Sports gambling has been legal in Pennsylvania for all of 2019 and sports bettors in the Keystone State are flocking to get their sports bets placed. In February, the second full month of legal sports betting in Pennsylvania – more than double the number of sports bets were wagered in the state.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, bettors placed more than $32 million in legal sports wagers last month at five casinos and one off-track betting parlor. The top dog when it comes to legal sports betting in the state was the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia. Sugar House Casino led the way with more than $10.8 million in bets. Coming in second in the state was Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh with $9.5 million in bets. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County accounted for more than in $4.8 million sports wagers.
As a result, both the state and casinos in Pennsylvania are cashing in. Casinos in the Keystone State reportedly profited more than $2.5 million last month. On the other hand, Uncle Sam (i.e., taxes) accounted for $940,000. At this rate, Pennsylvania should see an even further uptick in sports betting with March Madness and the NBA playoffs just around the corner.
However, while Pennsylvania’s net profit when it comes to sports betting may seem big – it still pales in comparison to the almost $400 million that neighboring New Jersey brought in last month via its casinos and racetrack-based sports books.
Sports betting in the Keystone State will only continue to grow as more Pennsylvania casinos will soon be adding sports betting to their gambling options. Parx Casino in Bucks County just recently opened, and Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Delaware County and Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County should be taking sports betting shortly. The price to enter the world of legalized sports betting isn’t cheap as casinos must pay an initial $10 million license fee to the state’s Gaming Control Board.
It looks like Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s bet has paid off. As you may recall, last October Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf implemented the new sports betting law in the state. With the Supreme Court’s decision in May 2018, the law has taken effect and sports betting has now been authorized for several months in the state.
We continue to project only further monetary increases in legalized sports betting profits in Pennsylvania. Hopefully, other states will see the short-term success of Pennsylvania and long-term success of New Jersey when deciding whether or not to permit legalized sports betting in their own state. For the world of sports gambling, the news out the Keystone State has been great. Only time will tell if Pennsylvania’s success leads to a domino effect for legalizing sports betting in other states.