Sports betting fans in Pennsylvania, don’t despair. The Keystone State’s online sportsbooks and casinos are all still running and open for business. However, if you prefer to place your wagers at a land-based sportsbook in one of the Philadelphia area’s bricks-and-mortar casinos, it’s time to go digital.
Pennsylvania, like many states is experiencing a spike of cases in the global pandemic and that’s forced an order for casinos in the Philadelphia area to close their doors again.
The City of Philadelphia is ordering that effective from Friday, November 20 2020, and lasting through to January 1 2021, Rivers Philadelphia to be closed. The casino closing its doors is part of the city’s “Safer at Home” policy, which will now prohibit indoor dining and all indoor gatherings and events, including showers, funerals, weddings and casino and land-based sportsbook gambling.
Rivers Casino is one of 3 casinos in the Philadelphia area, but it is the only one inside the city limits of Philadelphia County. Parx Casino in Bensalem, Bucks County, and Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester, Delaware County, are free of the “Safer at Home” directive and for the time being remain open, as of course, will the Keystone State’s online sportsbooks and casinos.
Ironically, the closure comes with a new casino set to open its doors in Pittsburgh and the state of Pennsylvania reporting a superb set of sports betting numbers for the month of October.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh set to open November 24
While the pandemic closes down casinos in Philly, there seems to be no such issue in Pittsburgh.
Live! Casino Pittsburgh will be the first of two land-based casino properties that will open in Pennsylvania over the next few months as it expands the Live! Casino brand in the Mid-Atlantic region and into Pennsylvania for the first time. Run by the Cordish Group of Companies, the much-anticipated $150 million Live! Casino, located at the Westmoreland Mall in Pittsburgh is scheduled to open its doors to the general public at 6:00 a.m. on November 24 2020. Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, located in the heart of Philly’s Stadium District, will open in early 2021.
Both openings are pending any extensions to pandemic restrictions of course.
Meanwhile, PA Online Sportsbooks & Casinos Boom
Figures released last week by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) show the state’s gaming operators generated combined revenue of $320.2 million in October, a 12.9% increase from the same month year-on-year and 12.7% higher than the industry reported in September 2020.
Online sportsbooks and casinos continue to do the heavy lifting when it comes to recording the Keystone State’s betting handle numbers. The October 2020 sports betting handle reached an astronomical $525.8 million, topping the previous record reported only last month by a cool $63 million, and more than doubling the October 2019 result year-on-year. Almost 90% of the October 2020 Pennsylvania sports betting handle was generated with online sportsbooks. Given the casino closures that percentage only looks set to increase.
The October Pennsylvania sports betting revenue was a happy rise on the slightly disappointing September numbers. The October revenue came in at $36.8 million after subtracting $11.1 million in online promotional credits, more than $30 million better than September. Online wagering revenue dominated with $30.5 million coming from the Keystone State’s online sportsbooks.
Barstool Sportsbook celebrated its first full month of operation with $68.6 million in betting handle. FanDuel won the month in the Keystone State with almost $185 million in betting handle generated, DraftKings also reported over the hundred million mark with $123.4 million in handle and SugarHouse Online Sportsbook placing third.