Pennsylvania’s First Sportsbook Handles $1.4 Million in First Two Weeks

First released numbers show Keystone State residents are hungry for sports betting action; Hollywood Casino records betting handle of $1.4 million in first two weeks

First two weeks of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania saw revenue of more than $500,000 on betting handle of over $1.4 million, figures released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board show.

The state legalized sports betting even before the US Supreme Court struck down in mid-May the long-standing federal ban on the practice. Pennsylvania lawmakers approved sports gambling in the fall of 2017 as part of a sweeping overhaul of the state’s gambling industry.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was the first gambling venue to go live with sports betting. The property launched its physical sportsbook on November 15. The numbers released by the Gaming Control Board actually reflect the performance of Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook as there were no other casinos to add betting to their offering by the end of November. Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia opened their betting facilities last week.

The report by the state’s gambling regulator shows that Hollywood Casino generated revenue of $508,996.60 in the period between November 15-30 on betting handle of $1,414,586.55. Under Pennsylvania’s gambling law, operators of sports betting services are taxed at 36% on revenue from the activity.

Hollywood Casino thus generated tax revenue of $183,238.77 during the two-week period from mid-November. Of that, the amount of $173,058.84 will be contributed to the state, while $10,179.93 will go to local communities.

Parx the Next to Go Live with Sports Betting; Mobile to Arrive in Q1

Parx Casino in Bensalem will be the next Pennsylvanian casino to launch sports betting at a physical sportsbook. Property officials have told media that they are gearing up preparations for a January 2019 opening of the sports gambling facility.

Pennsylvania’s gambling law allows for the provision of mobile betting services within state limits. However, the Gaming Control Board has said that mobile betting would take priority on its agenda only after all approved casinos have gone live with in-person sports gambling. According to experts, mobile betting will probably be rolled out sometime in the first quarter of 2019.

It can be said that Pennsylvania came a bit late to the party, particularly given the fact that neighboring New Jersey launched legal sports betting just a month after the landmark SCOTUS ruling. The figures by the Gaming Control Board certainly show appetite for the activity, but we will get a better picture of the state’s betting market once the regulator’s December report is publish in mid-January.

Speaking of New Jersey, the state recorded betting handle of $330.7 million and revenue of $21.4 million in November, according to figures by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The online and mobile betting channels dominated the field with handle of $238.6 million versus in-person betting handle of $92.1 million. The latest results from its neighbor indicate that Pennsylvania’s sports betting market could receive a major boost once digital betting is rolled out in the state.

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