Nearly $3 billion wagered on Pennsylvania online casino games in January 2021.

Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Market Continues To Climb As 2021 Gets Underway

Pennsylvania’s online gambling market hit a few minor milestones in January. Combined revenue for all operators and iGaming channels (excluding sports betting) exceeded $80 million for the first time.

Poker revenue was stagnant, but both slots and casino table games saw a big increase. Slots revenue cracked the $50 million mark, and table games exceeded $25 million, both of which are also new milestones.

Revenue from these online channels has increased by nearly a factor of six in the past year. Most other new forms of gambling also gained, but retail casino revenue is down 27% due to the pandemic.

Retail casinos still account for the bulk of the gaming revenue in the state, and the gains elsewhere were barely enough to offset that loss. Overall gaming revenue in PA was up a mere 2.7% in January 2021 compared to January 2020.

These and other figures in this article from the latest revenue report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

PA online gambling revenue highlights – Jan 2021

Combined revenue for PA online casinos and poker rooms in January amounted to $80,413,131. That equates to a daily average of $2,593,972, and a 12.3% increase over December.

That growth seems to be organic, and a continuation of strong performance in December. Seven of ten license holders saw their revenue increase in January, while the other three saw a drop.

Other important things to note about the overall market include:

  • The market was still maturing at this point last year, new operators were launching, and the pandemic-related traffic surge hadn’t yet hit. Year-on-year growth remains extremely high for these reasons, at 476% for January.
  • Pennsylvania has now had iGaming for 18 months and has to date still only seen one month in which revenue dropped.
  • January’s performance was the second-best since PA’s retail casinos reopened, behind only December, which saw a 15.9% increase in daily average revenue.

PA market analysis: by licensee

Valley Forge had an absolutely massive month, increasing its overall revenue by 32.1%. It’s the third-largest certificate-holder in the state, and home to FanDuel Casino.

It earned about $6.75 million from slots and $8 million from table games, for a total of $14.75 million. That still puts it a fair way behind second-place certificate-holder Rivers, which brought in just shy of $21 million for the month.

It’s worth noting, however, that both Rivers and market leader Penn National have two skins apiece, while FanDuel is currently the only brand using Valley Forge’s certificate. It’s therefore entirely possible that FanDuel Casino is the second-largest individual site in the state.

Theoretically, it could even be the largest online casino in PA, but this would require Penn’s revenue to be split very evenly between DraftKings Casino and Hollywood. In all likelihood, the former is in fact the number one.

Other significant movements include:

  • Penn National increased its revenue by 17.3% to $27.6 million putting some additional distance between itself and Rivers.
  • Mount Airy (PokerStars), Mohegan (Unibet) and Wind Creek were the three certificate holders to see revenue drop, all by single-digit percentages.
  • PlayLive! had a good month, up 22%. Although its monthly revenue remains less than $500,000, it looks on track to surpass Wind Creekas the more promising latecomer to the market.

PA market analysis: by vertical

One major trend to keep an eye on in Pennsylvania is that table games growth is outpacing slots. Wagers received for the table games have exceeded coin in for the slots since November. Monthly revenue growth has been in favor of table games since July.

January was no exception. PA gamblers wagered $1.55 billion at the tables over the course of the month, compared to $1.4 billion on slots. The smaller margin on table games meant they only accounted for 34.3% of total casino revenue, but their contribution increased 17.9% compared to just 10.3% for slots.

Rivers exhibited this trend to the greatest degree. Its table game revenue shot up 30.8% in January, while its slots grew by just 3.7%.

Pennsylvania taxes slots at more than triple the rate for other online gambling products. That, combined with the apparent popularity of blackjack among sportsbook users are the likely factors underlying this trend.

Other points to note include:

  • Poker revenue was effectively unchanged in January, dropping an insignificant 0.15%. As of yet, all PA online poker revenue still comes from a single poker room, PokerStars.
  • Caesars Casino bucked the trend in terms of table games and slots. Its slots jumped 20.7% in January while its tables fell 30.5%. Live! exhibited a similar pattern, but its table games were bringing in less than $100,000 per month to begin with.
  • Of operators earning at least $1 million monthly, Parx is the most heavily slots-dependent, with 90.4% of its January revenue coming from that channel.

PA sports betting revenue – Jan 2021

Pennsylvania sportsbooks set a new record for handle in January, cracking the $600 million mark for the first time. The final total, $615,294,827 represents an increase of 12% over December.

Revenue before promotions also grew, by 8.7%. However, these gains appear to have been fueled by an increase in promotional spending, from $11.3 million to $15.3 million. After deducting that, taxable revenue held essentially steady at just under $34 million.

A rebound in retail revenue was also a factor. Pennsylvania casinos shut down a second time in December for a few weeks. As a result, retail betting had dropped to just $13.4 million in handle and $1.2 million revenue. January was much better at $35.4 million and $4.0 million respectively.

For more detail on the PA sports betting market, see the latest coverage from LegalSportsReport.

PA online gambling revenue breakdown

 Jan-21Dec-20Month Chg.Jan-20Year Chg.
Mt. Airy
Presque Isle
Valley Forge
Wind Creek
All Operators
- 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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