December’s sportsbetting makes millions in Pennsylvania
December in the state of Pennsylvania saw bumper aggregated gross revenues on sports bets, with two new casino-based sportsbooks boosting the monthly total by no less than 294% to reach a little over $2 million.
Figures collated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and recently published by European Gaming Media and Events reveal the staggering total of $16.7 million was placed by the state’s sports fans in December – way up on the $1.41 million taken in November, and netting the local tax office an estimated $722,356
That figure is even more striking given that the first licensed sportsbook in Pennsylvania, at the Hollywood Casino on Penn National Race Course, only opened its doors November 15 2018. Revenues for the first two weeks’ activity in the Hollywood Casino locale totaled $500,000, and other new operations welcomed in the punters exactly a month later in Pittsburgh (Rivers Casino) and Philadelphia (SugarHouse Casino), with Parx Casino in Bensalem joining them just two weeks ago.
And it doesn’t stop there … given Pennsylvania’s new sports wager legislation which was passed in the fall of 2017, followed by the invalidation of the previous federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protections Act (PASPA) by decision of the Supreme Court in summer 2018, sportsbetting has taken off bigtime in the state.
Licenses have been granted by state regulators to two more land-based sportsbetting operations - Valley Forge Casino Resort and Harrah’s Philadelphia - while Presque Isle Downs and Casino looks set to be next in line.
While Sportsbetting is getting a boost in players and revenues, the Gaming Control Board has found that licensed fantasy sports contests have gone into reverse in terms of player number and revenue: last December’s tally was just $2.86 million, representing a 12% drop on the previous month’s figures. Still, the nine licensed operators in the field managed to pay a hefty $429,075 into the state tax coffers, so the line of business seems in decent health despite December’s decline.