Know When to Hit Pause: PlayPause Strengthens Responsible Gambling in PA & Beyond

The new PlayPause tool from GeoComply enables tracking of self-exclusion across state lines, boosting responsible gambling measures in PA and beyond.

GeoComply is teaming up to make it easier to manage self-exclusion in the iGaming and online sports betting industries across jurisdictions.

The initiative, PlayPause, comes as part of Responsible Gaming Education Week.

The PlayPause tech is available free

The program is available free of charge to operators via a newly established non-profit organization, Conscious Gaming.

Conscious Gaming is a philanthropic organization committed to utilizing advanced technology to propel social responsibility initiatives.

State self-exclusions lists can have unintended blowback.

Praise for the PlayPause option

Senior Director of Strategic Communications and Responsibility Cait DeBaun of the American Gaming Association commented:

“Responsible Gaming Education Week spotlights the best of the gaming industry. GeoComply’s PlayPause is an important addition to the responsible gaming continuum. This innovative solution solves for an important need while advancing consumer protections, empowering operators, and supporting regulatory bodies.”

According to GeoComply, PlayPause will:

  • Empower operators to strengthen responsible gaming programs – and make more data-driven decisions
  • Expand the protective self-exclusion bubble as players move from state to state allowing protection to move with them
  • Streamline the administrative burden by eliminating silos associated with numerous separate state-operated self-exclusion lists

As Anna Sainsbury, GeoComply Chairman and Co-Founder explained:

“At GeoComply, we’re always looking for ways to leverage technology in a meaningful and responsible way. PlayPause is not only an important compliance tool, but a way we can unite the industry and regulators to deepen their shared commitment to responsible gaming and consumer protection.”

PlayPause coming to PA

The tool is rolling out in Pennsylvania.

“Pennsylvania is pleased to be at the forefront of a new responsible gaming tool, designed to strengthen consumer protection and take self-exclusion programs in a new direction,” said Elizabeth Lanza, Director of the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, PGCB.

PlayPause tool is a welcome addition everywhere, said Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling:

“The NCPG applauds the creation of PlayPause – this is a prime example of how technology and innovation can be leveraged to advance consumer protection and foster a more effective responsible gaming framework across the gambling and sports betting industries.”

GeoComply said the new tool underscores its commitment to offering innovative solutions to streamline compliance with complex state regulatory requirements.

PlayPause allows industry leaders to streamline compliance obligations.

Tech comes at a time of explosive growth

The surging interest in sports betting underscores the interest in assuring responsible wagering.

PA sports betting handle reached nearly $365 million in August, setting a new all-time high. And online casinos had their best month ever, with $55.9 million in revenue.

FanDuel announced a marketing connection with Pat McAfee, a former NFL punter and now a sports talking head.

Then GVC and MGM added $250 million to Roar Digital, with much of that likely going toward marketing in the US sports betting sector.

And more are in the works.

Time to temper marketing?

In the face of all that, our sister publication LegalSportsReport recently pointed out the US market could take some lessons from Europe, where marketing was too aggressive.

In that piece, David Briggs, the CEO of GeoComply, said marketing in the United Kingdom had gone overboard for a time with too much advertising.

He said the result was turning people off – or into opponents of sports betting.

AGA supports responsible gaming

The American Gaming Association highlighted several responsible gaming actions as the week came to an end.

  • NASCAR became the first professional league to partner with the AGA’s Have A Game Plan Bet Responsibly campaign to educate fans about safe wagering practices
  • The AGA activated the enforcement process for its sports betting marketing code, setting a high bar for responsible advertising by all operators and sportsbooks
  • Congressional Gaming Caucus co-chairs Reps. Dina Titus of Nevada and Guy Reschenthaler of PA penned an op-ed on responsible gaming in The Hill
  • BetMGM reinforced their commitment to responsible gaming by hiring Richard Taylor as their new Responsible Gambling Program Manager

PA Online Casinos Reach Record High $55.9 Million Revenue in August

August was another hot month for PA online casinos, just topping the May record with slots, table games and poker netting nearly $56 million in revenue.

Online casinos in Pennsylvania generated gross revenue of nearly $55.9 million during August, an increase of $1.5 million over July’s revenue of $54.4 million.

