PA market leader Penn National saw 20% monthly revenue growth in March 2021

Pennsylvania’s Online Gambling Market Shows Signs Of Maturity, As Steady Growth Brings March Total To $98 Million

Pennsylvania’s legalized online gambling market is beginning to slow down a little bit. Numbers released today by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board show a 293% increase in iGaming revenue in March 2021, compared with March 2020. However, the rise from February 2021’s $78 million in gross revenue to March 2021’s $98 million is less dramatic, though still a substantial monthly increase.

That revenue includes both online casino and poker, but excludes sports betting. The change from February is due in part to the shorter month, but March revenue is also up 11% relative to the $80 million over 31 days in January, which is perhaps a more fair comparison. Pennsylvania online casinos and poker rooms are now showing the robust, sustained growth of a maturing market, rather than the exponential increases of a nascent one.

In other words, the March revenue numbers may illustrate a state that’s getting used to having online gambling. It is, at the moment, closing in on the two-year anniversary of its launch in July 2020.

Adding in the nearly $26 million in revenue from online sports bettors, Pennsylvania’s March 2020 online gambling revenue totaled nearly $124 million.

Meanwhile, retail casino revenue is starting to rebound as Pennsylvania emerges from pandemic-related shutdowns. In fact, the gaming control board’s headline about March 2020 was that the state’s combined gaming revenue exceeded $400 million for the first time.

The more than $403 million in gambling revenue brought into the state’s coffers represented a 162% increase over March 2020. That’s the month that will forever be known as the beginning of coronavirus-related shutdowns of land-based casinos.

PA online gambling revenue highlights – March 2021

Looking at Pennsylvania’s $123,671,258 in March iGaming revenue as a daily average makes for a fairer comparison with previous months. Each day of March, Pennsylvania online gambling sites generated an average of $3,989,395 in revenue.

That average exceeded February 2021’s daily average of $2,778,159, which in turn surpassed January’s average of $2,593,972, which represented 12.3% increase over December 2020.

The March increase was the second-greatest in the past six months. However, overall, Pennsylvania’s online gambling revenue growth is slowing. At the same time, though, land-based casinos are easing restrictions now that pandemic concerns are subsiding. It’s a great sign that online gambling numbers are continuing to rise, despite the retail sector’s comeback. For Pennsylvania, iGaming will most likely remain a robust source of revenue going forward.

PA market analysis: by licensee

Penn National Gaming is the top iGaming certificate holder at nearly $34 million in revenue in March 2021, which isn’t surprising considering it acts as partner for both BetMGM and DraftKings. With these heavy hitters, it posted more than 20% growth month-over-month and 1,183% year-over-year.

Penn’s dominance doesn’t extend to other verticals, however. Its $3 million in revenue from sports betting is treble trounced by Valley Forge Casino Resort, which brought in over $10 million that way. Valley Forge is in third place for iGaming, at $13 million for March.

At the same time, Rivers’ showing in Pennsylvania isn’t too shabby, either. The second place certificate holder brought in $27 million in iGaming revenue during March 2020. The operator, primarily known for its BetRivers app, also brought in $912,183 in online sports betting revenue from its Philadelphia location, and $1.3 million from Pittsburgh.

It wasn’t all good news, however. Despite last month’s surge for online poker, Mount Airy came back down to earth in March. Home to PokerStars and Fox Bet, it experienced a 14% rise in revenue in February, but an overall dip of 0.5% in March 2021.

PA market analysis: by vertical

It appears as though the tables are continuing to turn for slots in Pennsylvania, as this is the second straight month that online slot players generated more revenue than those who preferred tables. From July 2020 to January 2021, table revenue had outpaced that of slots.

The March 2020 online slot revenue exceeded $66 million, while that from tables equaled nearly $29 million. That’s more than a 31% month-over-month and 412% year-over-year growth for slots. Online table game revenue did rise, though, at nearly 17% month-over-month and 229% year-over-year.

PokerStars saw revenue drop. The sole online poker room in Pennsylvania generated more than $2.4 million in revenue during March 2021, but that was a 4.7% month-over-month and 23% year-over-year slide downward.

Considering land-based casinos are beginning to get back to business as usual as the US population gets vaccinated, it’s possible the revenue changes reflect some shift back to in-person playing of cards and table games. As of today, 81 million Americans are fully vaccinated and 128 million have had at least one vaccine dose.

PA sports betting revenue – March 2021

Statewide, online sports wagers generated $25,981,515 in revenue, including an $838,113 daily average.

Valley Forge Casino Resort had the best month, at more than $10 million in sports betting revenue. Wind Creek Bethlehem fared the worst, at negative $186,870 during March 2021.

Online far outpaced retail revenue, though, which only generated $3.4 million statewide. In total, sportsbooks brought in more than $29 million during March 2021.

On a bright note, this $29 million total from March 2021 represents a more than 326% year-over-year increase. March 2020, however, is when many sports leagues stopped play in order to protect teams and fans during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Even so, Pennsylvania saw nearly $7 million in revenue from sportsbooks during March 2020.

PA online gambling revenue breakdown

 Mar 21Feb 21Month Chg.Mar 20Year Chg.
Mt. Airy
Presque Isle
Valley Forge
Wind Creek
All Operators
- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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