Online casino revenue in Pennsylvania jumped an impressive 73% in the month of April 2020, helping offset the losses experienced across the rest of the gaming industry, most notably with the enforced closure of bricks-and-mortar casinos and having few live sports to wager on.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released their monthly revenue figures recently. To nobody’s surprise, the results show that as in many other states, gaming revenue has been decimated by the indefinite shutdown of many the major sports leagues on the numbers of the Keystone State’s sportsbooks, and the enforced closures of PA’s 12 brick-and-mortar casinos.
Sports Down: Record Online Casino Numbers in Pennsylvania
It was widely expected and as it played out, revenue for anything related to sports — fantasy contests and sports betting — was way down. Sportsbooks made slightly less than $2.9 million in April 2020 compared to 50% more (approximately $4.2 million) in April 2019.
However, those year-on-year results underestimate the extent of the April 2020 decline. Comparing April 2020 to January 2020 — the last full month before the global pandemic hit — and the difference is extreme. In January 2020, sportsbooks pulled in a whopping $22.8 million in revenue, almost 10 times the April 2020 figure.
Underlining the difference even further, PA’s total sports betting handle was $46 million in April 2020 compared to the $348.4 million January 2020 number.
With their doors closed, PA’s bricks-and-mortar casinos lost an enormous amount on their slots or table games numbers in April. A zero number for April compared to $190.3 million on slots in January 2020 and $72.6 million on table games.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for sportsbooks and casinos. Thankfully, Pennsylvania online casino games, including online poker, was legalized by the state back in 2017.
During this time of social distancing, we’ve really seen the online casino gaming industry come into maturity in the Keystone Stone quicker than otherwise expected. April 2020 saw online casinos like the recently opened DraftKings PA Casino, SugarHouse, and FanDuel, bringing in an impressive $27.3 million of revenue on online slots and $10.5 million revenue on online table games. These numbers are made all the more extraordinary when comparing them to the $7.2 million and $4.6 million respectively, for online slots and table games in January 2020.
In April 2020, the raw total of online casino betting numbers was huge – $757.5 million was wagered on online slots, while a gargantuan $632.4 million was bet on online table games.
As in neighboring New Jersey, poker numbers also continue to impress with the online version of the classic card game bringing an excellent $5.3 million revenue return compared to the January 2020 number of $2.2 million. That’s a 144% increase from a single online casino offering poker.
PA Online Sports Betting Operators have Cause for Optimism
With the major U.S. sports leagues like the NBA, NHL and MLB closed down in April in addition to a host of international leagues, there’s room for optimism with the Keystone State’s sportsbooks coming up as well. NASCAR, the UFC and Bundesliga have all returned, as has live golf betting. All of those sports are continuing unaffected this week, and the PGA Tour, Australia’s National Rugby League and Australian Football League have all announced restart dates for their respective sports. Moreover, there’s no sign of the rise of Table Tennis betting abating anytime soon in Pennsylvania either.
In June, British, French and Irish horse racing, the English Premier League and other soccer leagues plus a range of global and U.S sports are all slated to return to assist the PA sportsbooks get back on their collective feet.