And it set a new monthly record. PA iGaming’s previous peak revenue for online poker, slots, and casino games of $55.8 million came in May.

A year ago last August, the gross revenue for online offerings was just about $3.7 million. There was no online poker then, and many fewer online gaming options

Poker added $2.7 million to the online revenue in August.

Online slot games accounted for $39.6 million and online table games just under $13.6 million.

Total gambling revenue topped $310 million despite reduced capacity

Overall August revenue was more than $310 million according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) figures for total gaming and fantasy contests.

That’s despite continued reduced capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

During July, it was just under $283.1 million. That month was the first time since March all 12 casinos operated for most of the month since virus restrictions which began in mid-March.

The monthly figure is an increase of almost 6% over revenue generated in August 2019 when it was more than $293.4 million.

Sportsbooks roared back to life

PA sports betting handle reached nearly $365 million in August, setting a new all-time high and a 122% month-over-month increase in handle for the books. Taxable revenue was $18.4 million, up 126% over July’s $8.1 million.

Even with retails books reopened, 88% of wagers were placed online. FanDuel Sportsbook continues to dominate the space, taking in around 45% of all sports wagers placed online during the month. The operator also broke a single-month record for revenue with nearly $8.9 million via online alone.

DraftKings sportsbook was next best, accounting for 26% of all online bets, $86.8 million in handle, and $1.1 million in revenue.

Poker continues slide from April peak

Online poker continued to slide despite the continuing closure of in-person poker rooms, with August revenue at just above $2.7 million.

Online poker was at just under $3.0 million in July versus $3.2 million in June. In May, poker revenue was $4.6 million, just down from its peak of nearly $5.3 million in April.

PokerStars PA remains the only provider of online poker in the Keystone State.

August online casino breakdown by PA operator

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

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly* (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$17.1 million$15.2 million$1.9 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$8.7 million$4.4 million$4.3 million
Parx Casino$7.5 million$6.1 million$1.4 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$6.9 million$2.4 million$1.7 million
Penn National (DraftKings Casino)$6.6 million$3.4 million$3.2 million
Penn National (Hollywood Casino)$5.2 million$4.7 million$579,000
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$3.0 million$2.6 million$409,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$724,000$700,000$24,000
Wind Creek Casino$214,000$239,000($25,000)
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$33,000($50,000)$83,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (launched Aug. 14)$25,000$24,000$600
Totals:$53.2 million$39.6 million$13.6 million

Rivers, Valley Forge and Parx tops in online revenue

Rivers Philadelphia, which is the combination of SugarHouse and BetRivers topped the month of August with revenue of $17.1 million, with $15.2 million from online slots.

Valley Forge Casino and their operator FanDuel were second in overall online revenue with $8.7 million, nearly split evenly between slots and table games.

Parx Casino was third with $7.5 million, but they were second only to Rivers in slot revenue with $6.1 million.

Presque Isle Downs and their operator BetAmerica were next to last with just $33,000 in revenue after losing $50,000 on their slot play. They had online table revenue of $83,000 to offset the slot loss.

Live! Casino Philadephia was the newby player, operating just half the month of August. Unlike all the others, their physical casinos in Philly and near Pittsburgh are not yet even open. Live! had revenue of just $25,000, almost all of it in slots.

Penn Stock Spikes with Barstool Sportsbook Soft Launch in Pennsylvania

Penn National Gaming will be fully live with its prized Barstool Sportsbook app on Sept. 18 in Pennsylvania, pending regulatory approval from the PGCB.

The stock market loved Penn National Gaming$PENN – today as the company prepared to soft launch its online gambling app with Barstool Sports for three days of testing exclusively in Pennsylvania.

PENN hit $69.77, a 52-week high around 11:30 a.m., dropping back to just under $68 toward the end of the trading day Tuesday.

The stock, which had hovered in the $25 to $26 range at the start of the year, hit $38.28 a share on Feb. 13, two weeks after the Barstool deal.

But then Penn stock bottomed out at $4.52 on March 18, buffeted by virus shut downs.

Yahoo Finance reported this week that hedge funds have been taking positions in PENN stock.

