PA iGaming Rides The Wave To More Than $55 Million In May Revenue

Online casinos in Pennsylvania continued to flourish in May with land-based options closed, reaching new highs in revenue and total wagers.

More than a billion, yes, billion with a ‘B’ was wagered on online slots in May. Pennsylvania posted a staggering record for online slot wagering at $1,064,660,897 in May.

Online gaming climbs with land-based betting closed

Revenue was $38.8 million during the month for online slots. The amount wagered on interactive table games was $778.5 million, with revenue of more than $12.4 million.

Adding in the revenue of nearly $4.6 million for online poker in PA, iGaming revenue reached a record $55.8 million in May. PokerStars PA remains the sole live poker operation in PA.

Shuttered land-based wagering generated no revenue while online revenue set a record again for the fourth straight month.

Online sports wagering made a solid contribution given lack of action

Online sports wagering saw $77.5 million in wagers, with $5.9 million in revenue, remarkable given how few the sportsbetting options were in May. That’s a 69% increase from a year ago.

Tax revenue from all forms of gaming in May 2020 was $25.76 million.

Record for online

Gamblers adapted to retail shutdowns with online games – slot machines, table games, and poker – jumping 30% over April 2020, which was a record in its own right, according to data released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB.)

A complete breakdown of  May revenue, including slots and tables games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueTable Games revenueSlots revenue
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$17.6 million$2.5 million$15.1 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$8.0 million$3.3 million$4.7 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$6.3 million$2.6 million$3.7 million
Penn National (Hollywood & DraftKings)$9.0 million$1.9 million$7.1 million
Parx Casino$6.9 million$1.4 million$5.5 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.4 million$607,000$1.8 million
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$137,000$84,000$54,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$931,000$30,000$901,000
Totals:$51.2 million$12.4 million$38.8 million

Casinos begin to reopen in June

Land-based gaming options were all shuttered for the entire month. Three casinos have reopened so far in June. Schedules for reopening the remaining nine gambling halls are beginning to trickle in.

Due to the closures, overall gaming revenue was down 79% in May of this year compared to May 2019.

The more than $55.8 million May online casino revenue figure was more than double the revenue generated from those games in March when revenue hit nearly $24.9 million. All brick-and-mortar casinos were closed in PA by March 17.

Top interactive sites

The biggest interactive operators were Penn National, including sites Hollywood and DraftKings, Rivers Philly which includes BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse, and Valley Forge which partners with FanDuel.

Rivers Philly accounted for $17.6 million in revenue, $15.1 million coming from slots.

Penn National accounted for $9 million, with $7.1 million from slots. DraftKings debuted in PA on May 1, launching under the Penn online casino license.

And Valley Forge (FanDuel) had revenue of $8 million, $4.7 million from slots.

Next month will begin to show revenue for retail locations once again. The question is how much, given the shift to online wagering for three months.

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Divine Fortune Mega Jackpot Pays Out Record $533K To PA Woman

The legend of the Divine Fortune progressive slot continues, as it hits for the 14th time in PA, this time for a record $533,239 at PlaySugarHouse.

A massive jackpot from an online casino slot was hit Tuesday night for a Divine Fortune record win on in Pennsylvania. The score was worth $533,239.

An Audubon, PA, woman who is 34 years old and wishes to remain anonymous claimed the winning jackpot.

The woman began playing at just last month, according to a press release. She was playing at home on her smartphone when she hit the big one.

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Divine Fortune synonymous with SugarHouse

The Divine Fortune progressive slot game is only available in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. This is the biggest jackpot to date on both sides of the Delaware River.

And while several online casino sites feature the game, the majority of the hits have come at the SugarHouse site.

Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, which operates, said:

“It is exciting to see history being made in a positive way during these difficult and uncertain times. These huge jackpots are life-changing for our players, especially when good news is needed now more than ever.”

Divine Fortune has a winning history

Previously, the largest Divine Fortune jackpot ever to be hit in the US was $376,893 on a $1 spin on in PA.

The game has quite a history.

One man hit twice, once for $151,000 with a $100 bet and once for $235,000 on a $20 bet.

And the game has paid mega jackpots 14 times in PA since it launched in July 2019.

What makes this progressive slot so special?

