Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue
Home to more than 12 million people and some of the country’s most beloved sports teams, Pennsylvania is one of the top sports betting markets in America in terms of revenue generation.
We’re following this powerhouse market closely to keep you informed with the most important details and analysis of monthly Pennsylvania sports betting revenue reports. Let’s dig into some numbers and explore the business of sports betting in the Keystone State.
PA Sports Betting Revenue: Annual Figures
The table below shows Pennsylvania’s sports betting handle, gross gaming revenue, and hold percentage, as well as state tax revenue collected each year since legalization in November 2018.
Here’s what each column represents:
- Handle is the total amount wagered on sports.
- Revenue reflects the gross gaming revenue kept by sportsbooks after paying out winnings.
- Hold percentage shows how much revenue sportsbooks kept as a function of the betting handle.
- State tax revenue displays taxes collected by the state and local jurisdictions.
|Year||Total Handle||Revenue||Hold Percentage||State Tax Revenue|
The PA market has grown rapidly since its launch in November 2018. Pennsylvania has been firmly in the position of third-largest sports wagering market in America since 2019. It reported an annual betting handle of just under $1.5 billion that year.
Pennsylvania finished 2020 with $3.5 billion in sports bets placed. This is a year-over-year growth of 140 percent despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic imposed on bettors and sportsbooks alike. It appears the PA sports betting market weathered the COVID storm better than most other states.
Latest PA Revenue News
The Pennsylvania market shows no signs of slowing down. Here’s a quick rundown of the latest PA sports betting revenue reports.
June 2021 – Pennsylvania reports $420 million in wagers for June, a six percent drop from May. However, sportsbooks kept $42 million thanks to the Keystone State’s first double-digit hold rate since April 2019. FanDuel Sportsbook took in just under 40 percent of the handle but generated 47 percent of the gross revenue, an impressive month for the brand. FanDuel handed out over $3 million in free bets to its PA customers in June, but still managed to hold 12 percent due to the popularity of its parlay offerings.
May 2021 – Pennsylvania’s betting handle dips to $447 million in May, more than $165 million less than its January 2021 peak ($615,294,827). This sustained dropoff is somewhat surprising given nearby New Jersey managed $814 million in May, with over a third coming from baseball bets. Pennsylvania has two MLB teams, plus the Philadelphia 76ers were in the NBA playoffs.
April 2021 – Pennsylvania reports $479 million in sports betting handle for April, its lowest since September 2020. Still, the Keystone State is well on track to take in more than $6 billion in sports bets in 2021.
March 2021 – Pennsylvania monthly betting handle exceeds $500 million for the fifth time, reporting $560 million wagered in March.
February 2021 – Pennsylvania reports a slight dip in betting handle, but the $509 million reported is a 55 percent increase from February 2020.
Month-by-Month Sports Betting Revenue Data for Pennsylvania
Sports Betting Dime monitors the growth of legal sports wagering by tallying monthly revenue reports from each state. The table below shows the key financial figures for the Pennsylvania sports betting industry from its launch in November 2018 to date.
|Month/Year||Total Handle||Revenue||Hold Percentage||State Tax Revenue|
|Total (since launch)||$8,120,790,518||$623,605,264||7.68%||$171,817,613|
It’s important to note that, unlike most other states, the reporting from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board accounts for promotional dollars spent by a sportsbook when calculating gross revenue. For this reason, PA’s revenue numbers may look smaller than you might expect.
Key Information about the Keystone State
It’s always important to consider the context when evaluating the sports betting industry. Here’s some key information to keep in mind when looking at the market in Pennsylvania.
State Population (2020 Census):13,011,844
In-state Pro Teams: Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL), Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB), Philadelphia Union (MLS)
Launch Date: November 15, 2018
Biggest Monthly Handle: $615,294,827 (January 2021)
Regulator: Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Online or Retail Betting: Both
Tax Rate: 36 percent (34 percent to the state and 2 percent to local jurisdictions)
Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Insights
You may have noticed the dramatic increase in Pennsylvania’s betting handle starting in the summer of 2019 – this reflects the launch of online sports betting.
Let’s explore a couple of themes that stand out when looking at Pennsylvania’s sports betting financial reports.
Online Betting Dominates
According to the PA Gaming Control Board’s reporting, more than 85 percent of all Pennsylvania sports betting handle was generated by online sportsbooks in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. In recent months, online operators have taken in more than 90 percent of the total handle.
While betting at a retail sportsbook is a fun experience, most of the action occurs online simply because it’s more convenient than placing wagers in-person. There’s also reason to believe Pennsylvania benefits somewhat from New Yorkers crossing state lines to place mobile bets, although perhaps to a lesser extent than New Jersey does.
FanDuel Sportsbook is by far the largest operator in Pennsylvania, generating over a third of the handle and gross revenue in partnership with Valley Forge Casino. DraftKings, partnered with The Meadows Casino and Racetrack, is a distant second but stands high above a rotating cast of third-place finishers.
Expensive Market for Sportsbooks
Pennsylvania is the most expensive of the top sports betting markets in America. The Commonwealth charges sportsbook operators $10 million in initial licensing fees, then takes an astounding 36 percent cut of revenue through ongoing taxation – by far the highest tax rate amongst larger states.
It would be tempting to think this is the sportsbook’s expense and not yours. However, the reality is costly regulations lead to a less diverse market than you’d otherwise expect to see. Ultimately, it means fewer promotions and higher prices for sports bettors – don’t be surprised to see a higher vig in Pennsylvania than you might find in New Jersey, for example.
On the flip side, sports betting brings in a substantial amount of tax revenue for Pennsylvania. In 2020, the Commonwealth collected more than $80 million in taxes, a full 33 percent of all sports betting tax revenue across the United States for the year.
Despite some government officials’ efforts to divert it to a property tax relief fund, the money currently goes into a general fund. A bipartisan bill (PA SB1117) aimed to use Pennsylvania sports betting revenue to support homeowners experiencing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it died in committee.
Learn More About Pennsylvania
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Pennsylvania, particularly to see if it can retain its position as a top market as new ones emerge.
Sports Betting Dime will keep you up to date with the latest PA sports betting promos and news. Find an online sportsbook or betting app in Pennsylvania or learn about the rules and regulations, bonuses, and more to start sports betting online. You can also check out other states that offer online sports betting to find sportsbooks and offers in other locations. To see how PA compares to other states in terms of betting volume, check out our state-by-state revenue tracker.
Have fun and enjoy the action out there!