If all goes well during testing and PGCB regulators give the go-ahead, the first-ever Barstool Sportsbook app will be fully approved on September 18.

Barstool makes 10 online sports betting sites

That would mean Pennsylvania online sports betting sites will now number 10. The PA sports sites are in addition to 11 PA online casinos already live.

Penn has spent $10 million developing the Barstool app, which is integral to their plans for the future, they have made clear.

Penn owns 41 properties and has more than 20,000 employees.

Barstool Sportsbook rollout begins online in PA

The Barstool app launch in PA is just the beginning of Penn’s plans for the newly-acquired brand.

Penn plans to roll out the app in other jurisdictions, as well as rebrand all of the company’s existing retail sports betting venues to Barstool-themed spaces.

That work has not yet begun at their flagship Hollywood Casino in Grantsville.

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Barstool meant to bring younger customers

Penn National began as a family-run horse racing company and slowly grew into a major regional gambling company. Barstool brings a younger demographic to the company.

Penn bought a 36% stake of the oft-controversial Barstool – a Bro Culture sports and lifestyle media company created by Dave Portnoy – at the end of January.

Penn can up its stake to 50 percent within three years and take full ownership.

The company had hoped to launch by the end of August.

App will feature Barstool personalities

The Barstool app went live for testing in PA at 3 p.m. Tuesday to select pre-registered users. It will be available during specific periods in the three-day testing period before fully launching on Sept. 18, assuming approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Exclusive features of the Barstool app include:

  • Quick Pick 6 parlay builder: Get random pick 6 parlays and adjust from there
  • Barstool personality picks and parlays: Back or fade Barstool crew picks
  • Move the line: Give up or get extra points to tailor lines to your liking
  • Barstool daily odds boosts

Images via Penn National/Barstool Sportsbook app.

PlayLive! Now Live: Make It 11 Online Casino Operators in Pennsylvania

Live! online casino is now available in PA with a large selection of games, launching ahead of the forthcoming brick-and-mortar Live! Casino properties.

Priming the pump, the Cordish Gaming Group opened its PlayLive! Casino app earlier this month, making a bit of history.

They launched their Live! app well ahead of grand opening plans for brick-and-mortar casinos on both sides of Pennsylvania. That’s a first for PA online casino sites.

Online before Live! properties in Western and Eastern PA

PlayLive! is the first branded online gambling site that has launched a mobile site before the opening of its related physical casinos.

And it is Cordish’s first online venture.

A new Live! mini-casino near Pittsburgh is set for opening this fall. A full-sized casino in the stadium district of Philadelphia is expected for early next year.

And the company is making a bid to buy another available mini license on Sept. 2. That will take place during the upcoming PGCB meeting.

Qualify for Live! Rewards online

The online casino site is linked to the Live! Rewards customer loyalty program already in play at Cordish’s established casino properties. It allows Live! to begin to connect with PA guests before they can physically visit a Live! property in PA.

The program is free. Members qualify for benefits and perks on both PlayLive! and at all Live! Casino & Hotel properties.

Well-stocked site

The lively GAN-powered Live! site offers about 100 slot titles, plus table games, and video poker.

And lots of incentives to start:

  • Up to $750 in deposit bonuses, plus 100 free spins. There is a 20x-playthrough requirement, and the offer ends on Oct. 4.
  • Bet $30 on the popular progressive slot Divine Fortune and get 30 free spins.
  • A leaderboard that offers 200 free spins.

Rob Norton, President of Cordish Gaming Group, explained in a statement:

“This site certainly illustrates our ability to enhance the traditional launch timeline of our new casino projects. PlayLive! will provide a sneak peek of our brand to the future guests of Live! Casino Pittsburgh and Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.

“PlayLive! will enable us to connect with guests virtually until we can greet them physically. The site will definitely build buzz and excitement for what’s to come in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia soon.”

To that end, games are configured as they would be at Live! Casino properties, providing similar gaming experiences online as they will find in the live casinos.

