Pennsylvania iGaming Delivers Revenue During Pandemic

Pennsylvania iGaming Delivers Revenue During Pandemic

Land-based casinos in Pennsylvania were shuttered for the entire month of April. The coronavirus pandemic forced their doors shut in mid-March, and nothing changed in April.

March was a tough month for nearly every industry, but April was worse. Pennsylvania didn’t pull in a single dollar from land-based casinos. However, the state did bring in some gambling revenue, which was a result of its recently-opened online gambling market.

Last month, the iGaming sector delivered more than $24 million in revenue to Pennsylvania’s coffers. An overall 51.5% downswing for the month was tough, but the online poker and casino games contributions were a bright spot. April showed a compete dependency on that internet gaming revenue, which nearly doubled to more than $43 million.

Online gambling was able to truly shine in April. With no casino revenue in any state in America during the month, the few states that offered internet gaming had that cushion. New Jersey took in more than $82.5 million from online games and sports betting in April, and even the little Delaware market collected more than $856K from its video lottery and internet gaming.

The growth in Pennsylvania in April, as evidenced by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board figures, was absolutely impressive.

Single-Site Market of Online Poker – April 2020

In early May, PokerStars celebrated six months in the Pennsylvania market. It was the first company to launch online poker in Pennsylvania, and for reasons that are simply unfathomable at this point, it remains the only one.

PokerStars delivered for its PA players in April, as these numbers show:

–PA online poker revenue in 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

The short history of PokerStars in Pennsylvania deserves a bit more of a breakdown:

–PA average online poker revenue per day in 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

PokerStars may be the only game in town, but it is showed up in a big way in April, and the players responded in kind.

Nine-Site Market of iGaming – April 2020

Two new online casino sites jumped into the mix in April, bringing the total number of casinos offering the service to nine. Harrah’s Philadelphia entered the market to claim some territory, and Penn National’s DraftKings online casino began testing in April. The revenue for Penn in April was merely a result of two test days (April 29-30), so May will be its first full month of operation.

–PA internet gaming revenue in 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

The top earner for the second month in a row was Rivers Casino Philadelphia, this time with $13,706,460 in revenue. Mount Airy was again in the second spot with $10,448,579, followed by Valley Forge (same spot) with $7,935,91.

In total, the PGCB noted that the tax revenue generated from internet gaming in April was $17,271,366.

Sports Betting Hangs in There – April 2020

Of the 13 casinos in Pennsylvania that offer sports betting, only little more than half do so online to complement their retail sports wagering revenue. The revenue was meager, considering there were very few sports on which to bet in April, but their revenue was better than nothing.

The handle for the month was as follows:

–PA sports betting handle in 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

Total revenue from online sports betting dipped, primarily due to the lack of games upon which to bet.

–PA sports betting revenue in April 2020:  $2,883,471 (1.39% decrease)

–March 2020:  $6,889,255 (45.9% increase)

–February 2020:  $4,722,252 (79.3% decrease)

–January 2020:  $22,841,213

This sector is going to be on a long road to recovery, as it will depend on retail spaces reopening as well as various professional sports leagues returning to competitive play.

Benefits of Online Gambling – April 2020

Overall, this was a very tough month for Pennsylvania’s gambling industry. Overall revenue was a fraction of its usual stature, even a fraction of last month’s numbers.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the total revenue for April consists of only online casinos, online poker, online sports betting with very limited betting options, and a tiny contribution from fantasy contests. And all of this is more revenue than most other states…which don’t offer any online gambling.

–PA total gambling revenue in April 2020:  $46,118,605

–PA total gambling revenue in March 2020:  $153,482,368

–PA total gambling revenue in April 2019:  $283,881,862

Year-on-year decrease:  515.5% decrease

Month-on-month decrease:  233% decrease

Those numbers hurt. However, it is a reminder that Pennsylvania did bring in some revenue in April, while the majority of states that offer no internet gambling or sports betting, showed zero revenue and collected zero revenue.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

Disclaimer: The information on this site is my interpretation of the laws as made available online. It is in no way meant to serve as legal advice or instruction. We recommend that you seek legal advice from a licensed attorney for further or official guidance.

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