Pennsylvanian Casinos Post Strong iGaming Revenue as Offline Sales Slump

Online casinos and sportsbooks maintained a robust foothold in commonwealth casinos throughout December, despite the gaming industry suffering a massive blow in general as the spread of COVID-19 attracted statewide closures.

According to the figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, casinos generated over $168.7 million in total revenue in December 2020, which is a 42% YoY drop from nearly $291.9 million generated in December 2019.

Online sports betting and internet gaming revenue gained a new high last month as Pennsylvanian casinos shut down in the wake of the second wave of COVID-19 infections between December 12 and January 4. The peak holiday season is the prime time for gamblers, and the lack of physical venues forced punters to try their luck on the internet.

The situation was worse for Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which remained shut for a major part of December as the city officials mandated a month-long shutdown starting November 20. December witnessed a massive surge in iGaming revenue, as the operators collectively generated $71.6 million, up from $10.6 million during the same period in 2019.

The Rise of Online Gambling Revenue

The uptrend has been consistent for a while as online operators generated nearly $57.8 million in October. Rivers Casino Philadelphia was the largest contributor to Pennsylvania’s internet gambling revenue. The casino generated upwards of $19.3 million. Penn National along with DraftKings was the second in line and posted $13.7 million in iGaming revenue. The Valley Forge Casino Resort came in third, generating $11.1 million.

The total sports wager handle was also high in December as Pennsylvanian operators posted $548.6 million in total revenue. The figures were 11.5% higher than November 2020 when sportsbooks posted $491.9 million. December also topped the previous high of $525.8 million posted in October 2020.

However, the taxable income during December 2020 was down 8.8% compared to November, and the figures are $34 million and $37.4 million, which is the highest to date. Valley Forge Casino Resort posted the highest figures in December and the operator generated $209.2 million in total. While $7.3 million was generated from sports wagers.

Valley Forge was the first casino in the state to partner with FanDuel, which is a major reason behind its success story. The new Live! Casino in Philly and Pittsburg flaunt FanDuel sportsbooks, which should ramp up the competition in the market soon.

The Revenue Split

Revenue from slot machines across the state’s casinos stood at $1,355,924,785 in 2020, a 42.62% decline from $2,363,085,266 generated in 2019. Table games generated an additional $504,309,266, a 44% decrease from $903,594,181 from December 2019.

While fantasy contests in Pennsylvania generated $21,148,707, an 18.26% decrease from $25,872,124 during December 2019. However, the story isn’t all gloomy. Video terminals at truck stops generated $16,647,898 in 2020, a 615% increase from $2,329,540 generated in the previous year.

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