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The Connecticut Huskies celebrate with the championship trophy as we look at the 2024 March Madness odds.
The Connecticut Huskies celebrate with the championship trophy after defeating the San Diego State Aztecs in the title game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images via AFP.

March Madness lived up to its billing in the state of Pennsylvania, providing a strong month-over-month bounce back for the Keystone State sports betting sites and providing the state's overall gaming industry a new high-water mark in terms of gross gaming revenue.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released their March 2023 report on not only sports betting activity, but the entirety of the state's gambling industry which includes slots, iGaming, and fantasy sports, and they were impressive, to say the least. 

March was a welcome relief for the best sportsbooks, especially for a Pennsylvania sports betting scene that experienced a somewhat disappointing February and is heading into the typically slow spring/summer sports betting season.

Pennsylvania’s March 2023 handle totals

Roughly $723.5 million in bets was placed with the state's wagering providers in March 2023, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. It represents a nice 20.7% bump from the gambling activity in February 2023 and a 1.2% year-over-year increase from the $714.9 million posted in March 2022.

Pennsylvania's online sports betting sites dominated the overall state handle, although the retail sector held its own in March 2023. An estimated 92.2% of Pennsylvania's betting activity came via mobile sportsbooks with retail casinos accounting for 7.8% of the overall handle. Pennsylvania sportsbooks' promos for new players were likely a big reason for the difference.

Overall gaming revenues set record in March 2023

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is reporting record a monthly revenue record for March. The state's combined gaming revenues, which include land-based casinos, iGaming, truck stop video gaming terminals, sports betting, and fantasy sports made a whopping $515.3 million last month, which represents an 11% increase from March of 2022, when $462.7 million was reported and about $40 million higher than the previous record of about $475 million in revenues from December 2022.

It is the first time in the Keystone State that revenues for the gambling sector eclipsed the $500 million mark.

The iCasino record revenue total was largely responsible for the new high-water mark for Pennsylvania's wagering sector. iCasinos in the state reported $148.2 million in revenues last month. Table games and slots revenues were a whopping $311.3 million in March.

As far as the Pennsylvania legal sports betting sector is concerned, adjusted gross revenues came in at $50.6 million in March 2023, a 6.9% month-over-month increase from February and an impressive 43% jump from sportsbook profits from March 2022. 

Sportsbooks’ hold rate was 9.1% in March, up from 10.4% in February.  

FanDuel the top Pennsylvania provider

FanDuel, outside of a few states, including the new Massachusetts market, has led the way in terms of wagering activity in most of the jurisdictions they have a presence in. In March 2023, FanDuel took in $280.7 million worth of bets, with familiar foe DraftKings coming in second. DraftKings handled $187.9 million in wagers in the Keystone State in March 2023.

BetMGM was a distant third in terms of Pennsylvania operator handles. They were responsible for $56.4 million in bets, Caesars was fourth with just under $56.4 million, Barstool Sportsbook Pennsylvania reported a $36.9 million March 2023 handle, BetRivers $32.1 million, and PlaySugarHouse had $30.5 million in bets.

In terms of operator revenues, FanDuel was tops with $30.4 million, thanks to a 10.8% hold rate, DraftKings was a distant second with $15.1 million, off an 8% hold, and BetMGM was third with $6.3 million in revenues, thanks to an 11.2% hold rate.

March 2023 will almost assuredly be the last time that the Pennsylvania legal gambling scene has such a successful month for a while. The annual spring/summer sports betting slowdown begins in April thanks to no NFL and NCAA basketball and an abbreviated playoff NBA schedule.