Pennsylvania Near $300M in Mobile Sports Betting in December

Pennsylvania Near $300M in Mobile Sports Betting in December

Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania set a monthly handle record in December at $342.56 million, with almost $300 million of that coming via mobile sports betting, according to the latest report filed on Thursday by the Gaming Control Board.

Nearly 87% of the total handle in December came via mobile or online betting for top Pennsylvania sportsbooks.

Compared to November’s numbers, the Pennsylvania’s online handle grew 11.5%, from $266.74 million to $297.45 million in December. The last month of 2019’s online handle set a state record.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue, Dec. vs. Nov. 2019

Dec. ‘19Nov. ‘19Change
Net Revenue$17.459M$20.571M-15.1%
Total Handle$342.560M$316.468M+8.2%
Online Handle$297.445M$266.741M+11.5%

Retail betting declined over that same time period, from $49.72 million in November to $45.11 million in December. That 9% dip — at the peak of football season — is another sign that suggests bettors prefer mobile betting options over having to travel to retail locations.

The total sports wagering revenue in December was $17.5 million, down 15%.

Pennsylvania vs. New Jersey Sports Betting

Pennsylvania started taking bets at retail locations near the end of 2018 and began offering mobile betting options in May 2019. In the first half of the 2019-20 fiscal year (July through December) Pennsylvania’s figure for total handle was $1.26 billion and mobile handle was $1.04 billion.

Pennsylvania Mobile Sports Betting Revenue

MobileRetail% Mobile
December 2019$297.445M$45.115M86.8%
November 2019$266.741M$49.727M84.3%
October 2019$198.688M$42.498M82.4%
Fiscal Year (July-Dec. ‘19)$1.043B$219.853M84.4%

Pennsylvania is still a growing market and was a bit behind East Coast rival New Jersey in implementing both sports betting and the mobile component. For now, New Jersey, with New York City on its doorstep, is still well ahead. New Jersey’s top sportsbooks brought in $557.8 million in December in total sports betting handle; $488.9 million of that was via online or mobile sportsbooks.

For the second half of 2019, to draw a direct long-term comparison, New Jersey drew $2.6 billion in total sports betting handle, $2.23 billion of which was online.

Pennsylvania: A Mobile Betting Success Story

Pennsylvania sports betting’s success in 2019 can be heavily attributed to the state’s robust mobile betting market, which started in May and ramped up as the year progressed. During the second half of 2019, 84% of bets made in Pennsylvania came via mobile and online sportsbooks. Additionally, mobile betting has continued to grow proportionally to the growing number of online betting options.

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decades-long federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, Pennsylvania was one of the states that made the strongest moves toward getting its sports betting market up and running.

But offering online betting just 12 months after the ban was lifted is the move that paid the biggest dividends in 2019, and it should only pay more as the state continues to roll out additional mobile sportsbooks.

Pennsylvania Ends Year With Eight Online Sportsbooks

Pennsylvania bettors had five online sportsbooks at the end of October, seven by the end of November and eight by the end of December with the launch of the latest Pennsylvania online sportsbook, at Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie. Presque Isle has a partnership with BetAmerica.

But the market leader continues to be FanDuel through its partnership with Valley Forge Casino in suburban Philadelphia. FanDuel’s $154.5 million total online handle in December was the best the company had ever done the state and was a bit more than half of the total Pennsylvania online betting action.

The next closest competitors remained SugarHouse and BetRivers, with $30.6 million and $28.29 million, respectively.

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