Pennsylvania iPoker Down but iGaming Up in July 2020

Pennsylvania iPoker Down but iGaming Up in July 2020

This is a familiar story. The Pennsylvania internet gaming market grew again in July, per numbers from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. But it was online slots and table games that carried that gaming sector, as online poker revenue dropped…for the third month in a row.

Some poker rooms did reopen in Pennsylvania, as casinos around the state peeked out from behind the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns and welcomed back a limited number of players. And with those casino reopenings, some who fancied a little gambling ventured back to their stomping grounds and away from their home computers.

Another familiar part of the online poker story in Pennsylvania is that PokerStars remains the sole operator in the state. For nine months, PokerStars has operated with no competition in the state-regulated market.

Setting aside poker for the moment, though, internet gaming revenue grew in July despite the casino reopenings, a good sign for the market overall.

Sports betting nearly doubled from June to July.

And total PA gambling revenue more than doubled.

Single-Site Market of Online Poker – July 2020

As mentioned, there are several reasons that online poker revenue could have dipped in July, but the consistent decrease from its high point in April is more than a little concerning.

In addition, there is still no word from the or PartyPoker sites regarding Pennsylvania launches, nor from the PGCB.

–PA online poker revenue in 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

For a more accurate picture, we break it down by average revenue per day:

–PA average online poker revenue per day in 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

Ten-Site Market of iGaming – July 2020

The internet casino sector of the gambling market grew by one site last month, as Wind Creek Bethlehem launched its produce on July 24.

Rivers Casino Philadelphia remains the top site by a wide margin, as its online casino with slots and table games took in nearly twice the revenue of Valley Forge Casino Resort in second. Mount Airy remains third, as it is the only casino that also offers online poker.

Both slots and table games online increased in July. After a decrease in June, the sector was back on track with its growth.

–PA internet gaming revenue in 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

The internet gaming market as a whole contributed $23,685,729 in tax revenue to Pennsylvania in July.

July was the first month that some internet gaming sites could compare year-on-year revenue. Only three sites operated in July 2019 – the first ones to launch in the then-new market – and my oh my, they have certainly grown.

–Rivers Philadelphia:  $15,459,938 in July 2020, $422,796 in July 2019

–Hollywood Casino at Penn National:  $10,752,504 in July 2020, $129,386 in July 2019

–Parx Casino:  $7,428,752 in July 2020, $260,125 in July 2019

Twelve-Strong Sports Betting Sector – July 2020

Sports wagering hit a low in April, dropping like a rock when all retail sportsbooks closed due to the pandemic and almost every professional sports league went on hiatus. The climb back to some semblance of normalcy began in May and took its biggest jump in July.

The handle numbers were:

–PA sports betting handle in 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

Total revenue for online betting on sports was on a slower but still steady track, as retail revenue showed the most progress:

–PA sports betting revenue in 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

Land-Based and Internet Gaming in July 2020

More than three months of 2020 produced absolutely no income from land-based gambling facilities in Pennsylvania. In July, however, all 12 casinos were at least partially reopened for business. There are still social distancing protocols that prevent them from reaching full capacity, though, and this may be the case for some time.

But revenue at many casinos was solid. In some cases, year-on-year revenue increased, though this was partially due to their addition of online gambling in the past year. Mount Airy Casino, for example, showed a nearly 69% improvement from July 2019, and Valley Forge upped its YoY revenue by more than 57%.

Overall, with the help of online gambling, video gaming terminals throughout the state, sports betting, and fantasy contests, July 2020 revenue increased from the previous year.

–PA total gambling revenue in July 2020:  $283,051,763

–prior month of June 2020:  $132,582,494

–prior year of July 2019:  $281,482,227

Year-on-year decrease:  0.56% increase

Month-on-month decrease:  113.5% increase

This year remains in flux because of the pandemic, but Pennsylvania has shown that more gambling options present more opportunities for economic recovery.


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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