While the legal sports betting market is booming, and will continue to boom, in Pennsylvania, November was a “down” month since October. With that said, the numbers were still very good with $492M in betting handle taken, $48.5M in revenue, and $11M in taxes generated for the state. Nevertheless, the betting handle dropped 6.4% as October’s handle was well over $500M. This is not bad news though, as there were plenty of reasons why the betting handle fell slightly. Let’s take a deeper look a the numbers, why the handle fell, and why a new player in PA could help the handle grow in December.
Eagles and Steelers Bye Weeks Hurt Handle in November
The first thought that may enter your mind may be “Why did the handle fall in November?” There are a few reasons. During the middle of the NFL season, of course there is some luster lost. But, both the Steelers and Eagles had a week without a game in the month. The Eagles had their normal bye week, while the Ravens and Steelers game from Thanksgiving was pushed to December. Both games would account for a ton of betting in the state, so that is certainly part of it. In addition, college football saw a lower amount of marquee matchups, and the NBA Finals took place in October as well. With the NBA being a very popular sport to wager on, it comes to no surprise that the handle fell slightly in PA after being combined with Eagles and Steelers “bye” weeks.
PA Sports Betting Revenue Grows to $48.5M in November
Even with the 6.4% drop in betting handle, PA still earned more revenue in November than October. With the hold last month being 9.1%, November’s hold of 9.9% was a great one for the books. With this near 10% hold, PA sportsbooks brought in $48.5M in revenue for the month. Per the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s report, the revenue increase to November was a $700K difference from October, which essentially paid for the entirety of the 2% local share assessment part of the taxes. It was also the third month in a row over $11M in promotional credits, showing new user growth in the states.
State of Pennsylvania Makes $11M in Taxes in November
Despite the drop in terms of handle, PA’s tax revenue rose in November as the state brought in $11M from sports betting. With PA taking a massive 36% tax, these numbers are large each and every month. This month’s increase was due to the revenue increase, despite the lower handle due to a larger hold. If PA has a great month in December 2020, it could eclipse the $100M mark in taxes for the state since legal sports betting launched in late 2018.
BetMGM Sportsbook PA adds another platform
FYI….. BetMGM Sportsbook is now LIVE in PA!
— PA Sportsbooks (@PASportsbooks) December 17, 2020
There is yet another big player in Pennsylvania for sports betting, with BetMGM Sportsbook PA going live on December 17th. This will certainly help the betting handle, as BetMGM plans to be aggressive in PA (as they are in many other states). With the BetMGM Sportsbook brand being in PA, it allows them to take advantage of a bit of a smaller group of competitors. With just DraftKings and FanDuel being the big market players, BetMGM Sportsbook will look to take a slice of the market share in the state.
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