Pennsylvania Sports Betting Market Slows Down in February

Sports betting in Pennsylvania showed signs of slowing down in February, the monthly report released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) revealed.

Handle Surpassed the Half-Billion Mark

Sportsbooks in the Keystone State generated above the half-billion mark in sports betting handle for a third consecutive month, $509.5 million, yet could not keep the pace set in January when they collectively generated a record $615.3 million in bets.

92% or $409.7 million of total bets were made via mobile devices, slightly down from the 94% of mobile wagers accounted for in January. Month-to-month, the February total was down 17.2% from the first month of the year and the lowest since November 2020.

Gross taxable revenue for the month came out at just $16.4 million, meaning the margin was around half of what sportsbooks usually keep, 3.2%, as betting operators gave nearly $16.8 million in promotional credits.

Compared to the respective figure in January, $34 million, the current taxable revenue was more than halved, while year-over-year, sports betting handle was up 54% and gross taxable revenue nearly 247% higher compared to the $4.7 million in February 2020.

Online Casino Games Mixed

Online gaming which posted a record in January produced mixed results for the month, as interactive slots generated 5.1% less in revenue, $50.6 million, while banked table games accounted for $24.7 million, or 2.8% up from the previous month.

Operator handles were achieved from $1.32 billion and $1.6 billion handles from slots and table games, respectively, while online poker saw the lone operator, Mount Airy/PokerStars, collect $2.52 million in rake and tournament fees, down from the $2.73 million in January.

There is a simple explanation about the relative slowdown of the market in February and it is the sports calendar for the month. Being the shortest month of the year also had its impact, but as there was only one National Football League (NFL) game during the month, though that game being the Super Bowl, the pullback was expected.

The Super Bowl contributed to the monthly total a lot, as the PGCB pointed out state sportsbooks collected $53.63 million in wagers during the weekend, up 74% compared to last year’s event, while revenue accounted for $9.4 million with around 17.6% operator margin, in contrast to the $3.3 million loss in 2020.

The number of unique user logins during the Super Bowl weekend reached 320,000 according to data from GeoComply, significantly higher than the 200,000 registered last year.

Despite likely failing to surpass Nevada as the nation’s number 2 sports betting jurisdiction in February, Pennsylvania is firmly on track to achieve that in March, industry analysts believe, pointing to the upcoming busy schedule around the NCAA.

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