The PlayLive! online lineup

Slots include the classics:

  • Wheel of Fortune: Triple Extreme Spin
  • Wheel of Fortune: Hawaiian Getaway
  • Jumanji
  • Cleopatra
  • 100,000 Pyramid
  • Da Vinci Diamonds
  • Triple Red Hot 777 Free Games

Table games at PlayLive!:

  • Blackjack
  • Four types of roulette
  • Baccarat

Video poker at PlayLive!:

  • Game King
  • Deuces Wild
  • Jacks Are Better

The site is now accessible on desktop, mobile, and Android.

An iOS app is expected “in the coming weeks,” according to a customer rep.

The presence of Live! in PA follows the launch of Wind Creek’s online casino.

Online launch dates

  • Hollywood Casino: July 2019
  • Parx Casino: July 2019
  • SugarHouse (now Rivers Casino Philadelphia): July 2019
  • PokerStars (Mount Airy): November 2019
  • Unibet (Mohegan Sun): November 2019
  • FanDuel (Valley Forge Casino): January 2020
  • Bet Rivers (Rivers Casino Pittsburgh): January 2020
  • Bet America (Presque Isle): January 2020
  • Caesars: April 2020
  • Wind Creek Casino: July 2020
  • PlayLive!: August 2020

No word yet on the launch for a sportsbook for Live! but a representative for Cordish confirmed FanDuel is their sports betting partner. A launch by end of the year is quite possible as a Live! executive previously predicted an online sportsbook by the end of August.

Online casinos remain hot in PA

Online casinos have been on a roll, generating gross revenue of $54.4 million during July. That’s 8.6% higher when compared to June.

Revenue then was $50.1 million. June and July were both down just slightly from PA iGaming’s peak revenue of $55.8 million in May.

Two brick-and-mortar facilities catering to gamblers recently reopened

Across the street from the Philly Live! Casino site, the South Philadelphia Turf Club has reopened since shutting down in mid-March due to the virus pandemic.

It could have reopened weeks ago, but the Parx Casino satellite facility chose to stay shut.

Also reopened to customers for the first time since the pandemic is the outdoor section of Xfinity Live! It’s a sports bar near Live! Casino and the stadiums, but without a retail gambling option.

PA Online Casinos Top $50 Million in Revenue For Third Month Straight in July

It’s been a red hot summer for PA online casinos, which posted their second highest ever revenue of $54.4 million in July, with the market still growing.

Online casinos in Pennsylvania generated gross revenue of $54.4 million during July.

That’s 8.6% higher when compared to June. Revenue then was $50.1 million. June and July were both down just slightly from PA iGaming’s peak revenue of $55.8 million in May.

Offering a longer perspective on the astounding online growth, a year ago when there were just three online wagering options available in PA, the monthly revenue was just $812,000. And the highest revenue pre-pandemic closures came in at $19.5 million (in February).

Total gambling revenue $283 million despite ongoing virus recovery

In the larger context, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board  (PGCB) figures show total gaming and fantasy contests revenue generated during July was just under $283.1 million.

That’s a 0.6% increase over revenue generated a year ago, when it was $281.5 million.

July was the first time since March all 12 casinos operated for most of the month since state-mandated Covid-19 restrictions were put in place mid-March.

VGTs are back in the black, online poker continues a slide

With truckstop VGTs back in action in July and additional locations operating, those machines generated nearly $2.1 million in revenue.

The one down number was online poker at just under $3.0 million this July versus $3.2 million in June. In May, poker revenue was $4.6 million, just down from its peak of nearly $5.3 million in April. The sole site in the state remains PokerStars PA, with others expected to join soon.

Wind Creek, Live! is a new online player with more to come

Wind Creek Bethlehem went live with an online casino on July 24 and generated just over $34,000 in revenue from online slots and table games for the month. Wind Creek’s Betfred-branded online sportsbook is expected to follow soon, possibly before the start of NFL. They’re also building a retail Betfred sportsbook.

A Live! online casino (PlayLive!) launched on Aug. 14, and will appear on next month’s revenue report. Sports betting should follow soon. And there are still more online betting sites on the way to PA.

Penn National under the Barstool Sports brand, plans to launch retail and online sports betting in Q3.

Additionally, BetMGM / ROAR Digital is in the process of getting approval to launch an online casino, online sportsbook, and online poker via partypoker, all expected before the end of 2020.

