Pennsylvania Revenue Dips in May But Mobile Outlook Rosy

By Jake Perper

June 21st, 2019 - 10:00am

Pennsylvania has been an intriguing market thus for legalized sports gambling.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released its report from the month of May and the numbers were not too great. The report shows that the handle taken in was at $35,934,215 with the gross revenue coming in at $2,861,852. Those were clear drops from April (handle of $36,769,145 and gross revenue of $4,221,482) and even bigger drops from a busy March (handle of $44,527,575 and gross revenue of $5,519,340).

Overall, Pennsylvania’s sports wagering handle fell 2.4 percent from April and 19.3 percent from March.

But May did hold significant moments for the future of legal sports betting in The Keystone State. The first casino to provide an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania was the SugarHouse Casino in May. The PGCB report showed that handle for just the final days of May was an impressive $573,163 with the gross revenue sitting at $38,573. The casino took in a handle of $7,293,839 during May.

The SugarHouse Casino sportsbook is run by European operator Kambi Group PLC, which sets the odds and betting lines for the casino. The headquarters for Kambi is now in Philadelphia. The company also runs the sportsbook for Parx Casino.

And this week, the PGCB issued the first license for a convenience store – a Rutter’s location – to have a video gambling machine.

Since the law to legalize sports gambling in Pennsylvania was enacted, the state has taken $7.1 million taxes on $198.3 million in total wagers, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer report.

Pennsylvania’s Gaming Landscape and Future

The SugarHouse Casino is truly a leader in the online gambling market. It has a temporary sports betting area which gives its bettors a nice spot to place wagers.

Alongside the SugarHouse Casino is the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, which led the entire state in sports betting handle with $7,920,797 million and a gross revenue of $641,029. That came ahead of both SugarHouse and Parx Casino which is located in Bensalem.

Parx fields bets at the Oaks and South Philadelphia betting outlets which are off-track. The two satellite operations included for Parx totaled $10.9 million in total handle.

The landscape in terms of online will look a whole lot different this summer with Park, BetRivers, FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National and Presque Isle Downs all laying out plans to run their own online sportsbooks, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. BetRivers and Parx could be officially opened for business this month.

What Lies Ahead for Pennsylvania gaming?

The online sports market is instrumental to the state’s success and it was even more clear after the struggles in the retail market this month.

In neighboring New Jersey, a reported 80 percent of the sports betting handle comes from bettors making wagers on mobile devices or desktop computers. This bodes well for Pennsylvania and nearby states which have plans to use online sportsbooks.

So despite May’s dip in the retail market, once again it is quite evident that Pennsylvania has major plans for the online market that is expanding already. Just judging from the limited sample size from just four days in May, online and mobile betting will succeed in Pennsylvania and that only means more revenue to be had for the state as a whole.

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Written By
Jake Perper

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida based out of Tampa, Florida and has covered the Chicago Bears for the... Read More

Jake Perper covers gambling news for He has been a sports writer for a decade, covering every level of sports.

He’s currently the lead scout for Prep Hoops Florida...

.. Read More