rival FanDuel Casino. Whereas slots revenue is dominant for most operators, the split for FanDuel is much closer to even at 59%/41%.

The addition of DraftKings was enough to push Penn into the number two spot in the state ahead of Valley Forge and Mount Airy. Everyone is still well behind BetRivers, though, the runaway leader with $17,584,381 in May revenue — 31% of the market.

Caesars also launched in late April, making May its first full month of operation in PA. It pulled in slightly under $1 million in revenue, making it one of the smallest contributors ahead of only BetAmerica (Presque Isle Downs).

PA online gambling revenue breakdown

Revenue / ∆ Monthly / ∆ Yearly:

  • Total: $55.8 million / +29% / —
  • Online casinos: $51.2 million / +35% / —
  • Online poker: $4.6 million / -12% / —

Revenue for online casinos cracked the $50 million mark for the first time, with slots accounting for three-quarters of that.

The increase in slots revenue was consistent almost across the board. Penn had the largest increase due to the launch of DraftKings, but most other operators enjoyed an increase of between 30% and 50%.

Valley Forge had a weaker month. Its slots revenue increased a modest 15%, while its table games actually dropped slightly. BetAmerica was the exception to the general rule, losing roughly half its slots revenue while table games held steady.

PokerStars PA remains the only poker site serving the state legally despite frequent rumors that WSOP or partypoker might launch soon. PA online poker revenue surged faster than even slots when live gambling shut down in March but has already started to tail off again.

The same can be seen in New Jersey’s revenue report for May, so this phenomenon is not unique to the PA market.

Detailed numbers by operator/product

Rivers Philadelphia$15,096,662$2,487,719$-$17,584,381$8,550,232
Mount Airy$3,690,723$2,601,907$4,596,418$10,890,048$3,139,146
Valley Forge$4,724,031$3,305,415$-$8,029,446$3,080,383
Penn National$7,091,228$1,900,987$-$8,992,215$4,133,422
Mohegan Sun$1,794,502$607,341$-$2,401,843$969,031
Presque Isle Downs$53,950$83,051$-$137,001$42,420

PA online sports betting revenue

  • Total PA sports betting: $4.8 million
  • Online sports betting: $4.8 million

Retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania shut down at the same time as casinos so contributed nothing to overall sports betting revenue in May.

PA online sportsbooks had a good month, on the other hand, increasing to $4.8 million in taxable revenue from $2.9 million in April. That’s still just a fraction of the record $22,841,192 in January, but it seems to show that recovery is underway.

The rebound is thanks in large part to the resumption of some professional sports. Although the NBA and NHL won’t be finishing up their seasons until later in the summer, UFC and NASCAR gave bettors some new appealing options in May. Those who prefer team sports now have a few European soccer leagues to bet on too, including Germany’s Bundesliga.

See more of May’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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