Divine Fortune is unlike most progressive jackpot slot games, which traditionally have low returns to players (RTP) — meaning they are tightand high volatility, with higher but less frequent payouts.

In contrast, Divine has a fairly high RTP of 96.8%. And the slot’s volatility rating is “medium,” meaning more consistent winners.

And based on the rate at which the jackpot consistently climbs, the prized slot is only growing in popularity among online casino players in PA.

The jackpot at PlaySugarHouse is now at $148,000 — and climbing.

PA Online Casino & Poker Sail To New Records In April As Overall Revenue Plummets

The bright spot in the April Pennsylvania gaming revenue report is online gaming, as online casinos and online poker produced their best numbers yet.

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.

PA also had a record month for poker, faring the best of any US state where it’s legal despite there being just one operator.

As a result of the coronavirus disruptions, overall gaming revenue was down 84% for April 2020 compared to April last year, even with the huge increase in 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.

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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 OperatorTotal RevenueTable GamesSlots
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)$230,000N/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

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 million58% lower than March’s total of $6.9 million.

Some retail books even operated in the negative after 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 to return, it’s likely that 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 appeared in April. Unfortunately, the same might go for June. And PA gaming companies are sure to feel these economic effects long after the casinos reopen.

Online Casino Revenue Reaches Record $24 Million Amid A Stormy March For PA Gaming

Overall gaming revenues in Pennsylvania dropped 51% in March due to coronavirus closures, but online casino and online poker reached new record heights.

Online casino revenue soared by 24.5% in March, according to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

On the other hand, overall gambling revenues were down 51% for the month due to closures forced by coronavirus containment measures.

Online revenue in PA for March topped $24.3 million, marking the highest revenue to date. Total play also reached an all-time high.

March follows a February record

The March numbers come on the heels of record-setting February revenue for PA online casinos with a staggering 39.6% jump over January revenue, which was itself up 31.4% over December 2019.

Gross revenue from online slots, table games and poker in March broke down as follows:

  • $12.4 million for internet slot games
  • $8.8 million for online table games
  • More than $3.1 million for online poker

That came to nearly $8.6 million in tax revenue from online offerings.

Revenue doesn’t tell the entire story

Revenue, while important, doesn’t tell the entire story when it comes to gauging increasing player interest.

For instance, total wagers for March were $871.6 million, a 23.9% increase from February’s $703.6 million.

Handle for slot wagers increased 51.5%, while tables rose just 8.2%.

PA online casino revenue by operator in March

A complete breakdown of March revenue, including slots and tables games, can be found here:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
SugarHouse & BetRivers* (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$6,757,345$4,764,687$1,992,658
FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge)$4,969,253$969,992$3,999,261
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$2,830,694$1,403,050$1,427,644
Parx Casino$2,728,129$2,173,693$554,436
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$2,618,503$2,438,828$179,675
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$803,000$517,192$285,808
BetAmerica Casino (Presque Isle Downs)$425,878$83,204$342,674

Top online operators in PA

Rivers Casino Philadelphia was the top PA online casino operator for the month, with more than $6.75 million from online slots and table games. Slots accounted for $4.76 million, the top figure in the category.

That should be taken with a grain of salt, though, as it includes both online casino skins under the license, PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers.

It’s possible, then, that FanDuel (Valley Forge Casino Resort) was actually the top operator. FanDuel, which was the revenue leader in February with nearly $6.1 million, saw a drop in March revenue to nearly $5 million.

But FanDuel continues to own the table games category with revenue of nearly $4 million and brought in 42.5% of total online table games wagers.

Next in total revenue was PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino) with more than $2.8 million in revenue from slots and tables in a near-even split. The brand brought in even more through online poker.

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Online poker taking off during shutdown

More than half of PokerStars PA’s online revenue — $3.13 million — came from poker. It represents PokerStars’ best month since launching in November and a whopping 71.2% increase from February.

As big as PokerStars PA was in March, look for its April poker number to post far bigger, as it is currently running its biggest series yetPASCOOP, and doing well with filling seats.

The increased handle for March, the continued closures of land-based casinos through April and gamblers’ growing interest in wagering online should ensure another growth month in April.

