PA’s 1st-ever $600 million Monthly Sports Betting Handle

Sneaking up on the United States’ two largest sports betting handle states of New Jersey and Nevada, the Keystone State of Pennsylvania started 2021 on the best possible foot.  PA’s online sportsbooks are celebrating an excellent January, recording the state’s first-ever monthly handle result in excess of $600 million, and in doing so, became just the third state to break the $600 million sports betting handle barrier.

As per the official report released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) last week, Pennsylvania’s latest sports betting handle result of $615 million worth of wagers eclipsed the previous record of $548.6 million achieved in December, representing a 12.2% month-on-month increase. However, the January handle generated $33.9 million in gross revenue, which was a slight decrease from December’s $34.1 million. A reminder that it is worthwhile to note that Pennsylvania levies the sports betting industry the highest tax of any legal sports betting state in the nation at 36%.

As a boon to the state coffers to pay for a range of programs, infrastructure and community services, Pennsylvania’s January sports betting action generated $11.5 million in state taxes.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting’s Great Fiscal Year-to-Date

The great news continues the upward trend that the Pennsylvania industry has been enjoying recently. During the first six-month period of the current fiscal year, the impressive Pennsylvania sports betting handle has reached a dizzying $3.1 billion. The 2020/2021 fiscal year to date also eclipses the previous fiscal year’s total of $2.2 billion in a mere 6 months. Since its legalization and launch in November 2018, Pennsylvania sports betting has raised more than $111.7 million for the state budget, all much-needed dollars in the face of the pandemic-inspired economic down turn.

Should this performance continue for the remainder of the year and extrapolating the numbers out, retail sportsbooks and online casinos in Pennsylvania could potentially end the year with aggregated annual handle of almost $6 billion with taxable income in the region of $800 million.

Online is the way in PA

The PGCB figures show that online sports betting accounted for 94.3% of the handle, with FanDuel Sportsbook topping the numbers at $220.7 million in wagers, breaking their December record of $207.6 million.

DraftKings maintained it’s second-place finish at $143.5 worth of betting handle, while Barstool Sports continued its run of good results in only its 4th full month of operation, generating $66.5 million.

Meanwhile, at SugarHouse Sportsbook together with sister-sportsbook, BetRivers, combined for a $59 million total.

BetMGM sportsbook celebrated its first full month of operation in the Keystone State with very promising $39 million and generated revenue of $414 300.

However, eating into the profits of all the PA sportsbooks was $15 million worth of promotional credit, but that is great news for the State’s sports bettors with plenty of great deals up for grabs for first-time players and ongoing sports bettors alike.

As mentioned previously, Pennsylvania finished 2020 in third place in terms of betting handle behind New Jersey and Nevada. With the highest annual handle, New Jersey reported $6 billion in 2020, followed by Nevada’s $4.2 billion for the same duration. Pennsylvania was close behind the Silver State at $3.6 billion. Sports betting industry experts expect that gap to narrow throughout 2021 to see Pennsylvania and Nevada fighting out for second spot nationwide by year’s end.

Perhaps the biggest challenge to Keystone State’s second place ambitions may be Michigan. Michigan only became a legal sports betting state in January but churned out an incredible $115 million in only ten days of operation. At that rate, Pennsylvania has a serious challenger and the new few months will set the tone for the year.


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