Pennsylvania Shows Record iGaming Revenue in March

Pennsylvania Shows Record iGaming Revenue in March

There was no doubt that the March gambling revenue numbers would be all over the place. And they are.

Pennsylvania casinos began closing earlier than most in the United States. Some decided on their own to close when it became clear that public gatherings could be dangerous and places along the East Coast were already seeing the coronavirus spread. On March 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had a message for the six that hadn’t closed yet. Close. Today.

With that, all 12 casinos in the state shut their doors by mid-March and remain so today, as the pandemic continues to threaten lives.

So, when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released its gambling revenue numbers this week for the month of March, they were just as wild as predicted.

Good News First: Online Poker – March 2020

As has been the case since November 2019, only one casino offers online poker in Pennsylvania. Mount Airy Casino partnered with PokerStars to launch a site on November 4. This means the increases and decreases are month-on-month, not year-on-year.

Though it started strong and saw minor decreases in subsequent months, the coronavirus shutdown of all live poker options put PokerStars over the top. This was the best month by far for the burgeoning market.

–PA online poker revenue in March 2020:  $3,133,019 (71.2% increase)

–PA online poker revenue in February 2020:  $1,830,356 (15.2% decrease)

–PA online poker revenue in January 2020:  $2,157,266 (12.8% decrease)

–PA online poker revenue in December 2019:  $2,473,137 (25.8% increase)

–PA online poker revenue in November 2019:  $1,965,494

And since the first month of PA online poker was short a few days and February was short, here’s a breakdown by average per-day revenue each month:

–PA average online poker revenue per day in March 2020:  $101,065.13 (60.1% increase)

–PA average online poker revenue per day in February 2020: $63,115.72 (9.3% decrease)

–PA average online poker revenue per day in January 2020:  $69,589.23 (10.5% decrease)

–PA average online poker revenue per day in December 2019:  $77,778.61 (1.1% decrease)

–PA average online poker revenue per day in November 2019:  $78,619.76

The surge will be even more pronounced in April, when the state’s population will likely have been self-quarantined for the entire month.

More Good News: iGaming – March 2020

Many more casinos in Pennsylvania have launched online casino games, beginning in the summer of 2019. Seven partnerships offer a mix of table games and slots, adding up to significant revenue that compliments the casinos’ land-based offerings.

–PA internet gaming revenue in March 2020:  $24,265,820 (24.5% increase)

–PA internet gaming revenue in February 2020:  $19,490,815 (39.6% increase)

–PA internet gaming revenue in January 2020:  $13,957,539

Rivers Casino Philadelphia took over the top spot of the seven casinos with online gaming ($6,757,345), followed by Mount Airy Casino with its addition of online poker propelling it to second on the list ($5,963,713). Valley Forge moved into third with $4,969,252, followed in the distance by Parx, Hollywood Casino, Mohegan Sun, and Presque Isle.

It should be noted that online casino games revenue didn’t increase as much as the previous month, despite the stay-at-home orders for half the month of March. The numbers will likely increase in April, but the reason for March’s relatively modest increase is unclear.

Sports Betting Takes a Hit – March 2020

One of the areas hit by the pandemic shutdowns was the sports betting sector. Not only were land-based sportsbooks closed for most of the month of March, but the games available for betting were reduced significantly. With all professional sports leagues on an indefinite hiatus, betting slowed significantly.

The handle for the month was as follows:

–PA sports betting handle in March 2020:  $131,330,059 (60.2% decrease)

–PA sports betting handle in February 2020:  $329,765,782 (7.5% decrease)

–PA sports betting handle in January 2020:  $348,381,708

The revenue for the month didn’t take the same hit, however. The first part of the month saw a dramatic increase in betting on everything from hockey to basketball and baseball in anticipation of upcoming seasons and games. But by March 11 and 12, most of those sports shut down. Major league baseball waited until March 26 to announce its game delays.

The increase happened online. Retail sportsbooks dipped only slightly from the previous month, with online betting soaring.

–PA sports betting revenue in March 2020:  $6,889,255 (45.9% increase)

–PA sports betting revenue in February 2020:  $4,722,252 (79.3% decrease)

–PA sports betting revenue in January 2020:  $22,841,213

With very few things to be on in April, expect revenue to decrease.

Overall Gambling Downswing – March 2020

When all of the numbers combine, the scope of the loss in March becomes clearer. The casinos took the biggest hit by far, which was no surprise.

–PA total gambling revenue in March 2020:  $153,481,368

–PA total gambling revenue in March 2019:  $316,279,316

–PA total gambling revenue in February 2020:  $304,349,740

Year-on-year decrease:  51.5% decrease

Month-on-month decrease:  49.6% decrease

It’s going to be a rough year for every Pennsylvania casino operator. It is likely to be several months before any sort of recovery even begins.

 

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 PokerStars.com 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles