Pennsylvania Reaches $615M in January Sports Betting Handle

Pennsylvania Reaches $615M in January Sports Betting Handle
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For the first time, Pennsylvania topped $600 million in total sports betting handle for a month, setting a new record for the state. Its iGaming revenue for January also set a new mark.

The state on Wednesday reported a total handle for January of $615.3 million, easily surpassing December’s $548.6 million. January’s total was an increase of 12.2% over December.


RELATED: Learn more about Pennsylvania sports betting and gaming


New Jersey also reported its January numbers on Wednesday and the total handle actually went down from December. The Garden State posted sports betting handle $958.7 million in January, its second-best month after December’s national record of $996.3 million. Several states that have reported January numbers reached record totals.

Online casino gaming in Pennsylvania also set a record — gross revenue topped $80 million for the first time ($80.4 million). It was an 11% increase over December’s previous record of $71.6 million.

Mobile wagering on online Pennsylvania sportsbooks accounted for 94.3% of the market. January’s online sports betting handle was $579.9 million, up 8.4% from December’s $535.2 million.

The numbers in January might have been better had the Pittsburgh Steelers advanced past the wild-card round of the NFL Playoffs. At one point during the season, experts were wondering if the Steelers could go undefeated after they won their first 11 games.

But the team's season ended on Jan. 10 when the Steelers lost 48-37 to their rival, the Cleveland Browns, in the first round of the playoffs.

Casinos in Pennsylvania were allowed to reopen on Jan. 4 at 50% capacity after being shut down for three weeks because of a coronavirus surge in the state.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting, January vs December

Total HandleMobile Handle Gross Revenue
January$615.295M $579.942M $33.970M
December$548.590M$535.210M$34.060M
ChangeUp 12.2% Up 8.4% Down 0.3%

Other PA Gaming Numbers

Other key numbers in January from the PGCB report:

The gross sports betting revenue was $33.9 million, about even with December’s $34 million.

The gross revenue from table games in January was $50.8 million, up 198% from December’s $17.1 million.

The interactive slots handle was reported at $1.401 billion, up 6.9% from December’s $1.311 billion.

The interactive slots gross revenue was $51 million, up 10.3% from December’s $46.2 million.

The interactive banking tables handle was $1.555 billion, a decline of 3.1% from December’s $1.605 billion.

The interactive banking tables gross revenue was $26.7 million, up 17.9% from December’s $22.6 million.

Pennsylvania has just one online poker operator currently live — PokerStars, which launched in November 2019 in partnership with the Mount Airy Casino in northeast Pennsylvania. PokerStars’ January online poker revenue was $2.73 million, the same as it was in December.

Pennsylvania Mobile Vs. Retail Sports Betting Handle

MobileRetail% Mobile
January 2021$579.942M$35.353M94.3%
December 2020$535.210M$13.380M97.6%
November 2020$447.418M$44.492M91.0%
October 2020$472.276M$53.527M89.8%
September 2020$414.100M$48.687M89.5%
August 2020$321.554M$43.431M88.1%
July 2020$155.355M$9.428M94.2%
June 2020$88.313M$690K99.2%
May 2020$77.510M$0100%
April 2020$46.016M$0100%
March 2020$118.333M$12.997M90.1%
February 2020$294.127M$35.638M89.2%
January 2020$308.606M$39.776M88.6%

Top Sportsbooks in PA

Valley Forge Casino, located just north of Philadelphia, partners with FanDuel. It had the highest handle among operators at $223.3 million, a 6.7% increase over December’s $209.2 million.

The Meadows Casino in western Pennsylvania, partnered with DraftKings, saw a 10.4% increase in January handle. It went from $131.5 million in December to $145.2 million in January.

Penn National’s Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg and partner Barstool Sports showed an 8% decline in January. The number fell to $66.5 million from December’s $72.6 million. It was still easily the third-highest figure after FanDuel and DraftKings.

The combined BetRivers entries, Rivers Pittsburgh ($31.7 million) and Rivers Philadelphia ($27.7 million) totaled $59.4 million, up 17.4% from December’s $50.6 million.

The BetMGM sports betting app was live for its first full month in January after launching on Dec. 18. It had a strong showing of $39.3 million for January. It was the state’s 11th online sportsbook.

Super Bowl Gets February Off to Strong Start

As good as January was for sports betting in Pennsylvania, February could be another strong month.

The state Gaming Control Board reported that preliminary figures show $53.63 million was wagered during Super Bowl weekend through retail and online sportsbooks. That was a 74% increase over wagers placed on last year’s Super Bowl. Revenue was about $9.4 million (17.6% hold), an improvement over last year when sportsbooks lost about $3.3 million in Pennsylvania.

The PGCB reported there were 320,000 unique users that logged onto online sports wagering sites in the state based on data from GeoComply. Figures from last year’s Super Bowl Sunday were 200,000 unique visitors to Pennsylvania regulated sports wagering websites.

Record January for Some States

States that have reported their January sports betting figures are seeing increases from December. Here are some of the key legal sports betting states and their January handles:

  • Iowa: With Iowa’s in-person registration requirement having ended, the total sports wagering handle in January was $149.5 million, up 42.7% from December’s $104.8 million. It was a 157% increase from January 2020 ($58 million). January was the fifth straight month that Iowa set a handle record for sports wagering and the second straight month that Iowa bettors topped $100 million in total handle.
  • Indiana: It set a new state record for sports wagering handle in January at $348.2 million. It was the fifth consecutive month that Indiana sports betting handle set a record. The January total eclipsed the old record set the previous month of $313.1 million.
  • Mississippi: Despite not having mobile sports betting, Mississippi’s handle broke a record in the first month of 2021. The total handle of $67.7 million was up 22.4% from December’s $55.3 million and about $6.5 million ahead of the $61.2 million from October 2020, which had been the previous record.

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