Another month, and another record broken.
In March, PA online gambling smashed through to record revenues. In particular, online poker soared to new heights, boasting a 71% month-over-month increase to the tune of $3.13 million in revenue.
The surge only continued in April. The lone PA poker operator, PokerStars PA, posted $5.25 million in revenue, with the state profiting $837,550. That was a 68% increase over the previous record, set in April.
The Keystone State ordered a forced shutdown of its brick-and-mortar casinos in mid-March as part of efforts contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and housebound players have looked for other means of entertainment.
Primarily, PA online casinos have reaped the benefits of people staying home. PA iGaming was up 73% in revenue compared to March, which was the previous best for the industry. April saw online gaming revenue in PA shoot up to $41.3 million, which added up to $18.3 million in tax revenue for state and local entities.
Looking back at PokerStars PA revenue since launch
Certainly, the lone online poker operator for the Keystone State has gone from strength to strength since its launch.
Even during its debut month in November 2019, PokerStars PA posted revenue numbers of close to $2 million. With a 16% tax rate (state and local combined), PA profited by $314,479.
PokerStars PA did see the traditional drop in revenue during the months of January and February, but this seems to also hold true when comparing New Jersey’s yearly numbers.
Since the closure of live gambling venues, online numbers have continued to climb.
First PASCOOP smashes guarantees by $1.2 million
A big bolster for the PA online poker revenue numbers in April was the successful completion of the inaugural Pennsylvania Spring Championship of Online Poker (PASCOOP).
PASCOOP consisted of 50 poker events made up of “High” and “Low” buy-ins. In total, 100 tournaments with an overall guaranteed prize pool of $2 million played out.
The increase in player traffic ultimately shattered the guaranteed prize pool to the tune of $3.2 million. Only four tournaments didn’t meet the guarantees, and the overlays added up to a measly $4,741.50.
PokerStars PA Ambassador Jennifer Shahade won Event No. 28-H, known as the Sunday Special. With an entry fee of $200, Shahade won $11,527 for her efforts while streaming her first Twitch session. For more about “JenShahadePA,” read the PlayPennsylvania interview.
Bright future ahead for PokerStars PA
For the foreseeable future, it appears that PokerStars PA will continue its meteoric rise, especially since brick-and-mortar casinos still remain closed.
In fact, it just offered up Pennsyl-MANIA, which ran May 17–18. For a buy-in of $200, the event posted the largest prize pool guarantee in the site’s history.
True to its word, Pennsyl-MANIA received double the entries needed to hit the guarantee. The tournament topped out at an official 2,774 total entries. The guarantee didn’t just meet the $250,000 mark, it hit a staggering $515,964 prize pool — the biggest yet in PA poker.
Even when casinos do reopen in PA, it’s likely that live poker rooms won’t reopen until some time later. With that being the case, and with the popularity of online poker in PA peaking, the record numbers are likely to be sustained for weeks to come.