Pennsylvania's Mobile Betting Handle Outperforms In-Person Wagers

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Its only been two months since Pennsylvania flipped the switch on legal sports betting and the state already hit a major marker – online bets accounted for a majority of wagers placed in July.

The total handle for the month was $39 million according to numbers posted by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.  That is $18 million more than what was made from people stepping into casinos and placing their bets.

Wagers made at brick-and-mortar casinos actually declined $6.7 million in July.

Online bets accounted for about two-thirds of the $59.3 million handle in July, which overall was unexpected due to the month falling during the perceived “slow season,” according to an analyst at news site Play Pennsylvania.

“Football is what really drives sports betting in general,” Welman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, so she is anticipating even bigger numbers in coming months. “In Pennsylvania, it’ll probably jump to over $100 million in September at the latest.”

Those number are very encouraging considering the state’s sports-wagering market, made possible by a 2018 Supreme Court decision that opened gambling to states beyond Nevada, is still perceived to be growing. Since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned by the high court 11 states have legalized sports betting.

The boom in mobile was expected since people seem to be attached to  their phones. Having the ability to possibly use that phone to make some money from a single bet is appealing Welman told the Pittsburgh newspaper.

“For the casual customer, just being able to put $10 on their team every week in college football adds to the experience in a way that they didn’t have before,” she said.

SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown — soon be renamed Rivers Casino Philadelphia collected $26.5 million in wagers, with $22.2 million in online wagers. They alone accounted for more than half of the state’s online betting handle of $39 million.

Behind SugarHouse was its sister venue Rivers Casino Pittsburgh at $14.3 million; followed by Parx Casino in Bensalem, $7.2 million; FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino Resort, $5 million; South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, $1.9 million; Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, $1.8 million; Harrah’s Philadelphia, $1.7 million; Oaks Race & Sportsbook, $789,502; and Presque Isle Downs & Casino, $162,781.

Since the Keystone State’s first retail sportsbook opened in November, Pennsylvania has seen $303,997,395 in legal sports bets.

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