Pennsylvania Sets New Records in Sports Betting in October

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania announced its October sports betting results on Wednesday to much anticipation as it became a historic month for the state. Pennsylvania saw an all-time single-month sports betting handle record of $776.2 million, a 48% increase year-over-year from $525.8 million in October 2020 and a 33% month-over-month increase from $578.7 million in September 2021. This past month also saw Pennsylvania become the third state after New Jersey and Nevada to reach an all-time $10 billion in sports betting handle.

Pennsylvania Market Timeline

The Pennsylvania legal sports betting market first launched on May 31, 2019, as SugarHouse arrived in the state. Pennsylvania was one of the first states to legalize sports betting following the landmark Supreme Court decision in 2018 that allowed legislation on a state-by-state basis. Pennsylvania now has 13 online sportsbooks available to bettors and retail sports betting and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platforms. Pennsylvania is well on its way to becoming one of the largest sports betting markets in the country, with over $10 billion in the all-time handle.

Revenue and Other Metrics

While Pennsylvania saw immense growth in its sports betting handle in October, revenue was just $23.5 million. That represented a significant decline of 36% from $36.7 million in October 2020 and a decrease of 51.5% from $48.1 million in September 2021. With a hold rate of just 2.9%, the state’s lowest all-time, the massive handle turned into a modest amount of revenue. However, Pennsylvania brought in a total of $102.9 million in iCasino revenue and $425.9 million in overall gaming revenue, both of which were all-time state records. Still, the modest sports betting revenue generated just over $8 million in taxes as Pennsylvania has a tax rate of 36%, one of the highest in the country.

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Leading Operators

Once again, FanDuel led its competition in sports betting success in partnership with Valley Forge Casino Resort. FanDuel generated $275.4 million in total handle, up about 47% from the previous month. FanDuel also led Pennsylvania operators with $11.6 million in total revenue, although that was down by 46.9% from $21.6 million in September and 25.8% from $15.6 million in October 2020. Many sportsbooks handed out significant free bet promotions to focus on customer acquisition and retention. FanDuel was no exception as its hold rate decreased from 11.5% in September to 4.2% in October.

DraftKings came in second behind FanDuel with a $204.1 million total handle, representing a 22.5% increase from September. Unlike FanDuel, DraftKings saw its revenue increase by 3.9% from $6.8 million in October 2020 and 36.5% from $5.2 million in September 2021. Outside of FanDuel and DraftKings, no other sportsbook came close to that level of success. DraftKings is partnered with the Hollywood Casino in Pennsylvania. No other sportsbook had more than $65 million in the total handle or $1.3 million in total revenue in October 2021.

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Daily Fantasy Sports Contests

In addition to traditional sports betting, fantasy sports saw significant success in October 2021. DraftKings was the leader in the market with $2.1 million in revenue, up 21.7% year-over-year and up 10.5% from September 2021. FanDuel trailed just behind with $1.5 million in revenue, up 5.8% year-over-year and up 15.8% from September 2021. DraftKings and FanDuel make up almost the entire DFS market in Pennsylvania. However, UnderDog Sports, Fantasy Sports Gaming, and No House Advantage have all entered the market over the past year.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. As the United States embarks on an exciting journey towards the legalization of sports betting, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover industry news, NFL and NBA odds, and more.

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