Sports Betting Slows Again, But Still Hits $5 Billion For Fiscal Year

LAS VEGAS, June 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —¬†Wagering at Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks fell modestly in May, but still pushed the state past $5 billion in wagering through fiscal year 2020-21. But as sports betting continues its summer slowdown, Pennsylvania’s online casinos and poker rooms racked up more than $110 million in gross revenue to solidify their position as the state’s most dependable gaming revenue generator, according to PlayPennsylvania, which tracks the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.

“The seasonal slowdown will continue to be a factor until bettors can place bets on Eagles, Steelers, and Penn State football games,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for the network, which includes “And with the popularity of online casinos holding even as retail casino customers return, the state’s gaming industry is in relatively good shape.”

Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks accepted $447.5 million in wagers in May, down 6.7% from $479.4 million in April, according to official data released Thursday. Through 11 months of the fiscal year, sportsbooks have accepted $5.2 billion in bets.

Sportsbooks won $37.4 million off May’s wagers, up 3.8% from $36 million in April, which produced $27.7 million in taxable revenue. The month yielded $9.4 million in state taxes and $554,930 in local share assessments.

The Keystone State’s month-over-month decline from April is steeper than the comparable states that have already reported May data, including New Jersey (up 8.9%), Indiana (up 7.6%), Iowa (down 2.9%), and Michigan (down 4.9%). But in April, betting volume in Pennsylvania was down 14.4% from March, one of the mildest month-over-month declines in the U.S.

“Without a national betting holiday like the Super Bowl or the NCAA Tournament, the summer months are dictated more by local interests,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for “Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks are still well-positioned this summer, especially if the Sixers can figure a way past Atlanta, because they are less reliant on college sports than some other major markets.”

Online betting accounted for 91%, or $407.4 million, of May’s handle. FanDuel/Valley Forge was the online market leader again with $160.9 million in online wagering.

Retail sportsbooks took in $40.1 million in handle in May, led by Rivers-Philadelphia’s $6.7 million.

“The retail market is returning to relative health,” Gouker said. “What we’re really seeing in Pennsylvania, as well as other markets, is normalization. Nothing could be more welcome after such a difficult year.”

Online casinos and poker

Online casinos and poker rooms surged to a near-record $110.8 million in gross gaming revenue in May. That was up 54.6% from $71.6 million in May 2020 but fell just short of the record $111.6 million set in March.

Wagering on online casino games reached $3.3 billion in May, up from $1.8 billion in May 2020 and up from $3.2 billion in April. May’s revenue produced $41.7 million in state and local taxes.

Since online casinos launched in 2019, they have generated a whopping $1.3 billion in revenue from slots, table games, and poker, yielding $432.7 million in taxes.

“Online casino revenue continues to dwarf revenue from sports betting, and that gap should only grow over the summer months,” Cross said. “Even as customers return to brick-and-mortar casinos, the gains in revenue at online casinos and poker rooms made over the last year should hold. It has become a revenue-generating powerhouse for the gaming industry and for the state.”

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