By Sally Fahey
In Pennsylvania, the positive news from the March gaming revenue report comes from online casinos, which set new records for revenue ($24.3 million) and handle.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reports that overall gaming revenue was down 51% month-over-month with land-based casinos shuttered since March 17. Sports betting handle in PA dropped 60%, bringing in $131.3 million in March.
The closing of all 12 of Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos for coronavirus concerns has, however, spurred more interest in iGaming. Online casino revenue was up 24.5% over its previous high of $19.5 million in February. Slots and table games accounted for 19.7% of that increase, while a record online poker month made up the rest.
Perhaps more telling of the recent iGaming growth in PA is the drastic increase in handle month-over-month. March saw by far the most online slots and table games wagers to date with $871.6 million. That represents a 23.9% increase in handle over the $703,559,106 wagered in February. Slots did the heavy lifting, rising 51.5% in handle while amount bet at the tables increased 8.2%.
The recent surge in online casino action – and revenue – is a good sign for the relatively young market. However, it is a small victory within the current economic thrashing most operators are experiencing.
The biggest piece of silver lining is perhaps that Pennsylvania is home to online casinos. As all of the commercial casinos in the United States remain closed, only four states including Pennsylvania have any legalized form of iGaming.
PA may have been slow to get out of the gate with high tax rates and limited libraries of games, but online casinos are now hitting full stride.
While there’s still some room for growth in terms of competition, the PA market is just about saturated. There are now eight online casinos in the Commonwealth, with Caesars expected to join the fray soon.
Perhaps most significant for the market’s recent growth prior to March was the FanDuel Casino launch.
It provided a surge for overall online gaming handle and revenue, but especially for table games, which previously trailed much further behind online slots in terms of revenue. Total casino revenue in March broke down to $12.4 million from slots and $8.8 million from tables.
A full look at online casino revenue growth since its inception in July:
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