- Sports betting in July equated to half of the betting handle, revenue, and tax contributions for Pennsylvania’s 2019 Q2.
- Sugarhouse and Rivers casinos have steadily become the market leaders for sports betting in Pennsylvania.
- Three books though have seen their betting handle decrease in consecutive months without mobile betting to support their books.
HARRISBURG, Pa. – New highs are being set in Pennsylvania regarding sports betting, despite summer being known as the slowest betting time of the year.
In the most recent report released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the regulator detailed that the July handle was $59.3 million. This is the highest handle on record in the state’s eight-and-a-half -month history of legal sports betting.
For the third straight month, the handle has increased and the revenue has followed suit. July marked the second time that revenue broke the $5 million mark ($5.1 million) and the fourth time the state was able to collect over $1 million ($1.7 million) in tax revenue for a month of betting action.
In fact, July was such a dominant month for legal Pennsylvania sports betting that it saw levels equal to half of the handle, revenue, and taxes over April, May, and June combined.
This had little to do with a hold percentage (8.56%) – which was just shy of the year-to-date average of 8.86% – and more to do with the addition and expansion of mobile betting within the state. Online sports betting is clearly the favorite among gamblers in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania is following right behind, as their online market accounted for two-thirds of all action.
Take FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort for example. Their handle more than doubled from June to July – moving from $2.3 million to $5.0 million – and this is directly correlated to joining the online market.
However, Sugarhouse Casino and Rivers Casino are the real focal points of the online market so far.
Sugarhouse led the way for all Pennsylvania sportsbooks, taking in nearly half of the state’s handle, or $26.5 million. The casino has been the market leader over the past two months after being in a tight knight battle for “top dog” status over the last six months with Rivers Casino.
Rivers saw the second-most action during July but was outshined by Sugarhouse almost two-fold. Combined though, these two books accounted for 63% of the state’s entire sports betting revenue.
The strong showing by Sugarhouse wasn’t made easier by their hold percentage of 7.78% either, which was the lowest amongst the nine books in the state. Still, the clear favorite for PA bettors is only $1.8 million away from breaking the $100 million handle mark since their launch and has been responsible for 32.3% of the state’s handle since launch.
With their help, Pennsylvania was able to break a milestone – taking in over $300 million in betting action as well as $10 million in total tax contributions since the November launch.
But things haven’t been pleasant for all of the books during the summertime. Three books, in particular, have seen a sharp decline in their legal sports betting handle.
Oaks Race & Sportsbook posted their fourth straight month of declining action, as their $1.5 million handle in April floated down to only $789,502 in July. Likewise, The Book at Harrah’s Philadelphia and The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino watched their fifth straight month of declining numbers, falling from $3.8 million and $5.3 million in March to $1.7 million and $1.8 million in July, respectively.
Football season is around the corner though, so expect these numbers to take a sharp turn upward when NFL betting resumes. Even through August, the state should see a slight increase, as the addition of the BetAmerica Sportsbook at Presque Isle Casino only accounted for one week of betting action during July.
News tags: BetAmerica Sportsbook | FanDuel Sportsbook | Harrah's Philadelphia Casino Racetrack | Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course | New Jersey | Oaks Race Sportsbook | Pennsylvania | Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board | Presque Isle Downs Casino | Rivers Casino Pittsburgh | SugarHouse Casino | Valley Forge Casino Resort
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.