Initial Sports Betting Revenue Numbers are in for Pennsylvania

Summary: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board have revealed the January sports betting handle, showing $32 million was generated for the month.

Sports betting is relatively new across the United States as individual states are working towards legalizing the industry and starting operations. Pennsylvania has been in operation for two months, now that January has come to an end, with several new casinos joining in. The state’s Gaming Control Board recently provided their January report for the sports betting revenues in the state, showing $32 million in betting handle. In total, the six operating sports books held over $2.6 million.

Reviewing the New Industry

In Pennsylvania, January signified a full month of operation for the Rivers Casino, the SugarHouse and the Hollywood Casino when it comes to sports betting. The Parx Casino, Harrah’s and South Philly Turf Club all began offering services in January but were only open for a short time frame within the month. Overall, the $32 million handle is relatively low when comparing other states such as New Jersey and is an indicator as to why online wagering is so significant.

For the first two months of sports betting in Pennsylvania, the option was offered at racetracks and casinos. Regulators have yet to provide the go-ahead for mobile sports wagering. This delay is certainly hurting the state as far as how much money can be earned from the new industry.

Take New Jersey for example. The industry is just a little more mature than Pennsylvania’s, but they also offer mobile and online wagering platforms. For January, New Jersey saw sports betting generate close to $400 million in handle. This is with eleven apps in operation. Mobile and online sports betting accounts for 80% of the total revenues.

This is a crazy staggering amount and goes to show just how important mobile gaming is. Just considering mobile usage in general, most people in today’s society do not go anywhere without their mobile devices. We check our email, text, go online, play games and more. When it comes to sports betting, with mobile and online gaming, players are more apt to log online and place wagers which means more money for states that offer such services.

Individual Breakdown

When breaking down the individual totals, it was the SugarHouse Sportsbook that was the most successful. The casino saw just over $10 million handle generated, with just over $100,000 in monthly revenues earned. In a close second was the Rivers Sportsbook. Rivers earned just over $9.5 million in handle which generated $853,316 in revenues.

The biggest earned as far as revenues are concerned is the Parx Sportsbook. With $5.3 million in handle, the state earned $1,170,348 in revenues. The lowest revenues were generated by the South Philadelphia Turf Club. The venue saw a handle of $858,130 with only $91,835 generated in revenues.

In Pennsylvania, 34% goes to the state. In January, $886,453 was paid to the state. A 2% tax is set aside as a local share assessment which equaled to $52,144 for January.

It will be interesting to see how much is generated in February via handle and revenues. More sports books will be fully open for a longer period of time which will help to see more as to how the state will be affected by sports betting.

If mobile gaming is eventually in the mix, the state should begin to see much higher numbers. It would not be surprising to see Pennsylvania generate a handle in the hundred million dollar range as players would have more freedom to place wagers, instead of being restricted within a land-based setting.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.