Here to Stay: PA Online Casinos Finish Strong in Record Revenue Year Led By Penn National

June 2021 wrapped up a record year for Pennsylvania gambling, led by a strong and steady PA online casino market, led by Penn’s brands.

PA online casinos just closed a fiscal year for the record books with yet another $100 million-plus month. June’s Pennsylvania iGaming gross revenue topped out at nearly $100.9 million.

Of the total revenue last month, more than $72.4 million came from slot games, more than $26.0 million from online table games, and more than $2.4 million from poker. In June the year before, gross revenue was just more than $50 million.

FY 2020/21 revenue for PA online casinos, poker

And FY 2020/21 revenue from iGaming was more than $897.2 million AGR (adjusted gross revenue), a 272.5% increase in revenue when compared to the nearly $240.9 million generated in the previous fiscal year, the first year for online casino gambling in the state. iGaming began in PA just two years ago.

The fiscal year was marked by a remarkable succession of new online gambling records.

The overall 2020/21 FY revenue for all gambling combined in the Commonwealth reached a record $3.875 billion.

The previous FY high revenue was during 2018/2019 when revenue topped slightly more than $3.3 billion.

Overall revenue was supercharged this past year by galloping growth in sports betting and especially iGaming. Video gaming terminals (VGT) and daily fantasy contests also contributed.

Together, those four markets accounted for almost 33% of the total revenue achieved in FY 2020/2021 but online casinos led them all.

COVID hurt traditional gaming revenue, but online alternatives flourished

The year-over-year increase in revenue number is especially significant given casino shutdowns and other factors related to Covid-19 restrictions.

Casinos in PA were closed for three months in the second quarter of 2020 affecting slot machines, table games, VGTs, and retail sports wagering revenue. There was also the stoppage of major sporting events, aside from a few exceptions.

VGTs also bounced back. FY 2020/21 revenue for the machines was more than $31.3 million, a 361% increase over the previous year when revenue was just $6.8 million.

The truck stop gambling devices appeared in August 2019 and just 28 locations were approved by the end of their first fiscal year. Now there are 49 locations, each with five machines, or 245 total.

Other FY 2020/21 takeaways

Penn National was the leading operator over the past fiscal year.

In order following PNG were: Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Valley Forge Casino Resort, MountAiry Casino Resort, and Parx Casino.

There are now 17 different online casinos in PA, the most recent being Betway online casino. It operates under the Live! Casino Philadelphia license. Stardust Casino went live in April, following Borgata Casino‘s launch in February. Barstool Sports is also in the mix with an online casino as of early May.

PA online poker finally has a choice of operators in addition to Mount Airy‘s PokerStars PA, but instead of expanding the revenue base, the new operators are just chopping up the pot. Poker revenue plateaued last fiscal year. Poker revenue dropped 25.4% in June 2021 compared to a year ago when traditional casinos (and poker rooms) were shuttered.

PA strong among iGaming states during 2020/21

In February, newly launched Michigan became the second-largest casino gambling market, with PA dropping to third and New Jersey still firmly at the top.

In June, the top three states by GGR were:

  • New Jersey: $107.1 million
  • Pennsylvania: $100.8 million
  • Michigan: $89.2 million

Live dealer games launched in October, 2020 via Evolution Gaming and additional live dealer options joined the market in the following months.

PA sportsbooks set a record in FY 2020/2021 with $5.6 billion in handle and $440.6 million in revenue. More than 90% of wagers come online. That percentage increased despite lifting virus restrictions.

PA online casino operator revenue in June 2021

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM | Barstool$37,205,093$24,617,083$12,262,772$325,238
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$27,288,552$23,661,852$3,547,674$79,026
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$15,940,154$8,854,671$7,085,483$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$7,981,005$4,829,600$1,137,990$2,013,415
ParxParx$4,584,732$3,971,747$612,984$0
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,545,316$2,210,851$334,465$0
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$2,063,528$1,669,249$394,278$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,756,513$1,619,915$136,598$0
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$905,895$820,849$85,046$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$607,287$158,670$448,617$0
Total$100,878,074$72,414,488$26,045,907$2,417,679

Penn National still king of PA online gambling space

Penn National’s online gaming brands Hollywood CasinoDraftKings Casino, and BetMGM PA Casino continued to dominate in June. They combined for more than $37.2 million in online revenue.

Of that, slot revenue was $24.6 million, tables revenue $12.2 million, and poker (BetMGM online poker site) more than $325K.