PA Online Casino Revenue Continues Dramatic Climb In February, Led By FanDuel

Online casino revenue in PA is really taking off now, and the addition of FanDuel to the market has helped lead that charge.

Online casino revenue in PA continued a trend of double-digit percentage jumps month over month in February, according to the PGCB.

In February 2020, revenue from PA online casinos increased by a staggering 39.6% over January 2020, which was itself up 31.4% over December of 2019.

Gross revenue from online slots, table games and poker in February reached nearly $19.5 million.

That came out to $6.8 million in tax revenue from online casinos.

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Table game revenue continues to gain ground on slots

Revenue broke down to over $9.6 million from online slots and more than $8 million from table games. Online poker, which has only one operator, brought in $1.8 million.

FanDuel, which entered the online casino space in late January, led the way with its partner, Valley Forge Casino.

The total February revenue for the relatively new FanDuel was nearly $6.1 million. Table games accounted for more than $4.8 million. That’s unusual, since online slots typically contribute to the bulk of revenue for online casinos.

For instance, PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia) was second in terms of revenue, with $4.8 million in February, and slots accounted for more than $3.1 million of it.

PA online casino revenue by operator in February

A complete breakdown of February revenue, including slots and tables games, can be found here:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge)$6,053,007$1,233,147$4,819,860
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$4,755,592$3,149,084$1,606,508
Parx Casino$2,352,492$1,861,267$491,225
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$2,315,459$2,164,360$151,099
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,393,103$717,068$676,035
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$723,229$449,992$273,237
BetAmerica Casino (Presque Isle Downs)$67,575$59,062$8,513

FanDuel surges to No. 1, online poker stays strong

After getting off to a hot start in the final days of January, FanDuel followed up strong. It took the well-known Daily Fantasy Sports brand less than a month to surge into the top casino operator spot.

The FanDuel Sportsbook was already the leader in PA. With the two verticals in an integrated app, FanDuel’s dominance in sports betting is clearly helping casino business.

As more people turn to online gaming with PA land-based casinos closed for coronavirus containment, FanDuel and other operators will likely get an uptick in traffic.

Online poker has already seen it, and PokerStars PA will be running its biggest series yet, PASCOOP, in early April. The lone online poker operator in PA continues to post strong numbers, which are likely to increase in March and April.

Coronavirus Concerns Rapidly Change Sports, Gaming Landscape In PA

Online gambling options in PA are all the more inviting in the current time of increasing isolation and precaution in face of coronavirus spread.

The sports and sports betting landscape around the world and in the Keystone State are still adjusting to a spate of cancelations, delays and cautions.

One casino has closed in Pennsylvania so far on Gov. Tom Wolf‘s orders in an effort to help contain the coronavirus.

For now, the rest of the casinos in PA remain in operation, as do all online sportsbooks and online casinos.

*Update: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) ordered all PA land-based casinos to close by March 17.

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Rapidly evolving situation with coronavirus precautions

Gov. Wolf spoke at a press conference on Thursday, urging the cancellation of events involving large gatherings. He also singled out Montgomery County, which has been hit the hardest by the virus.

“No mass gatherings should be held, including conferences and rallies. By closing these facilities, we can control the spread of this disease, that’s the hope. And we can redirect our public safety and health officials to where they are needed the most.”

At about the same time as President Donald Trump spoke on Friday, Gov. Wolf announced that all PA schools from K-12 would close until March 16.

Trump takes federal action against the virus

Additional changes are likely, as Trump declared a national state of emergency Friday.

He invoked a federal law allowing his administration to aid state and local governments, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The move makes available more than $42 billion through the Disaster Relief Fund. Trump asked all hospitals to move to emergency status and removed many rules on how they operate.

The president also thanked the sporting world for responsibly mitigating the spread of the virus by canceling and postponing events.

Changes due to virus are pervasive

Most flights to Europe have been canceled.

The NBA’s season is on hold, with some players testing positive and others in self-isolation due to exposure. The Sixers are on hiatus with the rest of the league.

The PGA has been suspended. March Madness will not happen. The NHL has been halted, including the Flyers and the Penguins.

Baseball’s opening day has been pushed back to mid-May. The MLS and some European soccer leagues are at a standstill, and NASCAR is idling.

Valley Forge is the only closed casino for now

Valley Forge Casino closed its doors Friday morning in compliance with a directive from the governor.

