Pennsylvania Shows $509.5M in February Sports Betting Handle

Pennsylvania Shows $509.5M in February Sports Betting Handle
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Pennsylvania’s sports revenue numbers for February reflected what appears to be an aggressive promotions push among at least some sportsbook operators as the state’s sportsbooks saw a collective $509.5 million in handle but just $16.4 million in gross taxable revenue.

Those numbers show that the average hold for sports betting in Pennsylvania was just 3.2%, about half of what sportsbooks typically hold. Obviously, that was good news for bettors.

RELATED: Learn more about Pennsylvania sports betting and gaming

In terms of month-to-month comparisons, the February total sportsbook handle was down 17.2% from January ($615.3 million) and the taxable gross revenue was down 51.8% from January (nearly $34 million).

For the first time in January, Pennsylvania topped $600 million ($615.3 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.

February’s handle and revenue numbers would have normally been expected to be lower than January because of the calendar — three days and one full weekend fewer.

In the monthly year-over-year comparison, February had a much more flattering comparisons to February 2020 in handle (up 54.5%) and taxable gross revenue (up 246.9%).

In sports wagering, online was dominant over retail, accounting for 92.2% of the action ($469.7 million), according to the figures released Tuesday.

Other Key Numbers in PA

For online casino gaming, interactive slots revenue was $50.6 million from a handle of $1.32 billion. Interactive banked table games produced revenue of $24.7 million from a handle of $1.6 billion. The slots handle was down 5.1% from January, and the banked table games handle was actually up 2.8% from January.

BetMGM launched its second online casino in Pennsylvania with the introduction of the Borgata Casino app on Feb. 24. It gained online casino gaming market access to the state through a partnership with Rivers Casino Philadelphia. The Borgata Casino app follows the BetMGM Casino, which went live in December.

Online poker saw the lone operator, Mount Airy/PokerStars, collect $2.52 million in rake and tournament fees. That was down slightly from January’s $2.73 million.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting, February vs January

Total HandleMobile Handle Gross Revenue
January$615.295M $579.942M $33.970M
ChangeDown 17.2% Down 19.0% Down 51.8%

Barstool Shows a Loss

Back to sports wagering, Hollywood Casino/Barstool Sports posted a taxable gross revenue loss of more than $873,000. The losses were in both retail and online, but online losses were higher, about $727,000 of the total. According to the state’s figures, Hollywood’s promotional credits for online sports wagering were more than $5.8 million.

Hollywood wasn’t the only operator to report sports wagering taxable gross revenue in the red. Wind Creek Bethlehem reported total sports wagering losses of more than $127,000 (online was $167,000 in the red while the retail book was profitable). For online sports wagering, Presque Island was in the red more than $62,000 and Harrah’s Philadelphia was also in minus territory, a little less than $3,000.

In total, Pennsylvania sportsbooks gave nearly $16.8 million in promotional credits for February 2021, the highest amount at least dating back to the start of the fiscal year in July 2020.

Super Bowl 55 Helped

The state Gaming Control Board reported that $53.63 million was wagered during Super Bowl weekend. That was a 74% increase over wagers placed on the game last year in Pennsylvania. Revenue was about $9.4 million (17.6% hold), an improvement over last year when sportsbooks actually lost about $3.3 million.

Also, the board indicated there were 320,000 unique users that logged onto online sports wagering sites in Pennsylvania on Super Bowl Sunday, according to data from GeoComply. Figures from last year’s Super Bowl Sunday were 200,000 unique visitors to Pennsylvania regulated sports wagering websites.

March Madness should give the state a boost in March.

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