Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry got an expected boost in June from the first full month of online wagering, helping online and retail sportsbooks generate a record $46.3 million in bets during what is historically a slow month for sports betting. But with just one online sportsbook live all month and two more launching June 27, online casino games launching this week, and significant obstacles yet to be ironed out for all of Pennsylvania’s online products, June offered just a window into what is possible, according to PlayPennsylvania.com analysts.
“The summer months are historically the slowest on the sports betting calendar, so a relatively strong showing is significant,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “The rollout has been slow and with considerable hurdles, most notably the exclusion of online sportsbooks from iOS. Still, there is no question that the launch of online sports betting is a shot of momentum for the industry.”
In all, Pennsylvania’s retail and online sportsbooks were up from $35.9 million in May, according to official data released on Thursday. $19.3 million of those bets, about 42%, were made online.
SugarHouse Casino’s online product generated $18.2 million in bets in its first full month, and the online launch of Rivers Casino ($848,520) and Parx Casino ($307,011) on June 27 combined to bring in $288,883 per day.
Online bets represented 83% of New Jersey’s $273.2 million June handle, showing that much ground can still be made. FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National, and Presque Isle Downs are working to launch online sportsbooks this summer. And developers are working to comply with Apple’s policy that requires the apps to be written in code native to the iOS system.
“Hopefully by the beginning of football season, online sportsbooks will be a bit closer to maturity,” Welman said. “Summer months being typically slow, it is a good time for the industry to work out the kinks and SugarHouse just launched an iOS workaround. But sports betting revenue will be artificially depressed if the obstacles we’ve seen so far aren’t smoothed out by the end of summer.”
Online and retail bets yielded $3.1 million in revenue in June, up from $2.8 million in revenue in May, resulting in $740,455 in tax revenue.
In June, SugarHouse Casino’s online launch helped propel it past Rivers Casino as the market leader. SugarHouse Casino took in $23.3 million in retail and online bets, up from $7.9 million in May, yielding $1.8 million in revenue, up from $711,845. Rivers, which still lead the retail market with $6.2 million in bets, accepted $7.1 million in online and retail wagers, down from $7.9 million in May.
Sportsbooks may also get a boost from the launch of online casino games, which began this week with Parx Casino.
“Online casino games will be crucial for the health of Pennsylvania gaming industry,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “We’ve seen in New Jersey that online casinos benefit not only online sports betting, but also brick-and-mortar casinos. Ultimately, online casinos should generate millions in tax revenue for Pennsylvania.”
For more information on the revenue generated by Pennsylvania sports betting, visit www.playpennsylvania.com/sports-betting/revenue.