The property is in King of Prussia in Montgomery County, which Wolf referred to as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

Schools in that county have shut down, at least for two weeks. More than 60 PA schools, with a high percentage of parents employed in Montgomery County, have closed.

Valley Forge offers online betting options through FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Casino, which remain open for business.

Online betting options still available

Online wagering remains an entertainment option for those living in states with regulated mobile gaming. PA betting apps offer casino games and sports betting on the limited remaining sporting events being played.

PokerStars PA the only PGCB-regulated online poker option in the state for now.

Online sportsbook operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and PlaySugarHouse sent out emails reassuring customers that they are working on making good on wagers placed on unplayed games.

DraftKing’s note read:

“This situation is fluid, so we are actively developing a status page where you can find the latest news on game and contest cancellations and schedule changes, with the goal of providing a one-stop destination for the answers to questions you may have. We will email our customer community as soon as this page is live and we will continue to update it with new information.”

It will take time to sort this all out, obviously, but uncertainty is what remains certain.

Editor’s note: This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates here.

Hail, Caesars: Gaming Giant Launches PA Online Sportsbook, Casino To Follow

Caesars has finally launched an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, through their retail partner Harrah’s Philadelphia and iGaming provider Scientific Games.

Caesars Online Sportsbook finally soft-launched with limited hours during a mandatory test phase, which began Tuesday afternoon.

Full approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is pending, which will make it the ninth online sportsbook in the Keystone State.

The virtual book is in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester, Delaware County, and their platform provider, Scientific Games. Interface for now is through desktop and Android phones, with an iOS app to come.

Online casino games in the offing

Sometime this spring — no timeline has been announced — online casino games including slots, table games and video poker will also launch, according to a news release.

The official release makes no mention of online poker. But given that Caesars’ license allows for it and the brand offers poker through in neighboring NJ, it’s reasonable to expect it to follow.

A long windup to launch

It looked as if the online book would launch last fall. In fact, there was an announcement made targeting a September live date, but then the timeline was subsequently withdrawn without explanation.

Harrah’s has had approval from PA regulators to set up shop online since August 2018.

The retail sportsbook for Harrah’s opened in January 2019.

Integrated into Caesars Rewards Program

Executive VP of Gaming and Interactive for Caesars Entertainment Christian Stuart said of the venture:

“Caesars Entertainment is the leader in legalized and regulated gaming in the US, and this online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania is an exciting expansion given the incredible number of sports fans across the state.

“The online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania achieves another milestone in our strategy to offer Caesars-branded mobile gaming products equipped with the latest technology and superior customer service that customers trust, across the most populous states in the US.”

Mobile products are integrated fully into the popular Caesars Rewards loyalty program, said Stuart. That means customers can earn and redeem points across all properties in the network.

The delay is not addressed in the announcement release. But it appears to have had to do with the pending closing of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado.

Caesars’ merger with Eldorado likely delayed rollout

Eldorado Resorts, Inc. got official PGCB approval in early February to follow through with the acquisition of Caesars.

The corporate change should not be an issue in PA. But the sale could prompt some changes in New Jersey, where Caesars owns a cluster of properties in Atlantic City.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack General Manager Chris Albrecht said of the online rollout, “With the addition of mobile sports betting, we look forward to more guests playing with us on the property and all around Pennsylvania.”

Caesars Entertainment operates across 29 locations, both retail and online. It is now in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa, New York and Nevada.

Funding options

Accounts can be funded in the app via Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, ACH and several other forms of payment.

Sports bettors, online casino players and likely online poker fans should be in for a treat given the ubiquity of the brand and Caesars’ well-received rewards program.

PA Online Casino Revenue Jumps In January 2020, Thanks To FanDuel Table Games

PA online casino revenue posted a 31 percent month-over-month increase in January 2020, thanks largely to the addition of FanDuel Casino.

Online gambling in PA is off to a strong start in the new year.

In January 2020, revenue from PA online casinos increased by a staggering  31.4% over December.

Gross revenue from online slots, table games and poker reached just shy of $14 million last month, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

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Online revenue continues to expand

That continues a run of double-digit increases online.

