Pennsylvania iGaming Revenue Up, Even Online Poker
The state of Pennsylvania can call October a success for its gambling industry. Every major segment of the industry grew from the previous month, and most segments even grew from the previous year.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released its October revenue report this week. While the coronavirus pandemic still rages and land-based casinos still operate at a limited overall capacity, the state’s newer revenue streams delivered a big win for the gambling industry. The state’s gambling revenue actually grew nearly 13% from October 2019 and still more than 12% from September to October 2020.
The internet gaming industry and sports betting outlets have been a savior for the Pennsylvania gambling sector this year. And in October, the sector was so healthy that even online poker revenue increased.
That is called progress.
Single-Site Market of Online Poker – October 2020
Technically, online poker in Pennsylvania just celebrated its one-year anniversary. PokerStars was the first poker site to open in the state under its new regulations and with a state-issued online gaming license on November 4, 2019.
PokerStars celebrated that milestone with an online poker series for Pennsylvanians. What made it even sweeter for PokerStars was that it remains the only poker site licensed in Pennsylvania…one year later. While the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved licenses for other companies, none have launched their sites or plan to in 2020. That leaves the entire little market for PokerStars.
Even so, as online poker has shown in New Jersey and Delaware, it is a fickle little sector.
PokerStars PA’s revenue soared in March and April of this year due to the pandemic, as online sites did nearly everywhere in the world, but its monthly revenue dropped consistently since then. But October showed a small boost, and that is positive for PokerStars and online poker in PA.
–PA online poker revenue in October: $2,422,505 (2% increase)
–September: $2,376,045 (12.9% decrease)
–August 2020: $2,729,199 (8.6% decrease)
–July 2020: $2,986,498 (7.9% decrease)
–June 2020: $3,240,917 (29.5% decrease)
–May 2020: $4,596,418 (12.5% decrease)
–April 2020: $5,253,304 (67.7% increase)
–March 2020: $3,133,019 (71.2% increase)
–February 2020: $1,830,356 (15.2% decrease)
–January 2020: $2,157,266 (12.8% decrease)
–December 2019: $2,473,137 (25.8% increase)
–November 2019: $1,965,494
It seems that the revenue increase in October was due to an extra day in the month. When October is broken down by daily average revenue, it actually shows a monthly decrease. Let’s keep that our secret, though, okay?
–PA average online poker revenue per day in October $78,145.32 (1.3% decrease)
–September: $79,201.50 (12.9% decrease)
–August 2020: $90,973.30 (5.6% decrease)
–July 2020: $96,338.65 (10.8% decrease)
–June 2020: $108,030.56 (271% decrease)
–May 2020: $148,271.55 (15.3% decrease)
–April 2020: $175,110.13 (73.3% increase)
–March 2020: $101,065.13 (60.1% increase)
–February 2020: $63,115.72 (9.3% decrease)
–January 2020: $69,589.23 (10.5% decrease)
–December 2019: $77,778.61 (1.1% decrease)
–November 2019: $78,619.76
Online poker isn’t making the strides it was in March and April because many of the casinos reopened their poker rooms. There is a chance that some of those poker rooms will close again before the end of 2020 due to a second wave of the virus, so it could drive online poker revenue up slightly.
Eleven-Site Market of iGaming – October 2020
As demonstrated by New Jersey, the online casino games sector will continue to rise regardless of the pandemic. Of course, casino closures have and will again send numbers soaring, but the industry seems to have the ability to grow organically.
So, despite casinos being reopened, online slots and table games still grew in October.
With 11 sites now operating online casinos, Rivers Philadelphia remains the one generating the most revenue by far and mostly with its online slots. Penn National remains second, with Valley Forge in third and Mount Airy (the only casino with online poker) remains in fourth.
–PA internet gaming revenue in October: $59,760,431 (4.8% increase)
–September: $57,041,936 (2% increase)
–August 2020: $55,942,525 (2.9% increase)
–July 2020: $54,352,149 (8.6% increase)
–June 2020: $50,055,251 (10.4% decrease)
–May 2020: $55,838,789 (29.7% increase)
–April 2020: $43,067,881 (77.5% increase)
–March 2020: $24,265,820 (24.5% increase)
–February 2020: $19,490,815 (39.6% increase)
–January 2020: $13,957,539
For the month of October, internet gaming contributed $24,894,497 in tax revenue to the state of Pennsylvania.
Twelve-Site Sports Betting Sector – October 2020
Sports wagering got its groove back.
Pennsylvania’s toughest months for sports betting seem to be behind them. The lack of sports activities early in the pandemic may have benefited internet gambling, but sports betting suffered. Since then, however, the sector has been growing at an impressive clip.
Valley Forge remains at the front of the pack by leaps and bounds, delivering more revenue in retail and online for yet another month. The Meadows then jumped into a solid second place, mainly due to the popularity of its online sports betting options.
The handle figures were:
–PA sports betting handle in October: $525,802,524 (13.6% increase)
–September: $462,787,394 (26.8% increase)
–August: $364,985,422 (121.5% increase)
–July 2020: $164,782,229 (85.1% increase)
–June 2020: $89,002,562 (14.8% increase)
–May 2020: $77,510,033 (68.4% increase)
–April 2020: $46,015,988 (185.4% decrease)
–March 2020: $131,330,059 (60.2% decrease)
–February 2020: $329,765,782 (7.5% decrease)
–January 2020: $348,381,708
The revenue numbers increased in very dramatic fashion:
–PA sports betting revenue in October: $36,776,926 (486.6%)
–September: $6,269,883 (65.7% decrease)
–August 2020: $18,274,075 (124.3% increase)
–July 2020: $8,147,480 (22.3% increase)
–June 2020: $6,660,158 ($37.9% increase)
–May 2020: $4,828,989 (67.5% increase)
–April 2020: $2,883,471 (1.4% decrease)
–March 2020: $6,889,255 (45.9% increase)
–February 2020: $4,722,252 (79.3% decrease)
–January 2020: $22,841,213
It appeared that online sports wagering revenue was the star of the month. Retail revenue increased by 23.12%, but online revenue jumped an astonishing 2,556% from September to October.
In total, the sports betting sector contributed $13,239,693 to Pennsylvania tax revenue last month.
Total Gaming in October 2020
Land-based gaming revenue continued on its path to post-lockdown recovery.
Table games revenue from those 12 properties in October rose 7.1% from the previous month but remained down 13.4% year-on-year. Slot machines, on the other hand, dropped 1.7% monthly and 17.2% yearly. Casinos still cannot fill their casino floors with as many slot machines as in 2019, and they are still beholden to capacity limitations.
The entire gambling sector in Pennsylvania includes revenue from land-based casinos, internet gaming partnerships, sports betting, fantasy contests, and video gaming terminals (VGTs). October was a good month for the group.
–PA total gambling revenue in October 2020: $320,218,237
–prior month of September 2020: $284,235,444
–prior year of October 2019: $283,706,124
Year-on-year: 12.87% increase
Month-on-month: 12.66% increase
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