Per the latest monthly Pennsylvania sportsbook revenue data released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), the six casinos and two racetracks currently offering sports wagering combined to generate $2,861,853 in total “win” revenue.
That number represents a 32.2 percent decrease from April’s revenue haul of $4,221,482. And compared to the all-time highwater mark of $5,519,340 from March, the industry fell off by 48.1 percent in just two months.
But given the Keystone State’s legal sports betting industry only has six full months of operation under its proverbial belt, a sense of perspective is likely in order. Since launching legal retail bet shops midway through November of last year, Pennsylvania has posted $2,006,546 (December of 2018), $2,607,205 (January of this year), and $1,946,816 (February) to go along with the aforementioned monthly totals.
Judged by a baseline figure of $2,186,855 – the average from the three non-March/April months, when college basketball’s conclusion and the start of the Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season attracted increased action – Pennsylvania sportsbook revenue in May actually represents an increase of 30.9 percent.
Interestingly enough, the combined handle – or total dollar amount of wagers placed before winners are paid out – for May was relatively steady at $35,361,052 compared to April’s handle of $36,769,145. These numbers suggest sports bettors simply enjoyed an outlier of their own by cashing in winning tickets at a higher rate than the odds would suggest.
However you decipher the data though, the Illinois-based casino operator Rush Street Gaming has cemented its status as Pennsylvania’s sports betting kingpin.
Rush Street Gaming operates two of its four casinos in Pennsylvania, with SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh both launching in mid-December.
Each sportsbook individually overtook the state’s first operator, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, in terms of handle and revenue – despite the shortened runway in December. And aside from a radar blip in January, when the newly opened Parx Casino Sportsbook overtook all comers, the SugarHouse + Rivers duo has consistently led the way as a powerful 1-2 punch.
May was no exception, as shown by the retail handle / revenue breakdown shown in the table below
|Operator||Handle||Win (Revenue)||Taxes Paid|
|South Philly Race & Sportsbook||$2,745,803||$168,815||$60,773|
|FanDuel at Valley Forge||$2,739,475||$240,766||$86,675|
|Oaks Race & Sportsbook||$1,385,725||$110,744||$39,868|
SugarHouse – which will soon be rebranded as Rivers Philadelphia to consolidate all Rush Street properties under the same umbrella – finished in second-place with $7,350,676 in handle and $711,846 in revenue.
Leading the way was sister property Rivers Pittsburgh, with $7,924,510 and $641,029, respectively.
And while Parx Sportsbook played a decent third fiddle at $6,809,662 / $639,922, Rush Street Gaming’s combined totals of $15,275,186 handle and $1,352,875 represented over 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s sports betting marketplace.
After making its restricted hours “soft launch” on May 28, the PlaySugarHouse.com online / mobile sportsbook app – Pennsylvania’s first to launch – generated $573,163 in handle over just three abbreviated days of action.
The soft launch period concluded on May 31, and while revenue data isn’t available as of yet, the six-figure handle for PlaySugarHouse.com promises major gains for online / mobile sports betting in the state going forward.