PA online casinos set new record highs in December 2020, helped along by retail casino closures and new additions like BetMGM.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced a new monthly record for revenue generated by iGaming. December sports wagering handle was also the highest ever for PA.
Casino games online generated more than $71.6 million in gross revenue during December 2020 compared to just above $10.6 million a year earlier.
December easily eclipsed the previous revenue high for online casino gaming, set in October 2020 at more than $59.7 million.
Online casino and online table games together had revenue of nearly $68.9 million in December. By contrast, retail revenue collectively tallied just more than $59.2 million.
Tax revenue generated from internet gaming play during December 2020 was more than $29 million.
Closures much of month for retail hurt revenue
The record results for iGaming came during a month in which retail operations at casinos and video gaming terminals (VGT) went dark.
Operations ceased on December 12th and remained closed through the end of the month due to statewide COVID-19 restrictions.
Even before that, the number of retail slot machines in operation on Dec. 11, 2020 – the day before a forced closure – was only 16,957 compared to 24,116 at the casinos on Dec. 30, 2019, according to the PGCB.
Some key figures from the December 2020 revenue report:
- Online casino revenue was up a staggering 730.2% year over year.
- Land-based casino slots were down 77.5% YoY.
- Internet table games revenue was up 776.9% YoY.
- Retail table games were down 78.2% YoY (from $78.1 million in Dec. 2019 down to $17.1 million last month).
With the closures, the combined total revenue in December from all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $168.7 million, representing a decrease of 42.2% compared to revenue generated in December 2019.
Online wagering boomed, set new records
Recent growth in online gaming streams helped offset what would have been a much larger drop in YoY revenue.
Combined revenue for online casinos, poker, and online sports betting was $104.5 million, or 61.9% of the total PA gaming revenue for December.
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.
VGTs hurt by forced closures
Truckstop VGT terminals were down 8.67% to $802,918. Like casinos, they were ordered closed much of December.
A year ago, in December 2019, VGTs brought in $879,153.
Sports wagering boomed with the highest monthly handle
PA sportsbooks had their best month ever in December. The month’s total sports wagering handle was nearly $548.6 million or 11.5% above the November total of $491.9 million.
December was the highest monthly handle ever, eclipsing the previous record $525.8 million wagered in October.
The taxable revenue figure for December 2020 was just above $34 million, or 8.8% below the November taxable revenue of more than $37.3 million, which remains the highest for any month to date.
With two years of operating history for sports betting in PA, the Keystone State is the No. 3 jurisdiction for sports handle behind Nevada and New Jersey.
Daily fantasy contests were off 12.34%, with revenue of just more than $3 million.
December PA online casino breakdown by operator
A complete breakdown of December 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
|Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)||$19.3 million||$15.9 million||$3.4 million
|Penn National (DraftKings Casino)||$13.7 million||$6.0 million||$7.7 million
|Valley Forge (FanDuel)||$11.2 million||$5.1 million||$6.1 million
|Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)||$7.0 million||$2.8 million||$1.4 million
|Penn National (BetMGM)||$5.7 million||$3.9 million||$1.8 million
|Parx Casino||$5.0 million||$4.6 million||$418,000
|Penn National (Hollywood Casino)||$4.0 million||$3.9 million||$128,000
|Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)||$3.1 million||$2.1 million||$963,000
|Harrah's Philly (Caesars)||$1.3 million||$978,000||$351,000
|Wind Creek Casino||$591,000||$441,000||$150,000
|Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)||$400,000||$327,000||$73,000
|Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)||$164,000||$151,000||$13,000
|Totals:||$68.9 million||$46.2 million||$22.6 million
Casino operators by the numbers
The clear front-runners in the online casino race in PA remain Penn National, Rivers Philadelphia, and Valley Forge.
The top five PA online casinos for December revenue include:
- BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Philly): $19.3 million
- DraftKings Casino (Penn National): $13.7 million
- FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge): $11.2 million
- PokerStars/Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $7.0 million
- BetMGM (Penn National): $5.7 million
New additions, Penn on the rise
Penn National has made a large leap when it comes to online casino market share in PA. With the addition of BetMGM Casino on Dec. 4 (through its Hollywood Casino Morgantown license), Penn now boasts three iGaming options in PA: Hollywood online casino, DraftKings, and BetMGM.
BetMGM got off to a strong start, posting the fifth-highest iGaming revenue out of the gate.
Other recent additions – Wind Creek casino and Live! Casino Philadelphia’s PlayLive! – were near the bottom at $591K and $400K in revenue, respectively.
BetRivers/PSH had the largest slot revenue at $15.9 million. DraftKings won the online table category at $7.7 million, with FanDuel just behind at $6.1 million.