April was the best of times for online wagering in Pennsylvania amid the worst of times overall for revenue, according to figures released Monday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB.)
Shuttered land-based wagering generated no revenue while online revenue set a record for the third straight month.
Poker also had a record month for any legal US poker state, despite there being just one operator.
As a result of the virus disruptions, overall gaming revenue was down 84% for April 2020 compared to April last year, even with the huge increase for online betting.
Online casino games expanded to fill the revenue void
Filling the void created by closed casinos, April 2020 online casino revenue jumped 73% over the previous month, when revenue was $24.9 million.
Casino games online generated a record gross revenue of $43.1 million in April. That includes online slots, table games, and poker.
Tax revenue from all forms of gaming in April 2020 was $18.3 million.
Online slots saw the biggest revenue gains
The online slots segment saw the biggest gain, with revenue more than doubling from $13 million in March to $27.3 million in April.
PokerStars/Mount Airy hit nearly $5.3 million in April, up from $3.1 million in March. PokerStars PA remains the sole live poker operation in PA.
Casinos closed in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and remain locked down. Meaning there was no revenue from casino floor games, nor retail sports wagering in April.
The three biggest interactive operators were sister sites SugarHouse and BetRivers, operating under Rivers Philadelphia, and FanDuel casino, in partnership with Valley Forge.
While SugarHouse and BetRivers were the clear winners in the online slot competition, Valley Forge once again dominated when it comes to online table games.
PA online casino revenue by operator in April
A complete breakdown of April revenue, including slots and tables games, can be found here:
|Casino Operator||Total Revenue||Table Games||Slots|
|Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)||$13.7 million||$2.7 million||$11 million|
|Valley Forge (FanDuel)||$7.9 million||$3.8 million||$4.1 million|
|Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)||$5.2 million||$2.4 million||$2.8 million|
|Penn National (Hollywood)||$4.6 million||$490,000||$4.1 million|
|Parx Casino||$4.1 million||$300,000||$3.8 million|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)||$1.8 million||$650,000||$1.2 million|
|Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)||$210,000||$100,000||$110,000|
|Harrah's Philly (Caesars)||$230,000||N/A||$230,000|
|Penn National (DraftKings)||$30,000||-$160||$30,000|
|Totals:||$37.8 million||$10.5 million||$27.3 million|
Sports and daily fantasy wagering down, truck terminals closed
Even online sports wagering suffered because so few sports continued in March.
Total sports wagering revenue in April from 13 retail and nine online outlets was $2.9 million, 58% lower than March’s total of $6.9 million.
Some retail books even operated in the negative, paying off previous winners.
Video gaming terminals at truck stops were idle due to the virus and without any revenue during April.
And finally, daily fantasy contests revenue was $167,000 in April, a decrease of 91% year-over-year compared to April 2019 when revenue was $1.9 million.
Unfortunate gaming revenue trends to continue
So far, there is no announced reopening plan for any brick-and-mortar casino, even those in areas less affected by COVID-19. With most mainstream sports still forming their own plans of return, it’s likely the healthy gaming revenue streams won’t bounce back for some time.
When casinos do reopen, it will be in a phased process according to the governor’s color-coded reopening scheme. It will also likely happen gradually, starting out with limited capacity and possibly requiring reservations in advance.
As a result, May revenue numbers should follow the same basic patterns that presented in April. Unfortunately, the same might go for June. But surely, PA gaming companies will feel these economic effects long beyond the immediate reopening of casinos.