In November 2018, Pennsylvania became the seventh state to officially allow sports betting following the US Supreme Court’s overturning of the federal ban against sports betting outside of Nevada in May 2018. At the time of approval, The Keystone State already had 12 casinos which all became eligible to apply for a sports betting license. Unlike other states, Pennsylvania was proactive in the legalization of sports betting as they were “betting” on the Supreme Court to overturn the federal ban. Governor Tom Wolf had signed a bill in October 2017 to allow sports betting pending the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA nearly eight months later.
Since legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvania has become a leader in the gaming industry especially through online sports betting.
Pennsylvania’s Total Sports Betting Handle
From November 2018 to May 2021, Pennsylvania has taken in a sports betting handle of over $7.7 billion dollars. In 2020 alone, the state brought in a total handle of nearly $3.58 billion dollars which is roughly 17% of the $21 billion dollars that Americans wagered on sports in 2020. This is a staggering percentage considering there were roughly two dozen states with sports betting as of last year. Perhaps, the biggest reason why Pennsylvania has excelled with their gaming industry is due to their excellent Sports betting PA online betting options.
Sports Betting PA Online Handle Continues To Rise
The Keystone State first started taking online sports bets in May 2019. Since then, this market has exploded. In 2019, the state generated an online handle just north of $1 billion dollars. In 2020, the online handle tripled with a staggering total over $3.3 billion dollars. That’s an incredible number considering the pandemic that restricted the country for nine months. This year, the online handle is well on its way to exceeding last year’s numbers as it’s already surpassed $2.4 billion dollars and that’s just for the first five months of 2021. June’s gaming numbers have yet to be officially released.
May 2021 Numbers Dipped, But Revenue Went Up
Despite the overall growth in the industry, the numbers for May 2021 dipped by 7% in overall handle from April. This is nothing to worry about considering May is arguably the slowest month of the year as the NBA and NHL are finishing up their seasons and the NFL is still months away. However, even with the dips in total handle and online handle, PA still enjoyed a 4% boost in revenue from April 2021. Furthermore, it’s a massive improvement over May 2020 when the state only generated $5 million in revenue and a total handle of $77.5 million dollars.
Bright Future Ahead for Online Sports Betting PA
Currently, Pennsylvania’s 2021 online handle is averaging $480 million dollars per month. At that rate, the state will generate another $3.3 billion dollars in online handle which would put their 2021 online totals over $5.7 billion dollars. However, that’s an estimation based on their current numbers. Football season begins in September which means we will see a significant increase in sports betting handles.
Last year, the online handle came in over $1.86 billion dollars during football season which is the last four months of the year. That means more than half of the state’s total online handle for 2020 came in the final 1/3rd of the year.
Considering that PA’s neighbor Ohio is still without legal sports betting, and the increased popularity of betting on football, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the state generates an online handle of nearly $2.5 billion dollars during the upcoming football season.
It’s clear, Pennsylvania’s online sports betting industry has a very bright future.