And finally, the  WSOP.com online poker site is also heading to PA, though the exact timeline is unclear. That would leave just Golden Nugget to launch online slots and table games, but that could happen sooner than expected as well.

July online casino breakdown by PA operator

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

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly* (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$15,459,938$13,923,955$1,535,983
Penn National* (Hollywood & DraftKings)$10,752,504$8,321,3482,431,156
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$8,405,186$4,402,474$4,002,712
Parx Casino$7,428,752$6,303,743$1,125,009
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$5,269,087$3,175,326$2,093,762
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2,856,028$2,165,866$690,163
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$831,865$805,815$26,050
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$327,875$321,815$6,061
Wind Creek Bethlehem
(launched July 24)
$34,414$25,409$9,005
Totals:$54.4 million$39.4 million$11.9 million

Top iGaming sites in PA

Rivers Philly, which runs sister sites SugarHouse and BetRivers, had tops online revenue in July with $15.5 million. The majority came from slots.

Penn National, with Hollywood and DraftKings casinos, posted revenue of $10.8 million.

And Valley Forge‘s FanDuel accounted for $8.4 million.

Sports betting revenue

The statewide sports wagering revenue was over $8.1 million, with nearly $6.9 million from online sports betting and nearly $1.3 million from the still-recovering retail sportsbooks. That was up 22% over June revenue, with total sports handle up a whopping 85% month-over-month. In July, total handle was $164.8 million compared to June’s $89.0 million.

The top two PA sports betting operators remain FanDuel (Valley Forge) and DraftKings (The Meadows). FanDuel took $69.7 million in bets in July, compared to DraftKings’ $39.6 million.

However, DraftKings was tops in total revenue at $1.9 million, with $1.8 million coming from online. FanDuel came in second with total revenue of nearly $1.4 million. They lost nearly $56,000 settling retails accounts, but made up for it with more than $1.4 million in online revenue.

Jackpot! Top Pennsylvania Online Casino Prizes and PA Lottery Wins in July

There is no shortage of big wins in Pennsylvania legal gambling, and July was no different. Here are some of the biggest jackpot hits online and live.

Top jackpots rolled in across Pennsylvania for lottery players and also slot and online casino players in the month of July. But that’s really nothing new.

Here’s a look at some of the top winners in the regulated PA gaming market last month.

Recent lottery jackpot and scratch-off winners in PA

The PA Lottery, with online and retailer outlets available, had more than 20 big hits in July.

  • Two winning Match 6 tickets from the Tuesday, June 30, drawing will split a jackpot prize of $2.2 million. The winning tickets were sold in Philadelphia and York counties. Each jackpot-winning ticket matched all six numbers drawn, 01-09-12-15-35-42, to win individual prizes of $1.1 million.
  • A jackpot-winning Match 6 Lotto ticket worth $1.52 million from Friday, July 2, was sold in Adams County. The ticket correctly matched all six winning numbers, 01-06-10-12-28-42, to win.
  • A July 23 Cash 5 jackpot of $942,845.50 was hit, with the winning ticket sold in Lewistown, Mifflin County. And another Cash 5 jackpot worth $426,359 hit in Bethlehem, Northampton County, on July 31.
  • A progressive top prize-winning ticket worth $1,561,591 for the Lottery’s Diamond Mine game was sold at a retailer in Montgomery County on Monday, July 27. That’s a $20 Fast Play game that offers progressive top prizes starting at $200,000.
  •  A retailer in Philadelphia sold a $3 million top-prize-winning $3,000,000 Money Millionaire scratch-off (claimed July 15), and a Mercer County location sold a top-prize-winning $3,000,000 Diamond Dazzler scratch-off ticket worth $3 million (claimed July 20).
  • Retailers in Northampton County sold a Merry & Bright scratch-off worth $1 million. And a retailer in Lancaster County also sold a $1 million-winning  Riches scratch-off.
  • And finally, a retailer in Franklin County sold a $1 million-winning Extreme Cash scratch-off.

DraftKings has a new app just for online casino

DraftKings recently launched a mobile casino app for Pennsylvania. Users can link accounts across DFS, sports betting and casino sites and have a shared wallet.

