Pennsylvania Sports Betting Hits New Record High in August

Pennsylvania has become the latest state to report astonishing and record-breaking sports wagering results for August 2020. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) reported that the Keystone State’s sportsbooks generated a record high of $365 million in sports betting wagers in August 2020 up from $109 million during the same period last year.

Any lingering questions about the PA legal sports betting industry’s abilities to bounce back after a devastating global pandemic shutdown period have been answered in no uncertain terms.

The combination of pent-up demand and a full menu of sports to now choose from has definitely served the industry well. The sheer scope of the bounce back with so much sport on has many pundits pondering precisely how big the sports wagering industry can become.

“In what has been a difficult year, August’s packed schedule of major sports helped Pennsylvania sportsbooks make up some of what was lost from pandemic-related shutdowns,” said Dustin Gouker, a leading industry analyst.

After several months of U.S. pro sports being on hiatus due to the ongoing pandemic, in August 2020, we saw the MLB regular season begin and the NHL and NBA playoffs no holds barred, giving the Keystone State’s bettors an enormous variety of sports wagering options to choose from.

In July 2020, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks generated more than $164.5 million in sports wagers (that number fell agonizingly short of Nevada’s July earnings, which came in at $165.6 million, suggesting that Pennsylvania could actually even lead Nevada once their August revenues are released). However, in August 2020, that number increased to $364,985,422 – almost $385 million – (a clear 4.8% higher than Pennsylvania’s previous record of $348.4 million bet in January 2020 just before the pandemic begun).

“In what has been a difficult year, August’s packed schedule of major sports helped Pennsylvania sportsbooks make up some of what was lost from pandemic-related shutdowns” Gouker continued. “It is remarkable to think that Pennsylvania could surpass Nevada, the nation’s most mature sports-betting market.” he added.

The biggest impact of the huge sports betting handle in Pennsylvania was an impressive $128.8 million in tax revenue for state coffers, a welcome increase following the pandemic lockdowns.

Revenues for Pennsylvania sports betting for August came in at an impressive $27.6 million – yet another record to fall for the Keystone State. By comparison, revenues for Pennsylvania sports betting in July 2020 were $13.7 million.

Online Sports Betting Makes Up more than 80% of the Sports Betting Handle

Even with land-based casinos open across Pennsylvania (albeit in a limited capacity), the level of online sports betting increased, up to 88.1%, $321.6 million of all sports wagers. Those are numbers that may only in crease for September and beyond once the restart of College Football and the NFL are factored in.

“Football season is a peak time for sports betting, and volume is expected to be higher than usual this year with sports like basketball still in action due to the pandemic,” said Jason Robins, Chief Executive Officer of popular Pennsylvania online sportsbook, DraftKings.

Other legal online sports betting states also booming

Pennsylvania’s increase in total sports betting handle was just the tip of the iceberg, as numbers in other states rose exponentially;

  • New Jersey saw a 112% increase — up to a national record of $668 million.
  • West Virginia was up 155% in August with $40.4 million reported in sports betting handle, compared to a handle of $15.9 million in July.
  • Iowa reported a 120.1% increase in August. The state’s total sports betting handle was $50.3 million in August, an increase from the $22.9 million reported in July.
  • Indiana online sportsbooks saw a 138% increase, with $169 million in total sports handle in August in comparison to the $70.9 million of July.
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