Gross online revenue in December was over $10.6 million, which was an increase of more than 10% over November’s revenue figures.

PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia) continues to dominate the online space in PA, bringing in nearly $3.55 million from online slots and table games.

In December, Rivers’ internet games revenue was more than $2.97 million.

A complete breakdown for the month by operator can be found in this table:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$3,549,970$2,420,204$1,129,765
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$2,405,023$2,143,292$261,731
FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge)$2,081,252$375,442$1,705,810
Parx Casino$1,644,854$1,154,368$490,486
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,322,829$589,879$732,950
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$786,447$505,867$280,580
BetAmerica Casino (Presque Isle Downs)$9,898$3,139$6,759

Online slots lead the way, table games get a boost

Online slot revenues continued to dominate, accounting for more than $7.19 million in revenue in January. It was a significant increase, too, as December internet slot revenue was just over $5.57 million.

While still trailing slots, online table games had a strong January, with revenue of more than $4.6 million.

That’s a healthy increase from December, when the revenue take for internet table games was just $2.58 million. Nearly all of that growth can be attributed to FanDuel Casino, which launched in PA on Jan. 24.

In its limited eight days of operations in January, it took in an impressive $1.7 million in revenue in online table games alone.

Poker remains a one-trick pony in PA

PokerStars PA, with land-based partner Mt. Airy Casino Resort, earned more than $2.15 million in online poker revenue. It is the only operator with internet poker in PA for now.

But that January figure is down from the month before, when it took in nearly $2.5 million. That number was helped along by the PACOOP series that ran in December.

Hollywood and newcomer FanDuel Casino on the rise

Following SugarHouse, Hollywood Casino at Penn National was second in online slots and table games for January.

It tabbed more than $2.4 million, with more than $2.14 million from slots and only $261,000 from table games. Both were increases from December.

The Valley Forge-partnered FanDuel Casino only operated its online casino for the last week of January but did exceptionally well considering the short time period.

Its overall gross revenue was more than $2 million, with more than $1.7 million from table games and $375,000 from slots.

PokerStars still trails in online slots, tables

Mount Airy/PokerStars was second only to SugarHouse (Rivers Philly) in January gross revenue, with more than $3.48 million, though that result is due to its poker monopoly. Nearly two-thirds of its online casino revenue was from poker last month.

In terms of slots and table games, PokerStars Casino ranks fifth, ahead of Unibet and the recently launched BetAmerica Casino.

The overall gross revenue figure for PokerStars is down from December, when it was was more than $4 million.

PokerStars table games revenue was over $730,000, better than slots, which tallied $590,000 — a sharp drop from the $750,000 the casino took in during the previous month.

And the rest of the field

Parx Casino had total internet revenues of slightly more than $1.6 million in January, primarily from slots, which brought in $1.15 million. That’s roughly on par with its December figures.

Mohegan Sun Pocono, which operates as Unibet Casino, had gross revenue of $786,000. Slots accounted for nearly two-thirds of that figure. Unibet’s January revenue was nearly double what it posted in the previous month, when table games actually posted a small loss.

BetAmerica, the online casino through Presque Isle Downs, operated for just two days in January and collected $9,900 in revenue.

Tax collected from online casinos was just under $5 million in the first month of 2020.

PA Online Gaming Revenue: Poker Closes In On Table Games In December

PokerStars topped the PA online gaming revenue charts in December 2019, thanks to poker, as slots drop slightly across the board.

Pennsylvania’s three online verticals – slots, table games, and poker – combined to produce $10.62 million in revenue for the month of December, 2019.

That figure represents a healthy 10.3% increase from November when revenue was $9.65 million, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). 

Dissecting online casino and poker revenue in December 2019

Of the total iGaming revenue, online slots brought in the most with $5.6 million while online tables games produced less than half that amount at $2.6 million.

Online poker, meanwhile, brought in nearly as much as table games despite having just one operator in only its second month.

PokerStars PA, in conjunction with land-based partner Mt. Airy, earned an additional nearly $2.5 million in online poker revenue to add to its online casino revenue. 

