Pennsylvania Sportsbooks Report Strong December Figures

A general view of the Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images/AFP

Pennsylvania sportsbooks handled more than $750 million for the third consecutive month during a busy December trading period. Operators in the Keystone State took a record $776.3 million in wagers in October. That dipped slightly to $761.6 million in November and $750.4 million in December, but it still marked a strong end to 2021.

Revenue declined from a record $84.9 million in November to just $38 million in December, but that mirrored a trend seen across the country. November was a terrible month for bettors, leading to an abnormally high hold, but it reverted to normal in December.

In Pennsylvania, sportsbooks are allowed to deduct their promotional spend before paying a 36% tax on the remaining revenue. They dished out $19.1 million in promotional credits – welcome bonuses and additional offers – in December, leading to $18.8 million in taxable revenue, so the state received $6.8 million in taxes.

The total handle for 2021 reached $6.5 billion. That falls short of New Jersey’s record $10.9 billion handles, but it leaves Pennsylvania as one of the top four states for legal sports betting.

FanDuel Maintains Dominance

FanDuel continued its reign as the number one online sportsbook in Pennsylvania. It handled $246.8 million in December, which gave it a 36.5% market share. FanDuel was also the market leader in terms of revenue, with a 39% share.DraftKings was number two in the Keystone State, with a handle of $204.7 million and a 23.1% revenue share.

BetMGM is investing heavily in a bid to catch up with that duo. It earned $5.2 million gross gaming revenue off a handle of $83.5 million, but it invested just over $5.2 million in promos, meaning it actually incurred a loss for the month.

27.4% were made up by BetMGM of the promotional spend – way more than DraftKings – despite having just a 12.1% market share. That strategy may bear fruit in the future. Ten operators made up the rest of the market, including the likes of BetRivers, Unibet, and Caesars.

PointsBet Gains License for Pennsylvania

The competition will soon heat up in the Keystone State, as points bet has been awarded an online sports wagering and casino gaming license from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

It will operate on Penn National Gaming’s master license. PointsBet is already available in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia, while it was one of the nine operators to gain a license in New York, so it will soon be live in 10 states, making it one of the country’s most widely available sportsbooks.

“We are excited to be inching closer to officially offering PointsBet’s market-leading products to sports fans and bettors in Pennsylvania in partnership with Penn National Gaming,” commented PointsBet USA CEO, Johnny Aitken.

“With Pennsylvania ranking among the top five sports betting states in the nation, PointsBet is thrilled to be able to soon establish its presence in this lucrative market, and we are appreciative of the support we’ve received from the state of Pennsylvania and the great people at the Gaming Control Board.

“We ultimately seek to provide customers in Pennsylvania with the best-in-class sports betting and online casino experience.”

PointsBet offers more betting options than its rivals because you can place traditional fixed-odds bets along with PointsBetting – which is akin to contracts for difference in the financial spread betting world. PointsBet is also the official sports betting partner of NBC, the broadcaster of this year’s Super Bowl.

PointsBet USA Chief Marketing Officer, Kyle Christensen, added: “With NBC Philadelphia being a key asset in the NBC Sports portfolio, it will play a vital role in our ability to reach new customers and build brand recognition in this new market.

“We are excited to continue telling the PointsBet story and demonstrate to sports fans and bettors in Pennsylvania exactly what sets the brand apart among the rest.”