If anyone was in any doubt about the popularity of sports betting, they need look no further than the success enjoyed by Pennsylvania over the past year.
The state had just one retail sportsbook 12 months ago, but fast forward to the present day and the landscape has changed dramatically.
Pennsylvania now has 12 retail betting outlets and eight online sportsbooks, which collectively have taken in excess of $1.1 billion in wagers over the past year.
Football powering huge growth in Pennsylvania
Firmly established as one of the most popular competitions in the world, it comes as no surprise to discover that the National Football League has powered huge growth in betting turnover in the state.
The handle in July was $59 million, but that figure has been smashed in every single month since then, culminating in more than $316m being wagered during November.
Sportsbooks alone have accrued more than $75m in profit over the past year and that figure will continue to rise as more operators jump on the bandwagon.
Respected betting analyst, Dustin Gouker, says that Pennsylvania has come a long way during the last 12 months and has tipped the growth to continue.
“Plagued with relatively high gaming taxes and early hurdles to its online launch, Pennsylvania’s future as a legal sports betting jurisdiction was murky at the beginning,” he said.
“But despite the issues in its infancy, the state has proven to be attractive for operators and the market is truly beginning to flourish.”
FanDuel leading the way
FanDuel only joined the betting party in Pennsylvania in July 2019, but it has already made a huge splash within the sector.
The firm’s total handle to date is over $400m, close to double the amount generated by Sugar House/Rivers Philadelphia.
Their online handle accounts for more than 90 percent of that figure, highlighting the popularity of betting via the internet or mobile.
FanDuel’s figures dwarf those generated by the first retail sportsbook to open in the state, with Hollywood Casino taking just over $40m in wagers since launching in November 2018.
“Online sports betting has unquestionably been the key driver of the state’s growth,” added Gouker.
“Not only has online betting grown to account for an overwhelming majority of the state’s handle, but it has also helped spur growth among retail sportsbooks. That is a pattern that we saw in New Jersey, too.”
Pennsylvania closing on the big guns
While Pennsylvania has undoubtedly achieved a great deal in a short space of time in the sports betting industry, it still has some way to go to catch the sector’s big hitters.
Nevada inevitably leads the way in revenues over the same time frame, generating more than $455m from a handle of over $7bn.
New Jersey is next on the list with a handle in excess of $4bn that generated revenues of over $331m.
However, it took Pennsylvania a little longer for some of their sportsbooks to get up-and-running, so the gap will undoubtedly close over the coming months.
With betting powerhouses like DraftKings expanding their operations into Pennsylvania, sports betting revenues should skyrocket during 2020 and beyond.
“With the addition of DraftKings, Pennsylvania now has the two largest sports betting brands in the country,” Gouker said.
“The question is whether DraftKings can make a dent in FanDuel’s market dominance, or has FanDuel’s early launch baked in its market advantages for the foreseeable future?”
Whatever 2020 brings, these are undoubtedly exciting times for the industry in Pennsylvania and many other states are likely to be casting envious glances in their direction as they edge closer towards allowing sports betting in their respective jurisdictions.