It’s been yet another busy month for Pennsylvania’s online sportsbooks. Not only have these betting apps recorded huge increases in sports betting handle and revenues, but they have also given away a record number of bonus bet promotions.
According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, there was over $29.5 million served up in bonus bets by the state’s online sportsbooks. This came at a time of increased competition at the start of the new NFL season, and it shows that things are getting even hotter in the PA sports betting scene.
September 2023 proved to be yet another great month for sports betting in Pennsylvania. There were a total of $726.3 sports bets taken across the state last month which was a staggering 85% increase compared to August. It was also a marked improvement over September 2022 with a 12.5% increase over the same month last year.
Not only were there lots of bets taken at the start of the new NFL season, but PA’s online sportsbooks also took in some healthy revenues. Betting apps in the Keystone made just above $66 million in revenues which helped bring in $13.2 million to the state coffers.
While these revenues were impressive, it’s worth noting that the sportsbooks had actually paid out a record amount in terms of bonus bet promotions. This is because there were over $29.5 million in bonus bets served up in September alone, and it marked the highest amount of promotions ever put on by sportsbooks in Pennsylvania since legal sports betting went live in the state in 2019.
DraftKings was at the forefront of this as it gave away $11.5 million in bonus bet tokens, with FanDuel close behind serving up $11.1 million on promotions. Such promotions were hosted in a bid to attract new customers at the start of the new football season.
While DraftKings seized the spotlight by putting on more bonus bet promotions, it was actually FanDuel who claimed the top spot in terms of sports betting revenues. This is because FanDuel reported just short of $30 million in revenues before promotional deductions.
The brand took in $253.3 million in sports bets and eclipsed DraftKings who recorded $19.9 million in revenues before deductions. August marked the first time that DraftKings had sat top of the pile in terms of sports betting revenues. BetMGM managed to retain its position of third-place having taken in $52.4 million in sports bets.
Elsewhere it was a great month for Caesars Sportsbook that managed to move ahead of BetRivers by taking $31.1 million in sports bets compared to the $26 million recorded by BetRivers. Despite this, BetRivers actually edged ahead in its revenues with $1.3 million after deductions compared to just $1.1 million for Caesars Sportsbook.
With an impressive 12 online sportsbooks currently operating in Pennsylvania, there have to be some losers. Key among these was Barstool who recorded a disappointing $875,000 in losses in September. This marked a massive decrease compared to the $3.8 million that it took in sports betting revenues in the same month last year.
There was a marked drop in the total number of bets taken on the Barstool app as it slipped by 4.6% to just $37.7 million for September. This comes as Penn Entertainment made the move to drop Barstool in favor of its new sports betting project – ESPN Bet.
Expectations are that ESPN Bet should be live in Pennsylvania as soon as November 2023. PA will be one of the few ‘key launch focus’ states alongside Michigan and New Jersey. However, with other brands like Fox Bet winding up operations earlier this summer, it may be tough for ESPN Bet to gain a toehold in the competitive market.
September is usually a very busy month for online sportsbooks, and this definitely proved to be the case in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State saw a major upturn in the number of sports bets taken, and this had the welcome knock-on effect of increased revenues for many of the betting apps in PA.
As usual, it was a battle for top spot between FanDuel and DraftKings, but elsewhere there was a tussle for power between BetMGM, BetRivers and Caesars Sportsbook. While Barstool may have fallen by the wayside, it seems that there remains a huge thirst for sports betting within the Keystone State and things look to heat up even further when new brands such as ESPN Bet get involved.
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