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Pennsylvania sportsbooks slow to less than $600m in February wagers

Online and retail sportsbooks in Pennsylvania have experienced a post-football stalling in wagers for February, with totals reaching less than $600m for the month. This equals the lowest monthly handle since September. 

“The Super Bowl is the most bet-on single game in the US, but it can’t alone replace a full schedule of football games,” said Dustin Gouker, Play USA Network Analyst. “The lull in February is expected and always short-lived. March Madness should get sportsbooks back into record or near-record territory.”

Encouraged by $68m in Super Bowl bets, Pennsylvania sportsbooks achieved $597.1m in wagers, which is an increase of 17.2% from $509.5m in February 2021. However, last month was the lowest handle since September, with $578.8m and a drop of 24.8% from January’s $793.7m.

However, it was a positive month for bettors with wagers producing $22.2m in gross revenue for sportsbooks, a decrease of 33.2% from $33.2m in February 2021 and by 58.5% from $53.4m in January. Overall, Pennsylvania sportsbooks ended with a loss of $442,847 in taxable revenue, following a promotional spend of $22.6m. This left tax revenue at -$268,976.

“The Super Bowl is a prime opportunity for sportsbooks to expand their customer base, which is why they promote it so heavily,” said Katie Kohler, Play Pennsylvania Analyst. “That took a significant bite out of tax revenue. But the industry is in excellent shape going forward, and poised for more growth.” 

Online sportsbooks totalled $558.1m, equalling 93.5% of all the state’s handles in February. FanDuel achieving the highest wagers with $213.2m, followed by DraftKings with $140.1m and BetMGM with $72.3m.

Online sportsbooks generated $558.1 million, or 93.5% of the state’s handle in February. FanDuel topped the list with $213.2m in wagers with bets yielding $6m in revenue.

Retail sportsbooks totalled $39m for February wagers, which compares negatively to the $56.3m in January. Parx achieved the highest wagers out of all retail settings with $6.4m in total. 

“The biggest concern for sportsbooks was whether or not they’d lose a significant portion of the baseball season, which makes up a relatively small share of annual handle but is the main bets generator over the slow summer months,” Kohler said. “With the Phillies and Pirates now expected to play full schedules, sportsbooks can look forward to the first normal sports calendar since 2019.”

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