The summer seasonal sports wagering slowdown is in full effect with all jurisdictions that have reported their June figures so far, with the exception of Michigan that saw a 0.7% increase, showing slight decreases in their overall sportsbook action. The latest state to reports a downturn is Pennsylvania, one of the consistent elite jurisdictions operating in the broader US legal sports betting scene.
Not unlike many of the states that have reported their June figures, the news isn’t all bad for the Keystone State. While the overall handle saw a decline, revenues for the state’s sportsbooks and ultimately their state and local tax coffers saw a month-to-month increase last month.
Breaking It Down
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is reporting the second straight month of declines for the state’s total and online handles. While a tad concerning, it is a widely expected trend during a time that lacked a marquee sporting event, the NFL was nowhere to be seen and sports fans increasingly spurned sporting events in favor of outside activities, away from their TVs.
In all, Pennsylvania sportsbooks took in $420.2 million in June, which represents a 6.1% decline from the $447.5 million reported in May. To grasp the full effect of the summer wagering doldrums, we need not look further than the $615.3 million handle record the state posted in January.
Revenues up Despite Mobile Numbers Being Down
Like many participating states that have experienced a downturn in their overall legal sports betting handle, Pennsylvania sportsbooks saw a healthy spike in their revenues in June – the second straight month profits have increased. The state’s sportsbooks made $34.2 million in June, up an eye-opening 23.4% spike from May, thanks in large part to the 10.1% hold rate the books saw last month.
With Pennsylvania’s high 34% tax rate on legal sports betting, tax contributions to the state in June amounted to $12.3 million.
The handle-slide can be attributed to the downturn in the use of mobile apps in Pennsylvania. The state’s mobile operators saw a 6.9% decline in June, from $407.4 million in May to $379.3 million in June. That number still equated to 90.3% of the total sports betting handle last month.
The Pennsylvania retail sports betting handle came in at an encouraging $40.9 million for June.
Fiscal Year Numbers
A peek at Pennsylvania’s fiscal year numbers shows the strength of the market in the Keystone State. So far, the 2020-2021 fiscal year has produced $5.6 billion in wagers in the Keystone State, with the most lucrative period, which starts in September, on the horizon.
The mobile scene has been responsible for 91.9% of the bets taken by the state’s sportsbook – another incredibly high number.
Revenues for the fiscal year are also a tad mind-numbing. Sportsbooks have made $308.8 million so far during the fiscal year with the best months still ahead.
Records Made to Be Broken
The Pennsylvania legal sports betting scene continues to impress and is on track to smash any fiscal records in 2021. A sports year unhindered by COVID-19 and a robust betting atmosphere has Pennsylvania firmly entrenched in the top-3 of bet-friendly states in the nation.
The only question is whether or not Nevada’s bounce back will be as big as Pennsylvania’s and if Pennsylvania can maintain a #2 spot behind runaway leader New Jersey. With a superior mobile platform to Nevada and two NFL teams calling the Keystone State home, there is a decent chance, by the end of 2021 they do just that.