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Pennsylvania sports betting handle dominated again by online, mobile apps

pa mobile betting apps

Pennsylvania is one of the fastest-growing legal sports betting markets in the United States and is expected to challenge Nevada and New Jersey for the top spot in the coming years.

The reasons? Pennsylvania’s much larger population—PA: ~13 million, NV: ~3 million, NJ: ~9 million—and the inclusion of legalized online sportsbooks and mobile betting apps, which continue to dominate the PA market.

Sports betting in Pennsylvania reached a new all-time high last month, posting a record handle—the total amount of bets accepted—of $316.5 million for the state in November.

For comparison, the Keystone State began accepting wagers at brick-and-mortars sportsbooks in November 2018 and posted a total handle of $1.4 million. Even though it was a shortened month, the in-person casinos only managed to accept $16 million in bets the following month.

Fast forward one year and Internet-based betting on smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers continue to be the driving force behind new customers signing up.

Pennslyvania’s mobile options first went live in May 2019, and since then, they’ve continued to take a more significant chunk of all wagers placed in the state.

PA online and mobile betting apps accounted for $266.7 million of the $316.5 million total handle last month, according to the November revenue report from the Pennslyvania Gaming Control Board. 

Online sportsbooks generated $17.3 million in profit and posted a hold percentage of 6.5% for November. Only $49.8 million came from in-person wagering at brick-and-mortar commercial casinos, which generated $3.3 million in profits—a 6.6% take.

From the $316.5 million total, PA sportsbooks combined to make $20.6 million. After paying out promotional credits, the state generated slightly over $5 million in taxes for the month from the 34% rate on taxable sports betting revenue.

As of last month, 84.3% of all bets placed in Pennslyvania come from personal electronic devices, increasing from 82.4% of the handle in the previous month.

When looking at which sportsbooks do well in the legal PA sports betting market, there is one clear winner: FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel’s website and mobile app, which is the online partner for Boyd‘s Valley Forge Casino Resort, accepted a total of $149.7 million in bets for November.

Of Pennsylvania’s mobile and total handle, FanDuel accounted for 56.1% of all bets placed online, and 47.3% of all wagers placed in the state.

DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel’s most prominent US rival in terms of market share, launched at the beginning of November but only managed to accept $16.2 million in online bets.

At the one year mark, Pennsylvania places third among states with legal sports betting in terms of revenue but is quickly gaining ground on Nevada and New Jersey.

The November sports betting report for Nevada has yet to be released—NV sportsbooks posted a $543.6 million total handle for October—but earlier this week, NJ sportsbooks reported a record $562.6 million total handle for last month, with $486.7 million, 86%, coming from betting sites and mobile apps.

Lawmakers proposing legal sports betting for their state in 2020 must include online and mobile apps in the bill. Not doing so means missing out on roughly 85% of the taxes that could be generated from legalization.

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