Pennsylvania sports betting generated a modest $32 million in January handle, begging a question: when is mobile coming?
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released its January sports betting revenue report Friday. The state’s six sportsbooks held more than $2.6 million — roughly 8 percent — in revenue.
Hollywood, SugarHouse, and Rivers operated for the entire month of January. Parx, South Philly Turf Club, and Harrah’s all started their sportsbooks in January and reported partial months.
Examining the young PA sports betting market
With a nascent sports betting state like Pennsylvania, noise makes it dangerous to value small fluctuations too highly.
That said, doubling the amount of sportsbooks helped to double the amount of handle in PA sports betting. The three early movers combined to take about $16 million in handle in December.
Revenue proved strong for PA casinos in their first regular month as well. A total of $2 million in revenue equated to a 12.4 percent hold statewide.
Look next door and let’s talk mobile
The first two-plus months of PA sports betting took place entirely inside casinos and racetracks. That’s because state regulators continue to press pause on the launch of mobile sports betting.
New Jersey sports betting generated 80 percent of revenue from mobile and online platforms in January. For a state that pushed toward $400 million in handle with 11 live apps, that represents rapid growth.
Pennsylvania is one of the nation’s most populous states, with two large pro markets in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Every day without mobile could prove a lost opportunity in the Keystone State.
So when is PA going mobile?
Mobile wagering is legal in Pennsylvania per a 2017 law and state regulations. PGCB spokesman Doug Harbach told Legal Sports Report last month that a mobile launch timetable is undetermined:
“We continue to work with the casinos and their partners to get everyone licensed and equipment/software tested. Once the casinos are ready, we can launch.”
While March Madness appears a reasonable target, sources indicate to LSR that launch might not occur until April.
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