Despite ongoing disruptions from virus-restricted business conditions, overall gaming revenue in Pennsylvania is up 2.7% over last year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Revenue during January from all forms of gaming, along with fantasy contests, was more than $311 million. Revenue regulated by the PGCB includes slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and VGTs.
Total tax revenue generated collectively through all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $127 million during the month.
Restrictions from virus boosted online gaming
And as a likely by-product of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, January was a record month for PA online casino games. The PGCB reported total iGaming revenue of more than $80.4 million.
That’s the highest amount ever, beating the previous high of $71.6 million set in December 2020 by an impressive 11%.
Online slots revenue was just above $51 million, a huge jump from a year ago when it was $7.2 million. The year-over-year percentage increase comes out to a staggering 609%.
Online table games revenue was nearly $26.7 million, up from just over $4.6 million a year ago. The percentage increase YoY was almost 479%.
Tax revenue generated from internet gaming play during January was more than $32.2 million.
Online poker generated more than $2.7 million with just one operator, a 26.4% boost from a year ago. That was on par with December numbers.
Virus disrupts gaming revenue nationwide in 2020
The virus clearly wreaked havoc on the land-based gaming across the country, according to figures this week from the American Gaming Association.
Commercial gaming revenue totaled $30.0 billion in 2020, down more than 31% YoY, according to the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.
The year marked the first market contraction for the gaming industry since 2014 and the lowest gaming revenue total since 2003.
Retail casino numbers hammered
In PA, January’s gross revenue from casino-based slot machines was $140.7 million, a 26.1% decrease compared to the $190.3 million generated in January 2020.
Tellingly, the number of slot machines in operation this past January was just 18,703 compared to 24,126 a year back.
Table games revenue in casinos was likewise off for January with just more than $50.8 million, a decrease of 29.9% from the previous January, when revenue was $72.5 million.
Sports handle up, revenue down slightly
January’s sports betting handle was nearly $615.3 million or 12.2% above December’s record total of $548.6 million. But the taxable revenue for January declined slightly from $34 million to just above $33.9 million.
In January, PA crossed the $100 million mark in lifetime sports betting tax revenue.
VGT and daily fantasy back on track
Video Gaming Terminals, or VGTs, produced gross revenue of more than $2.2 million and daily fantasy sports (DFS) kicked in revenue of more than $2.9 million. The two segments seem to have recovered from pandemic headwinds.
Online poker was up slightly at $2.7 million compared to $2.4 million in November. There is still just one operator, PokerStars PA, via Mount Airy Resort.
January PA online casino breakdown by operator
A complete breakdown of January revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:
|Casino Operator||Total Revenue||Slots Revenue||Table Games Revenue|
|Penn National (DraftKings, Hollywood, BetMGM)||$27.6 million||$16.2 million||$11.4 million|
|Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)||$21.0 million||$16.5 million||$4.5 million|
|Valley Forge (FanDuel)||$14.7 million||$6.8 million||$8.0 million|
|Parx Casino||$5.3 million||$4.8 million||$509,000|
|Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)||$3.6 million||$2.2 million||$1.4 million|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)||$2.8 million||$2.2 million||$534,000|
|Harrah's Philly (Caesars)||$1.4 million||$1.2 million||$244,000|
|Wind Creek Casino||$552,000||$380,000||$173,000|
|Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)||$487,000||$451,000||$37,000|
|Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)||$182,000||$282,000||-$100,000|
|Totals:||$77.7 million||$51.0 million||$26.7 million|
Casino operators by the numbers
The clear front-runners in PA’s online casino race remain Penn National (which includes DraftKings, Hollywood, and BetMGM), Rivers Philadelphia (which includes SugarHouse and BetRivers), and Valley Forge, with FanDuel.
A look at top PA online casino operators in January:
- Penn: Total revenue $27.6 million (slots: $16.2 million; table games: $11.4 million).
- Rivers Philly: Total revenue $21.0 million (slots: $16.5 million; tables: $4.5 million).
- Valley Forge: Total revenue $14.7 million (slots: $6.8 million; tables: $8.0 million).
Image via Dreamstime/Anke Van Wyk.