With the major sports like the NBA, NHL, MLB eyeing a return to action in July and the NFL teams heading into their training camps soon, it can’t come soon enough for Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks.
Having weathered the worst of possible conditions as the global pandemic shut down sporting leagues nationally/globally, the Keystone State’s online sportsbooks are already showing signs of coming back to life if the May figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board recently are anything to go by.
PA sportsbooks begin the long road back to normalcy
Just as the nation begins to open up again, the Pennsylvania sports betting industry seems to have turned the corner also. While the numbers reported for May are not dazzling (compared to a potential $275 million that should have been reported in a May without the global pandemic according to leading industry analysts), they did in fact get a $31 million bump in the total wagers made.
Despite the major sports being shut down, the betting handle for May 2020 was $77.5 million, a whopping 68% increase on the April figure of $46 million. With land-based retail sportsbooks all being closed in May, PA sports wagers were all placed online for the month.
FanDuel online sportsbook remains the Keystone State leading operator, accounting for $29.6 million of the Pennsylvanian sports betting handle and taking in $2.5 million in revenue. FanDuel’s prime competitor was its former DFS-rival, DraftKings. DraftKings reported just over $21 million in betting handle and just short of a million in revenue.
Together, the two brands combined for approximately two-thirds of the Keystone State’s betting handle for May 2020, with SugarHouse coming in third ($8.5 million total betting handle) and new online sportsbook player Fox Bet ($7.8 million) rounding out the Top 4.
Look for a big bounce in PA numbers when Major Sports return
With 7 teams featuring in Pennsylvania from the four major sporting leagues in the United States and North America (NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL), the Keystone could produce a July sports betting increase that may even dwarf that in neighboring New Jersey.
With NFL pre-season action rebooting in August ahead of the regular season proper in September, Pennsylvanian sports betting appears set for a strong immediate future.
Even more so considering that top online sportsbook in the Keystone State’s marketplace, FanDuel is signing up with the NFL official data feed company, Sportradar. The Sportradar Next Gen Stats (NGS) product is revitalizing and revolutionizing sports betting where its already been introduced as sports bettors begin to take up the cutting-edge player tracking data technology to make smarter and more educated wagers.
NFL to start unaffected
NFL pre-season games are predicted to go ahead starting on August 6 and the season will play out as scheduled according to industry sources. However, the MLB baseball season remains in limbo due to pay standoff between owners and players.
In better news for Pennsylvanian teams and bettors, the NHL and NBA are both expected to start in late July to early August. The fact that the NBA will be figure the Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL both the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, it will provide a much-need bump to the state’s sports betting industry’s long road back.
Given NCAA college football restarts at the same time late this summer/early fall, we could see a range of sports for Pennsylvania’s bettors to wager on and provide a sports betting festival the likes of which has never been seen before and may not be witnessed again in the future.
Watch out Pennsylvania – it’s all coming to a sports book near you soon!