Rivers Philadelphia second, Valley Forge (fueled by FanDuel) in third

Gross online gaming revenue for Rivers Philadelphia, including online brands SugarHouseBetRivers Casino, and Borgata Poker, was $27.3 million.

Online slot revenue was $23.6 million, table revenue $3.5 million and online poker less than $80K.

Valley Forge Casino and its FanDuel PA Casino and Stardust skins had gross online gaming revenue of more than $15.9 million.

VF revenue was closely split between online slots and online table games.

Mount Airy a distant fourth, but poker leader

Mount Airy had nearly $8 million in June online revenue, but its slots revenue was just $4.9 million and table games totaled $1.1 million.

They remain the poker leader with PokerStars PA bringing in more than $2 million in June 2021. BetMGM/Borgata Poker sites aren’t threatening seriously yet, but time will tell if the recently launched WSOP PA site can make a run at No. 1.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

PA Casino Players Ring in the New Year with Big Jackpot Wins

These PA online and land-based casino players started the year off right with big jackpot wins at slots and table games.

As temperatures dropped, January jackpots raised the spirits of a number of lucky Pennsylvanians.

All casinos in Pennsylvania reopened on January 4 after closing for a few weeks in December to slow the spread of coronavirus. A new year brought a new casino to Pennsylvania. Live! Casino Philadelphia opened for preview days ahead of its official Feb. 4 grand opening. With the slots turned on and the games “live,” the casino handed out its first jackpots.

Whether casinos were closed or if players didn’t feel like braving the cold, many found big wins at PA online casinos, which are always “open.” In December, a player at Hollywood Online Casino won $537,000, the biggest jackpot win ever on the site.

Here are some players who started off 2021 with jackpot wins.

This is not a complete list of jackpots.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

What a way to ring in the New Year. A $111,864 Four Card Poker jackpot.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Two Dancing Drums jackpots at Rivers Pittsburgh:

Rivers Casino Philadelphia

Rivers Philadelphia announces some of their jackpot winners on their Instagram stories. Vincent S. won $33,600 at All-Star Poker II.

Live! Casino Philadelphia

Martino C. won Live! Casino Philadelphia’s first big jackpot when he hit for $48,000 on the Double Diamond slot.

The first jackpot at Live! Casino Philadelphia was for $2,600 at China Shores.

Mount Airy Casino

Mohegan Sun Pocono

Wind Creek Casino

Wind Creek online casino winners:

Parx Casino

A $53,186 jackpot at Lightning Cash.

Other jackpot winners at PA casinos

The Meadows:

Hollywood Casino:

Presque Isle Downs:

Please note, these results are not common. PAOC reminds readers to always set limits and play responsibly.

Lead image via Live! Casino facebook page.

Holiday Halloween Jack-Pot! Half-Million-Dollar Win Tops Off Big Year for PA Online Slots

It was a big year for big payouts at Pennsylvania online casinos, topped off with Hollywood Online Casino’s largest jackpot ever, on Halloween Jack.

It was quite the Christmas bonus.

One online casino player in Pennsylvania was spinning a Halloween Jack slot game on December 16 at Hollywood Online Casino. The game is considered NetEnt‘s spookiest slot, with free spins and features that include something called the Expanding Death Reaper Wild.

And for a player named Randy, the scary slot brought the most pleasant dreams. When one of his spins stopped, Halloween Jack produced a jackpot of $537,000.

“This has been our biggest jackpot win so far,” Rich Criado, general manager of iCasino for Penn National Gaming, said in a news release.

“We’re thrilled that this player was able to go into the holiday season and 2021 with more than half a million dollars in the bank!”

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Halloween Jack and many other casino games (including blackjack, Dancing Drums and 88 Fortunes) are available on HollywoodCasino.com on desktop and mobile platforms. Randy was playing via Android when the jackpot arrived.

There is also a free-to-play version of Halloween Jack available on Penn National Gaming’s social casino site, mychoice® Casino, which is available in the GooglePlay Store or in the App Store nationwide.

