Pennsylvania Bettors Took A Beating Like Their Eagles In February

Despite handle drop, sportsbooks saw healthy increase in revenue last month
disappointed Eagles fan

Pennsylvanians did less sports betting in February but were a lot worse at it — and they likely have the Philadelphia Eagles to thank — based on monthly figures released Friday.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board reported that overall gaming revenue in the state from all forms of online and in-person gambling amounted to $456.8 million last month.

That’s a very solid figure in the midst of winter considering January, with three additional days, totaled $464.5 million. Last month’s revenue represented a 21.6% improvement over February 2022, and it provided $189 million in government tax revenue.

Play at the 18 iCasinos created $131.6 million in revenue, also a slight decrease from the longer month of January but up 28.5% from February 2022. In-person slots and table gambling held steady, with $277.3 million collected by the 17 brick-and-mortar casinos, including $3.2 million at the new Parx Shippensburg in its first full month.

The volume of sports betting was the area with the big drop, with statewide handle declining to $599.5 million from $772.3 million the month before, but that’s to be expected with the end of football season.

The sportsbooks suffered not at all from the decrease, showing $62.2 million in gross revenue and $43.2 million in taxable, adjusted revenue after deductions for promotional credits. Those figures were up from $58 million and $39.3 million the month before, despite the lesser action. The sportsbooks’ collective hold rate climbed to 10.4% from 7.5%.

Super Bowl not so super for Eagles backers

The gaming board a month ago gave a hint at what would explain some of the sports betting numbers, when it released data on Super Bowl betting within the state.

The Philadelphia Eagles, you may recall, lost in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs on Feb. 12. In the days prior, they undoubtedly drew a lot of betting action from their fans in Pennsylvania.

The disappointment among bettors was reflected in the $29.7 million in revenue the sportsbooks received from the game on $84.3 million in handle — a massive 35.2% hold rate that is about five times what’s considered normal in the industry.

In the prior Super Bowl won by the Los Angeles Rams over the Cincinnati Bengals, just $4.6 million in statewide revenue was reported. That was in a month, February 2022, when the Pennsylvania sportsbooks reported a net loss collectively for the only time in their history.

Most of the online sportsbooks did well last month despite their smaller handles from January, although there were a few exceptions: Caesars Sportsbook reported an adjusted revenue loss of $511,468 for February, Wind Creek/Betfred was down $97,525, and TwinSpires, in the midst of winding down its Pennsylvania operations, lost $18,007.

FanDuel maintained its strong lead in the state with handle of $232.9 million, gross revenue of $35.7 million, and revenue of $26.9 million after deductions.

DraftKings, while second in handle and revenue as is customary, actually did much stronger than FanDuel in improving earnings month over month. On its $155.6 million in handle, it had $14.2 million in gross revenue (compared to $7.7 million in January) and $10.2 million in adjusted revenue (after $3.8 million in January).

Among the state’s other biggest online operators, BetMGM showed $42.6 million in handle, with $4.8 million gross revenue and $2.1 million adjusted; Barstool Sportsbook took $31.9 million in bets with $2 million/$1.4 million revenue; and BetRivers had handle of $23.3 million with $1.4 million/$691,755 revenue.

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images


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