The following table breaks down online casino revenue for the five PA online casinos for December, with poker excluded:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$2,970,222$1,875,628$1,094,594
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$1,692,797$1,472,941$219,855
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,559,057$753,570$805,487
Parx Casino$1,523,041$1,025,524$497,518
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$406,445$442,922($36,477)

Mount Airy dominates with addition of PokerStars’ offerings

Mount Airy Casino Resort, the only operator offering poker, led the way this December in gross revenue from all online sources. Despite ranking just third of the five operators in online casino, its strong online poker showing catapulted it to first in overall revenue.

The total online revenue for PokerStars/Mount Airy was more than $4 million. That is not even including its online sportsbook FOX Bet.

Revenue for online slots was over $750k and online table games revenue was $805k for PokerStars Casino.

The debut of poker in PA during November was massive, with nearly $2 million in revenue. So it was no surprise December built on that with $2.47 million in revenue from poker.

As of now in mid-January, PokerStars remains the only site for poker in the state. Of course, that could change in a moment’s notice.

Rivers, formerly SugarHouse, leads casino revenues

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which operates online under its old SugarHouse name, had gross revenue of more than $2.97 million.

Slots accounted for more than $1.9 million, while table games revenue was more than $1.1 million.

With poker excluded, Rivers revenue was tops in online casino, including both slots and table games categories. 

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Hollywood and Parx still contending in online casino

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was a distant third in total online revenue, but second when considering only online casino. With nearly $1.7 million in combined slots and table games, it narrowly beat out the revenue of PokerStars Casino.

Slots brought revenue of $1.47 million, far outperforming table games, which accounted for just $220,000.

Parx Casino was just behind Hollywood, with gross revenues of more than $1.52 million.

Slots revenue was just over $1 million while table games revenue came in at nearly $500k – a typical slots-to-tables ratio.

Unibet trails the field

The lowest gross revenue came in at just over $40ok for Unibet Casino, which launched in November via land-based partner Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Their performance was stunted in December by a minor loss of more than $36k at their table games. Thus all positive revenue was thanks to online slot play.

Time will tell if Unibet can close the large gap in online casino revenue, and which, if any operator, chooses to join PokerStars in the PA online poker waters in 2020.

Taxes for Online Casinos and Sportsbooks All Over the Map

States like PA who opt for high tax rates on online gambling may be limiting the growth potential of the market, especially as nearby competition rises.

The tax rates for online gambling are literally and figuratively all over the map as jurisdictions across the United States move to approve, regulate – and profit from – mobile/online wagering.

As 2020 begins, there are only three states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey – with regulated online betting on slots, poker, and table games. Nine states across the country, including PA and NJ, have online sports betting.

Here, we break down the various state tax rates for online gambling and discuss the implications of the vast range that exists across markets.

Online casino rates all over the map

Tax rates for online casino operations run from as low as 15% in New Jersey, the top revenue generator, to the 62.5% found in Delaware. That number comes from totaling the state’s cut, referred to as “revenue sharing” in DE, plus a 12.5% state vendor fee.

Pennsylvania took a different approach, varying tax rates depending on the vertical. PA’s rates are 54% for online slots, but 16% for online poker and online table games.

StateOnline Tax Rates
Delaware62.5%* (50%+12.5%**)
New Jersey15%
Pennsylvania54% (slots); 16% (poker & table games)

*These rates apply after the initial $3.75 million in revenue all goes to the state.

**50% goes to revenue sharing with the state and an additional 12.5% to the state vendor.

Online sportsbook rates run the gamut

Online sportsbook rates vary even more widely across the nine states with mobile sports wagering operational. Those states are:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Oregon
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • New Hampshire

The lowest tax rate among the online sportsbook jurisdictions is 6.75%, the rate employed in Nevada and Iowa.

The highest, Rhode Island, comes in at a staggering 83% when adding the 51% revenue sharing amount and the 32% cut for the state’s vendor.

Delaware comes in second-highest with its 62.5% tax rate set for online casino.

States with Online SportsbooksTax Rate
West Virginia10%
New Jersey13% (casino-based); 14.25% (racetrack-based)
New Hampshire51% (revenue share)
Rhode Island83%**
OregonNot disclosed

*Includes 50% revenue share with the state plus 12.5% to the state vendor

**Includes 51% revenue share with the state plus 32% to the state vendor

Pitfalls of high taxes on online gambling

Nevada was the lone state with full-fledged sports betting prior to the 2018 overturning of PASPA that opened the way for other states to join in. Their reasonable 6.75% tax rate across the board has stood the test of time.