Halloween Jack win is the latest in a series of 2020 jackpots

The calendar year 2020 will live in infamy, but in regard to online jackpots, it was a banner year — especially for Divine Fortune players. Here are some of the highlights:

  • In February, a Glenside, PA, resident named Marc won $148,172 on a $2 spin while playing Divine Fortune at PlaySugarHouse.com. That same day, Jeanne, a newly registered player at HollywoodCasino.com, hit a Divine Fortune jackpot for $76,598.13.
  • In March, a Lititz man hit a Divine Fortune jackpot while playing online at PlaySugarHouse.com. He hit the jackpot with a $1 bet, winning $278,430.23.  And that same week, a Divine Fortune player in New Jersey hit for a similar jackpot of $278,802.58.
  • Then, two months later, Divine Fortune paid out a record-breaking jackpot of $533,239. The Audobon, PA, woman was playing on her smartphone at PlaySugarHouse.com when she won the big one.
  • And in November, Divine Fortune produced again. An Allentown woman won a jackpot of $443,000 on a $3 bet.

Divine Fortune should produce big payouts in 2021 too

The design of Divine Fortune should continue to reward its players in the new year as well. Unlike some other progressive jackpot slot games, Divine Fortune emphasizes a high return to players (RTP) of 96.8%. The slot’s volatility rating is also considered “medium,” which means it produces more consistent winners.

In addition, based on the rate at which the jackpot consistently climbs, the prized slot is still gaining popularity among online casino players in Pennsylvania.

So as the year 2020 turns to 2021, the excitement provided by Divine Fortune should continue.

There will be more winners. And more jackpots too.

And perhaps some more people like Randy, who hit the big one just in time for the holidays.

The Wait Is Over: Where to Play Live Dealer Tables Games Online in Pennsylvania

The long wait for live dealer games at PA online casinos is over. Find out what took so long, what games you will find and where you can play them.

And just like that, after months of waiting, Evolution Gaming began its test run this week of the first live dealer options in Pennsylvania.

The company, which also operates in New Jersey, where it has at least seven affiliations, has had a conditional PA license since this past January. And it began the process more than a year ago.

The two-day test period for Evolution’s live dealer games ended at 9 p.m. Oct. 22. Following the soft launch, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved it for full-time operation.

Where to play Evolution live dealer games in PA

In PA, Evolution has partnership deals with several online casino operators. The first four casinos to launch came from Rush Street Interactive and Penn National.

Caesars and Parx are also expected to offer live dealer options soon.

Live dealer games on offer at PA online casinos

Evolution launched live dealer variations of blackjack and roulette, with more games to come. As of now, you can find:

  • Roulette Live
  • Blackjack Live
  • Infinite Blackjack Live
  • First Person Blackjack
  • First Person Roulette and Lightning Roulette

Also on the way to PA are:

  • Baccarat Live
  • Three Card Poker Live
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em Live

Live dealer games follow approved rules, side wagers and payout tables, such as those found in a land-based casino.

Appeal of live dealer games

The live games’ appeal is the chance for social interaction, from the comfort of home and with social distancing.

Dealers are playing with real cards from a studio in Philly, while players make decisions from home. So in essence, the live dealer takes the convenience of gaming from home and adds the ability to play table games dealt by real-life dealers.

The long delay since licensing for Evolution

While the game is the same, the remote studio’s approval process was time-consuming, explaining the long lag time.

And while the company was established in New Jersey, it needed a PA studio and a secure server in the Keystone State.

As PGCB Director of Communications Doug Harbach told our sister publication, PlayPennsylvania:

“Testing and regulating live dealer studio games is similar to other online casino games from a technology standpoint and is actually similar in many aspects to table games in land-based casinos, except there is no cash or gaming chips and, of course, players are not physically present.

“Since there is a human element in this online gaming, the PGCB must license studio staff who operate the games as we would dealers in a land-based casino. Also, similar to table games setups at land-based casinos, we have to ensure adequate security and surveillance in the studio that allows us to monitor the live dealer and helps us ensure the operator conducts table game operations in accordance with PGCB regulations.”

Evolution Gaming expansion to PA

Evolution Gaming already had eight studios globally and more than 8,000 employees. The company trades on the Stockholm NASDAQ.

As a recruiting incentive, the company tells potential roulette employees they can earn tokens from an unlimited number of gamblers.

In NJ, Evolution offers slingshot roulette, baccarat, three card poker and ultimate Texas hold ’em poker. And it has the potential to offer even more games, according to its website.

James Stern, Evolution’s chief business development officer, said last year of the company’s expansion to PA:

“Demand for our Live Casino services in the US has been phenomenal. We are delighted to be further expanding our US operations by opening a stand-alone studio in Pennsylvania to serve both online operators and land-based casinos in the state.

“We continue to stay at the forefront, maximizing the opportunities in this exciting new market and growing together with our licensees.”