February a Clear Downer for Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Numbers

February a Clear Downer for Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Numbers
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

It doesn’t happen often, but in February, 18 sportsbooks, large and small, posted an aggregate negative number for Pennsylvania sports betting revenue, showing a loss of more than $443,000.

That surprising figure, coming from figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), was in sharp contrast from February 2021 when sports betting revenue was about $16.4 million.

In particular, two Penn National casinos, Hollywood Casino at the Meadows (western Pennsylvania) and Hollywood Casino Morgantown (Berks County), had seven-figure negative numbers, mostly from online sports betting operations. Hollywood-Meadows was about minus-$3.3 million and Hollywood-Morgantown posted minus-$1.5 million in revenue last month.

To be clear, of the commonwealth’s 18 sports wagering operators, 12 were actually in the black, but still many of those were way behind February 2021.

The February sports wagering handle was $597 million and that was down about 25% from January when the NFL was in full swing, but it was up about 17% from February 2021.

Retail sports betting revenue was actually in plus-territory at a modest $1 million, but that was offset by online being in the red at minus-$1.47 million.

The top-end revenue sportsbook was Valley Forge Casino Resort with $1.56 million in revenue on a handle of $215 million, followed by Hollywood Casino at Penn National with revenue of $1.12 million on a handle of $48 million.

iGaming Powerful Revenue Driver

Despite the dismal sports betting revenues, overall, Pennsylvania’s gambling industry had a healthy February. Total revenue for all wagering was close to $376 million, an increase of 24.4% from the same month the previous year (about $302 million).

Online casino play had a strong month. The 10 operators who offer iGaming had about $102 million in revenue (slots, table games and poker), which was an increase of 31.7% over February 2021.

Pennsylvania is among the handful of states with real money online casinos.

The state's iGaming revenues made up about 27% of the total gaming revenues in February, a reminder of what a powerful revenue driver iGaming can be.

In the brick-and-mortar casinos, slots accounted for $194.7 million in revenue; on the internet, virtual slots took in $68 million in revenue.



Pennsylvania Sports Betting, February vs. January

Total HandleMobile Handle Gross Revenue
February$597.064M$558.109MMinus-$0.443M
January$793.723M $737.443M $32.170M
Change Down 24.8% Down 24.3% ------

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A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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