Sports Betting Reaches New Heights in Pennsylvania

October marks the second full month of NFL wagering in the state of Pennsylvania and when combined with NCAA football betting, the handle total reached $241 million for the month. This amount is a huge increase when compared to the $195 million generated in September.

Revenues Continue to Increase

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board have released the October numbers, revealing that of the total wagers placed, 82% were made online. This is a similar percentage to September betting. The massive percentage of online wagers goes to show just how important the mobile and online components are. Players want to be able to place wagers from anywhere, instead of having to visit a casino or other type of gambling facility to wager.

FanDuel continues to be the dominating operator in the state, and in October, they took in about 50% of the bets placed, creating $118m in handle. The majority of FanDuel wagers were made online, with $114 million contributing to the online totals.

In total, the five online sportsbooks in the state earned over $10 million in revenues last month. The retail outlets only brought in around $4.6 million.

Online Breakdown

Let’s take a look at the online sports betting numbers by operator. The most successful was Valley Forge Casino, which is connected to the FanDuel brand. They brought in $114 million in wagers and earned just over $5.6 million in revenues.

Next in line is the SugarHouse Casino, who earned $30 million in wagers and $1.9 million revenues. Close behind is the Rivers Casino, with $26.5 million in sports betting handle and just over $1 million in earnings.

Rounding out the online operators is the Parx Casino and Mount Airy. The Parx Casino saw $18.4 million in sports betting handle and just over $1.2 million in revenues. For Mount Airy, the totals came in at $9.7 million in wagers and only $422,453 in revenues.

For retail operations, the main contributors were the Rivers Casino, Parx Casino and SugarHouse. Players tend to favor these venues and they brought in the largest handle and revenue earnings for the month. Rivers Casino had the largest handle at $7.7 million but a lower payout than the other two at just $699,611.

The Parx Casino had the second largest handle at $7.5 million and came in first with just over $1 million in earnings. The SugarHouse Casino saw $7.2 million sports betting handle, bringing in just over $813,000 in revenues.

Newbies in November

This month, two new operators got started in the sports betting industry and should give the competition a run for their money. DraftKings launched this month via Penn National as well as Unibet. Both offer a sports betting product with a well-known brand and could potentially push FanDuel from the top spot when it comes to online wagering. Neither operator was included in the October report so we will have to wait and see what November and December brings.

Over the next few months, we will be able to see how the additions affect the market and how much competition is created via the two new brands.


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.