While states like New Jersey, Iowa, and Indiana have followed suit with operator-friendly tax rates, others have clearly opted for a different strategy – to their detriment.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) believes setting tax rates too high to foster competition in the market makes it difficult to compete against illegal gambling operations. The AGA tracks tax rates across the country in the organization’s annual State of the State’s report.

“To compete with the illegal market, states must implement sensible policies – including tax rates and licensing fees – that enable a seamless shift to safer alternatives for consumers,” said Casey Clark, the AGA’s senior vice president, strategic communications.

Market saturation is changing the gambling business

There is a longstanding tendency by governments to treat gambling taxation as an elastic cash cow, shifting program funding from a state’s voting constituents to outsider companies.

That may have worked when gambling was relatively new, but with the increasing competition in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic gambling markets, high taxation in certain states has caused issues.

The high online tax rates in Pennsylvania come up when discussing the slowed rate of gambling market growth in the state. The huge 54% slot rate likely in large part explains why there are still just five online slot operators in a state as large and populous as Pennsylvania, with its nearly 13 million residents.

The other factor holding back expansion is likely PA’s decision to require computer servers to be housed within the borders of the Keystone State. This regulation stems from an early 2019 DOJ Wire Act opinion that has been taken at face value by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, even as other states attribute little weight to the interpretation.

With online casino growth left wanting, PA’s online sportsbook market has proven more appealing for operators, despite the hefty 36% tax rate on revenue.

Online sportsbook expansion is ‘hot’

There are currently eight online sportsbooks in PA with more expected to launch in the near future.

Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market has several factors working to their benefit.

Joe Bertolone, the executive director of the International Center for Gaming at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said online sportsbook growth, even in high tax jurisdictions such as PA, will continue to drive expansion and innovation simply because that niche is considered “hot.”

Despite the high tax rate, the PA market is a “must” for operators due to the size of the state’s population of close to 13 million, added Bertolone.

“You’ve got to be there,” he said of PA.

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Small market states feel negative effects of high tax rates

Smaller markets like Delaware and Rhode Island don’t carry the same draw for potential operators. The impact of high tax rates is magnified in these states, which can be further constrained by local law.

While “The First State” was indeed the first in the country to offer a form of legal online casino, revenues from online gambling have underwhelmed to date. In addition to a small population of around 1 million, Delaware is constrained by a law that allows for just three online casino operators, one for each land-based casino.

All three brands operate on one single platform run by 888 Holdings. Competition in the DE market, therefore, is lacking.

The first state (besides Nevada) to launch legal retail sports betting, Delaware is still limited to land-based wagering at their three casinos plus state lottery retailers which can accept parlays of three teams or more.

The state lottery runs Rhode Island‘s only legal online sportsbook, and it has limited features and offers no bonus incentives.

Both states have traditionally treated gambling operations like a goose with limitless gold eggs. But they may soon be forced to change with the times.

Competition necessitates adjustments

After being out ahead of the curve when it comes to offering legal gambling, Delaware seems to be falling behind in adjusting to the post-PASPA era of online wagering.

Between its three casino sportsbooks and lottery retailers, DE brought in $132.5 million in handle for the year 2019, $19.5 million being revenue.

A look at year-on-year figures from 2018 to 2019 in the popular betting month of November, Delaware saw a significant 46% drop in handle while revenue was stagnant at $1.3 million.

With competition in surrounding states increasing, gambling revenues in Rhode Island have also disappointed of late. The Providence Journal reported in November that the state would claim less than $10 million in revenue for sports betting for 2019. That’s less than half of the $22.7 million projected in profit.

The state also now expects only $105 million in handle via the state’s new mobile app, just a fraction of the $595 million assumed in prior projections.

Will high online tax rates survive?

Bertolone has cautioned that expansion is dynamic, and markets will continue to feel the “ripple” as saturation is reached.

And yet, just like Delaware, Rhode Island’s tax rate remains in the stratosphere. PA’s rates likewise leave something to be desired, especially for potential online casino operators.

Whether states will make changes to online gambling tax rates perceived by many to be unsustainable or stunting growth of the market remains to be seen.