Gaming, with a few exceptions, appears recovered from the pandemic in Pennsylvania, though there are quirks with individual operators. And online play remains a significant revenue stream despite the reopening of physical casinos.
In August, the gross gaming revenue for iGaming, which is online slots and online table games combined with online poker, was more than $103.2 million, the sixth straight month above $100 million. GGR was quite steady month-over-month, down just 1.2% from $104.5 million in July.
Taxable iGaming revenue for August ($88.7 million) was up a whopping 58.6%, from $55.9 million last August, according to figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
The online record of $111.6 million was set in March.
Gaming landscape in PA has changed
It has been a year of change, and not just because of the virus.
There are three additional brick-and-mortar casinos this year: Live! Philadelphia, Live! Pittsburgh and Hollywood Casino York.
All land-based casinos are fully back, though some have staffing issues left from the pandemic.
And there are now 17 PA online casinos and four online poker sites, which seems to say online wagering is not just a phase. Online has increasingly tilted to slots so far this year, with an upwards swing of about 10 percent of overall iGaming revenue just this year.
That might partially explain why four land-based casinos have asked the PGCB to allow them to remove more than 1,200 slot machines from casino floors. Though the unfettered proliferation of unregulated gambling machines outside casinos likely also plays a role.
Total revenue up 31 percent in a year
Total combined taxable gaming revenue in PA during August 2021 was just above $408 million.
That represents an increase of over 31% over total revenue for last August when it was just under $310.1 million.
Keep in mind there are three additional brick-and-mortar casinos this year, with Hollywood York being open for 20 days during August 2021.
Two companies dominated online casinos: Penn National and Rivers Philly
Betting on online casino games remained brisk, hitting $3.2 billion in August, about even with July.
Online casinos and online poker generated $3.3 million in gross gaming revenue per day over the 31 days of August, narrowly down from $3.4 million per day in July.
Online slots accounted for $80.8 million of the total revenue online, while online table games tallied another $19.2 million.
Just two companies together accounted for nearly two-thirds – 64% – of the iGaming market revenue.
Penn National and their brands Hollywood, DraftKings, and BetMGM dominated with 34% of the iGaming market, followed by Rivers Philadelphia, with brands SugarHouse, BetRivers, and Borgata combining for 29.8% of the market.
Together the two accounted for nearly $26.9 million in state and local taxes from iGaming out of the total tax paid of almost $39.4 million.
In August, the two were the tops for giving away promotional play, more than $4.6 million Hollywood Penn National and nearly $3.7 million for Rivers Philly. Total promo play in August was $14.5 million.
Online poker at four properties combined for revenue of nearly $3.2 million in August, up from $2.6 million in July.
Mount Airy‘s Poker Stars took in more than $1.9 million, Harrah’s (WSOP.com) accounted for $819,249, Hollywood (BetMGM) collected $345,983, and Rivers Philadelphia (Borgata) kicked in $117,440.
It was the first full month for WSOP PA, which also hosted the first-ever online bracelet series for PA players during August.
PA online casino operator revenue in August 2021
|Licensee||Online Brand(s)||Total Revenue||Slots Revenue||Table Games Revenue||Poker Revenue|
|Hollywood Penn National||Hollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM||$35,093,596||$27,860,328||$6,887,285||$345,983|
|Rivers Philadelphia||SugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata||$30,796,907||$26,946,890||$3,732,578||$117,440|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel | Stardust||$15,274,431||$9,920,857||$5,353,575||$0|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||$2,409,303||$2,057,488||$351,816||$0|
|Wind Creek||Wind Creek||$1,753,565||$1,580,717||$172,849||$0|
|Live Philadelphia||PlayLive | Betway||$1,648,126||$1,373,312||$274,814||$0|
Sports wagering gets an August bump
The taxable revenue from August 2021 for overall sports betting was $18 million, compared to $18.2 million in August of last year, a decrease of 1.5%, PGCB figures show. GGR was $25.3 million in August.
The total sports wagering handle was $348.5 million, a 14% increase from July. Valley Forge (FanDuel Sportsbook) accounted for $137.3 million and The Meadows (DraftKings Sportsbook) brought in $81.3 million. The two together owned nearly two-thirds (62.7%) of the market. The Meadows was up nearly 419%.
Online sports betting dwarfed retail sports wagering, with August online revenue $22 million and retail revenue just $3.3 million.
VGTs and fantasy
Four operators of video gaming terminals or VGTs had total August revenue of more than $3.6 million from 290 machines at 58 locations, according to the PGCB.
Fantasy sports continued a long decline, down more than 24.5% from a year ago, with August revenue of just $1.6 million, down from $2.1 million 12 months ago. But it was about a $100K increase from July.
Lead image via Dreamstime.