For now, the DraftKings app is available on iOS. It should have a live dealer option soon, DraftKing reps confirmed.

The online casino had a big online winner in July, who cashed in $50,000 on a $7.50 wager playing 100,000 Pyramid.

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At Valley Forge, which is associated with FanDuel online casino, Philadelphia native Jonathan F won a $785,427 jackpot playing the Super 4 Progressive Blackjack side bet on the night of July 9.

It’s the biggest jackpot reported at the King of Prussia casino since it reopened on Friday, June 26.

The Super 4 Progressive side bet wager wins when the dealer has a blackjack and the combination of the dealer’s blackjack and the player’s two cards qualifies for the 100% progressive bonus.

Online casino jackpot winners at BetRivers, SugarHouse and Hollywood

BetRivers and sister site SugarHouse also had some attractive wins at online slots recently:

  • A $7.00 bet won $139,590.25 on the Divine Fortune progressive slot.
  • Also, a $7.50 bet won $50,180.25 on Capitals Gains.
  • A $2.25 wager won $13,737.65 on Lion Festival.
  • A mere 25-cent bet won $1,678.85 on 300 Shields Extreme.

And Hollywood Casino had a nice Divine Fortune jackpot in July that yielded $123,565.

The big wins in PA just keep on coming.

A $50 Million June for PA Online Casino Promotes Recovery in Wounded Market

Amid a 51% year-over-year PA gaming revenue decline, online gambling remained a bright spot in June, and hope is dawning for land-based casinos.

Even with the reopening of most brick-and-mortar casinos in June, it was a mixed month.

Live and online casino operations, plus daily fantasy contests and VGTs, combined to bring in $132.6 million in PA gaming revenue in June, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) showed in its monthly revenue report. Compared to June 2019’s $271.3 million, it was a 51.1% drop year-over-year.

But without iGaming, which wasn’t yet live in June 2019, it could have been much worse.

In June, online slots, table games and online poker combined for $50 million in revenue, down a bit from the still-record $55.8 million in May.

iGaming slots, table games and poker

Of the $50 million June gross revenue, the sole poker site PokerStars PA accounted for $3.2 million.  That’s down from $4.6 million in May but still the third-best month for the operator.

Online casino (slots and tables) brought in $46.8 million in June, compared to the record $51.2 million in May. Of that, $36.8 million was from internet slots and another $10 million came from table games.

Internet casino-type games were not yet operational last June. The first online casino operator launched in July 2019, while PokerStars added online poker to PA in early November 2019.

June online casino breakdown by PA operator

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

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly* (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$15.0 million$13.3 million$1.7 million
Penn National* (Hollywood & DraftKings)$9.6 million$7.7 million$1.8 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$7.8 million$4.6 million$3.2 million
Parx Casino$6.2 million$5.0 million$1.2 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & FOXBet)$4.5 million$2.7 million$1.8 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.5 million$2.2 million$377,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$761,000$742,000$18,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$498,000$504,000-$7,000
Totals:$46.8 million$36.8 million$10.0 million

Top iGaming sites in PA

The overall revenue leader for online sites in June was Rivers Philly, which operates SugarHouse and BetRivers. It had total revenue of $15.0 million. Slots accounted for $13.3 million, and $1.7 million came from table games.

Penn National’s Hollywood and DraftKings sites combined for $9.6 million, with $7.7 million from slots and $1.8 million from table games.

Valley Forge’s FanDuel was third, but tops in table revenue with $3.2 million, and a healthy $4.6 million from slots.

Parx also remains a strong revenue producer, with $5 million from slots and $1.2 million from table games.

Online sports betting on the up and up

June’s total sports wagering handle was $89 million, 15% higher than the May 2020 total of $77.51 million.

At the same time, the taxable revenue figure for June was $6.7 million, 38% higher than the May taxable revenue of $4.8 million. Of that, online sports wagering accounted for $6.8 million, with retail in the negative by about $99,000. 

Valley Forge led the way with $2.9 million from online.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National lost more than $10,000 in retail, and it has no online presence yet, though it has said it hopes to launch in August.

Mohegan Sun Pocono had no sports revenue, nor did two still-shuttered off-site satellite books in Oaks and South Philly operated by Parx Casino.

