Second Straight Month of $31+ Million In Bets Shows Promise for Keystone State
With the clock winding down on the NFL season, Pennsylvania sports gambling handle and gross revenue declined slightly in February but still indicate the decision to legalize sports betting was a smart bet. Key statistics from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board are detailed in the infographic below.
February marked the second month in which six sports books were operational. Though total handle dropped from January, February’s total equates to $1,125,026.46 bet per day, slightly higher than the $1,032,639.96 generated in the first month of 2019. This data indicates growing interest in sports gambling among residents and visitors of the Keystone State. However, the drop in gross revenue suggests that gamblers had more luck in February, leaving sportsbooks with less money to be taxed by the state. As more betting opportunities become available with the abundance of college basketball brought by the NCAA tournaments, large spikes in handle and revenue should not be surprising in March, helping the month maintain its “Madness” moniker.
Sports wagering placed third in tax revenue generated for Pennsylvania among all forms of regulated gambling, beating out only fantasy contests. While February’s data suggests that it continues to be a revenue stream, the Keystone State would be able to rake in considerably more revenue if online wagering was available. The large number of in-person bets reveals the strong demand among Pennsylvania gamblers, which should lead to significantly increased activity as they gain access to the more convenient alternative. As an example, neighboring New Jersey has generated 4x more online bets than in-person wagers in the first two months of 2019.