PA’s Online Casinos Grossed $1.08 Billion in 2021, More Than Double 2020 Revenue

Sports betting handle grew 83% to nearly $6.6 billion in 2021, but PA sportsbook revenue fell 53.9% from November to December.
Philadelphia PA Bridge and Skyline at Night -- As PA's largest city, Philly's population helped play a key role in Pennsylvania's 2021 online gambling revenue.
By
January 26, 2022

Online casino revenue more than doubled between 2020 and 2021, according to data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The vertical ended the year with December as its second-highest month for revenue to date — $99 million.

According to the regulator, the online casino vertical grossed $1.08 billion during the full 2021 calendar year, up from $529.9 million in 2020. Interactive slots grossed $759.4 million in 2021, up from $377.7 million the year before. Gross revenue from banking tables was $321 million in 2021, up from $152.2 million in 2020.

The vertical was up 8.7% month-over-month and up 43.8% year-over-year, compared to $91.1 million and $68.9 million, respectively. December was two months removed from a record $100 million set in October.

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Larger Operators Grew Significantly in 2021

BetMGM Casino PA, DraftKings, and Barstool — all operators on the license for Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course — maintained their hold on the vertical in December with $40.2 million in revenue, a month-over-month increase of 8.3% ($37.1 million). Hollywood was up 71% year-to-year, from $23.5 million.

Operators on the Rivers-Philadelphia license pulled second place for revenue. Borgata and Rush Street Interactive’s BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse brands grossed $26 million in December, up 7.7% month-over-month ($24.2 million) and 34.4% year-over-year ($19.3 million).

FanDuel and Stardust Online Casino, operators on the Valley Forge Casino license, were third in revenue at $18.5 million in December. Revenue was up 12.2% month-over-month ($16.5 million) and 65.7% year-over-year ($11.1 million).

Market shares in the vertical didn’t move much for the second month in a row. Hollywood held the lead at year’s end with a 40.6% market share, followed by Borgata with 26.3% and Valley Forge with 18.1%.

PGCB data show the seven smaller online operators in the state combined for $14.3 million in revenue in December, up from $13.4 million in November. The market share for the group continued to decline, hitting 14.4% in December.

Poker Ends 2021 On High Note

After sliding for three months in a row, Pennsylvania’s online poker operators saw an 11.1% increase in revenue in December, pushing the vertical to $3.1 million — the second-highest month for revenue in 2021, behind only August ($3.2 million).

Online poker was up 12.2% year-over-year ($2.7 million) in December, at a time when PokerStars PA — on the Mount Airy Casino Resort license — held the market exclusively. The vertical grossed $32.4 million during the 2021 calendar year, down 9.6% from 2020 ($35.9 million) and the height of the pandemic.

While three of the four poker operators gained revenue in December, the one that didn’t — WSOP PA — still managed to maintain its lead over third-place operator BetMGM Poker PA and Borgata Poker PA in fourth.

PokerStars led the vertical with $2 million in revenue, up 14.3% from November ($1.8 million). WSOP was second with $640k, down 1.4% from the month prior ($649k).

BetMGM — on the Hollywood license — grossed $289k, up 24.1% month-over-month ($233k). Meanwhile, Borgata — on the Rivers-Philadelphia license — had $90k in gross revenue, up 5.2% from November ($85k).

Similar to the online casino vertical, market shares didn’t change much in poker month-over-month. The order of PokerStars, WSOP, BetMGM, and Borgata held true in December (66.7%, 20.9%, 9.4%, and 2.9%, respectively) much the same as it did in November (64.9%, 23.5%, 8.4%, and 3.1%).

Handle Grew 83% in 2021

The PA sports betting handle grew 83% year-over-year, according to PGCB data. Handle totaled nearly $6.6 billion during the 2021 calendar year, up from $3.6 billion in 2020 — when the pandemic forced many sporting events to be canceled or postponed.

Revenue from the sports betting vertical was $505.5 million in 2021, up from $269.9 million in 2020.

The online sports betting portion of the 2021 handle was $6 billion, while the retail handle was $529.9 million. By comparison, the online handle was $3.3 billion, and the retail handle $302 million in 2020.

For the year, revenue from online betting totaled $450.5 million in 2021, up from $241 million in 2020. Revenue from retail betting totaled $55 million in 2021, up from $28.9 million in 2020.

One month after reaching a lofty high of $76.3 million, online sportsbook revenue dropped back down to $35.2 million — putting December squarely in the middle of the pack in terms of monthly revenue in 2021.

Still, the vertical was down 53.9% month-over-month and 20.3% year-over-year ($44.2 million).

FanDuel Sportsbook and its Valley Forge partner continued its long-running dominance of the vertical, grossing $13.8 million in December.

The recently rebranded Hollywood Casino at The Meadows was in second place in revenue with $8.1 million. Barstool runs a retail sportsbook for The Meadows while DraftKings runs the casino’s online sportsbook.

BetMGM Sportsbook overtook Barstool Sports for third place in terms of revenue. BetMGM — partnered with Hollywood Casino Morgantown — had $5.2 million in revenue, compared to Barstool and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, which had $3.9 million. The latter casino uses Barstool for its online sports wagers.

The 53.9% month-over-month drop in revenue was felt by all four operators. Valley Forge dropped 62.8% month-to-month ($37 million), while Hollywood fell 50.7% ($8 million), Meadows declined 48.5%, ($15.8 million) and Morgantown was off 9.1% ($5.7 million).

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