Although PA gambling revenue for June was down significantly year-over-year, signs of recovery are beginning to peek out from the clouds.

Rise in Online Play, Scratch-Off Sales Fuel PA Lottery Revenue Recovery

After a dip in March sales, the PA lottery expects 2019–2020 revenue to be comparable to last year, with scratch-offs and online lottery play up.

Sales figures for the Pennsylvania Lottery took a major hit — down 25% — as coronavirus shutdowns closed 30% of the state’s retail agents in March.

But there’s been a healthy rebound since, according to an account by The Daily Item, a central PA news site.

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Available online and scratch-off  lottery demand led to stability

A spike in online lottery play plus increased spending on scratch-offs has stabilized revenue, according to The Daily Item.

Lottery spokeswoman Ewa Dworakowski is quoted as saying,

“We are still working to finalize the sales and profit figures for the 2019–2020 fiscal year. We expect that the final numbers will show that lottery profits for senior programs are very close to where they were last year.”

“Overall, traditional lottery sales are about 0.6% below last fiscal year due to the lack of big jackpots from the multistate games, Powerball and Mega Millions. However, we are happy to report that scratch-off sales, which account for nearly 70% of lottery sales, are up about 7%.”

The state’s revenue from traditional lottery sales for the first 11 months of the fiscal year was running about $60 million behind the same period in 2019.

The state has sold more than $4 billion in lottery tickets through May. That includes scratch-offs and draw games like Powerball, Pick 3 and Mega Millions.

Nearly back to normal for revenue

After costs, including prize payments, the state got $1.07 billion in revenue from traditional lottery sales in the first 11 months of 2018–19.

By comparison, the state had revenue of $1.01 billion in the same period this fiscal year.

Online lottery surge fuels recovery

The retail disruption has led to a surge in online growth, said Dworakowski.

“Online play increased substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now about 24% ahead of the estimate for the fiscal year,” she said.

PAOnlineCasino reported in June that the iLottery had surpassed $1 billion in sales in its first two years. And according to Scientific Games, it’s on track to hit more than $1 billion in annual sales.

The Quaker State’s iLottery was averaging $3 million in daily sales during the virus shutdown.

Revenues benefit senior programs

Pat McHugh, group chief executive, lottery, for Scientific Games, the operator of the PA Lottery’s online platform, told The Daily Item this shows that states can offer online gambling while still having successful traditional lottery sales.

McHugh said PA’s online program helped the Lottery adjust and protect funding for senior programs paid for by lottery proceeds.

Lottery revenue benefits programs for older residents, such as property tax and rent rebate programs, prescription assistance and Meals on Wheels.

Lottery fluctuations widespread

Other states have also had erratic sales for their lotteries during the pandemic.

Several states saw a drop in revenue from big-money games like Powerball and Mega Millions, which saw lower jackpots.

Neighboring Delaware‘s lottery sales are off almost $40 million through May compared to the last fiscal year, mostly due to the closure of casinos with video poker and table games, according to the Associated Press.

Many state lotteries rebounding

Maryland had mixed results.

Some weeks in April had sales down as much as 30%, according to Gordon Medenica, Maryland’s lottery and gaming director.

“We really didn’t know where the bottom was at that point. We were just seeing sales absolutely collapse,” he said.

“Since then, they have rebounded remarkably well. In the month of May, we actually had our all-time best month for the year in both sales and profits.”

Since March, Texas, Arkansas, Montana and several other states have seen an increase in sales. That’s driven in part by housebound residents putting cash down for scratch-off tickets, the AP reported.

Other states, like Massachusetts and Oregon, have had revenue drops due to stay-at-home orders.

A lack of online buying option a big issue

And a lack of an online presence exacerbated the issue.

At least nine states allow online lottery sales.

Deborah Goldberg, state treasurer of Massachusetts, where there are only retail lottery sales, told the AP:

“This pandemic has dramatically exposed the limitations and vulnerabilities of the lottery’s all-cash, in-person business model.”

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 PlaySugarHouse.com 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 PlaySugarHouse.com 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 PlaySugarHouse.com., 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 PlaySugarHouse.com 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.