February sports betting revenue was solid, but likely the last “normal” report for a few months amidst the COVID-19 crisis. PA sportsbooks had a sports betting handle of $329.8M in February, but had a hold of just 3.3%, leading to $10.8M in revenue. After all the credits (Super Bowl was in February), taxable revenue fell to just $4.1M for the month of February.
That is not all bad news though, as a record-breaking percentage of bettors used the online platforms for their betting for the month. Of all sportsbooks in the state, FanDuel Sportsbook led with over $138M in bets taken for the month of February. Let’s take a glance at the details.
A Massive 89.2% of Sports Betting Online in February
|Betting Handle Type||Betting Handle||Percentage|
In February, including the 2020 Super Bowl, there was $329.77M bet at PA sportsbooks. Of that number, $294.13M was bet via online apps or mobile devices. That is an enormous number, and it’s only likely to go up for March amidst coronavirus concerns and the temporary closing of retail casinos and sportsbooks. PA also reported that $30.7M was wagered alone on the Super Bowl, which certainly affects the bottomline for February, most of that online as well. As online sports betting closes in on 90%, it is almost certain to hit that and exceed it in the months coming, but with massive drops in total wagers with the suspension of major sports leagues.
Sports Betting Handle Drops for First Time
For the first time since Pennsylvania started taking bets in July 2019, the betting handle dropped in the month of February. There was a drop of $18.62M, which could even be a tad misleading due to the amount of bets on the Super Bowl placed in January. Either way, the handle dropped by over 5%. Of course, this was expected with the end of college football, pro football, and the NBA All Star break. In addition, the beginning of the coronavirus fears took shape in February, which is a sign of things to come in the coming months. Despite the handle dropping by over 5%, PA still had a leg up on New Jersey, which saw the betting handle drop by over 9% from January to February.
For a full look at the February report from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, click here.
PA Retail Casinos and Sportsbooks Brace for COVID-19 Impact
LATEST: PA Gaming Control Board to close six casinos in PA including the Meadows. https://t.co/jSBZ57Xl7l
— Newsradio 1020 KDKA (@KDKARadio) March 16, 2020
March 11th is a day sports fans will always remember as it was the beginning of the slew of cancellations. The NBA was first, then NHL, March Madness Tennis, Golf, NASCAR, and eventually MMA and others. Nearly all worldwide sports have been paused to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which inevitably hurts all PA sportsbooks for March, April, and maybe even into the summer months. March Madness was a massive loss, as it is the second-most wagered on sporting event(s) behind the Super Bowl. That is money that will never come back, as the tournament was effectively cancelled this season. The first March Madness betting season will have to be next year in Pennsylvania.
As of March 16th, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the remaining casinos will need to close, if they hadn’t already. March will be a terrible month for PA Sportsbooks, given the suspension of most sports across the nation, and even the world.
PA Online Casino To Boom After Governor Tom Wolf Closes Casinos?
With Governor Wolf ordering all PA casinos (among other things) to close in mid-March, all betting will be done online. With most sports suspended, most will turn to PA online casinos. Find the best online casinos in PA, here. Rumors abound that DraftKings online casino in PA could go live in May or June.