Pennsylvania sports betting revenue has gone down

  • In April, Pennsylvania sports betting revenues reached their lowest point since May 2019.
  • Pennsylvania’s betting handle and revenue were far lower than they’ve been in any single month since FanDuel launched its Pennsylvania sportsbook in July 2019.
  • Relief won’t be possible until major sports leagues can resume play. This might come relatively soon for MLB and MLS, but that nothing is guaranteed yet.

HARRISBURG, Penn. – In April, Pennsylvania experienced its lowest month of sports betting revenue since May 2019, likely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pennsylvania sportsbooks handled only $46.1 million in wagers in April, a 65% decrease from March and an 86% decrease from the average monthly handle between December and February.

They generated $2.9 million in sports betting revenue from this total, a 58% decrease from March and an 86% decrease from the December-February average.

These totals are still impressive relative to other states with less developed legal sports betting industries, but they are the lowest in nearly a year. Pennsylvania hasn’t handled less than $100 million in sports wagers in any individual month since FanDuel began its partnership with the Valley Forge Casino in July 2019.

The Valley Forge Casino and Meadows Casino once again led the way with a combined $31.6 million in handle and $2 million in revenue.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has announced that Pennsylvania casinos intend to reopen with amended safety regulations, although the Board has not indicated when the reopening plans might materialize.

When Will Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Recover?

Even once casinos reopen, sports betting revenues won’t be able to fully recover until major sports leagues in North America and around the world resume. Without events to bet on, Pennsylvania sportsbooks won’t be able to make money at a normal rate.

Some leagues have already announced plans to resume their seasons, which could bring some measure of relief.

Major League Soccer intends to hold a leaguewide tournament in July, and Major League Baseball has announced a plan to resume play by July 4 (although this plan hasn’t been ratified by the MLB Players Union).

Other leagues like the NBA and NHL don’t yet have concrete plans for a return.

Even once seasons resume, there is no guarantee that fans will bet in the same numbers they did pre-outbreak. Over 30 million Americans have lost their jobs since mid-March, and many people will likely look to decrease discretionary spending as the economic climate continues to worsen.

The Pennsylvania sports betting industry is better positioned than that of other states to weather the COVID-19 storm, but it could take until 2021 to fully recover from the damage caused by the virus.

Barring a major unforeseen change in circumstance, Pennsylvania sportsbooks will need to continue to find ways to cut operating costs and stretch the revenues they are earning.

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