Sports betting in the state of Pennsylvania shot up about 28 percent in July, from about $46.3 million to $59.4 million in bets placed. Not to mention, for the first time, online sports wagering accounted for most of the gambling activity in the state, according to data released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The massive intake from online sports betting shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. In fact, we’ll probably start seeing an increase with each month that goes forward. With the start of collegiate football in late August and professional football in early September, numbers from both in-person and mobile betting are expected to increase in every regard.
Bets placed at brick-and-mortar casinos declined by $6.7 million in July, which wasn’t unexpected because of the low-volume time of the season. However, the volume of online betting doubled from $19.3 million in June to $39 million in July, which really made up for the lack of bets taken in person.
Online and retail bets raked in $5.1 million in revenue for casinos, which increased just over $3 million from June. State and local governments took in $1 million in taxes, which is run up against revenue, not total bets.
SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown – to be renamed Rivers Casino Philadelphia – raked in $26.5 million in bets, $22.2 million of which came from online betting, which was more than half of Pennsylvania’s $39 million online sports betting handle. They are leading the sports betting game in just about every regard, from online to in-person betting.
While SugarHouse did have about $2 million in revenue, that number does go down to about $1 million once you take out the promotional money that was given out. SugarHouse did have a head start on most of the other casinos in the state, and their numbers will likely come down once some of the other reputable names get their legs under them.
The affiliate of Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh took in $14.3 million. That was followed by Parx Casino in Bensalem taking in $7.2 million, and FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino Resort took in $5 million.
FanDuel Sportsbook was only open for a few days in July, but it’s evident that the betting powerhouse will be a major factor in the Pennsylvania sports betting industry. Under the license of Valley Forge Casino, FanDuel accumulated $3.3 million in just nine days of operation. In fact, most of the days that FanDuel was in operation in the state of Pennsylvania, it was under a testing phase.
A few sportsbooks took in a similar amount — South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook took in $1.9 million, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course took in $1.8 million, and Harrah’s Philadelphia took in $1.7 million. Two of them – Oaks Race & Sportsbook ($789,502) and Presque Isle Downs & Casino ($162,781), which opened late last month – took in under a million.
Many states have seen the benefit of mobile sports betting, and Pennsylvania will certainly reap the rewards immediately once football season rolls around. While states in limbo sit back and watch others get rich, you have to wonder if they’ll get in on the action sooner than later.