Sports betting pays off for Pennsylvania’s casinos
Pennsylvania’s retail sportsbooks posted a solid April, but it is what lies ahead that is most important for the state’s fledgling sports betting industry, according to PlayPennsylvania.com analysts.
“The launch of online sports betting will give the first real window into the overall strength of the industry,” said Jessica Welman, sports betting analyst “Online sports betting will ultimately transform the market and put it more in line with Nevada and New Jersey, the country’s two largest sports betting markets.”
In what should be the final month before online sports betting launches, Pennsylvania’s retail sportsbooks attracted $36.8 million in April bets. That is down 17% from the record $44.5 million in March, according to official reporting released on Thursday. The vast majority of action came from baseball’s first full month, the Final Four, and the beginning of the NBA and NHL playoffs. In legal jurisdictions such as Nevada, April is typically a slower sports betting month than March.
April bets generated $4.2 million in revenue, down from $5.5 million in March and $1.9 million in February, and injected $1.5 million into state government coffers, down from $1.99 million in March.
The launch of the first Pennsylvania online sports betting app is expected within days or weeks, and more online sportsbooks will soon follow suit. Online betting has proven to be critically important in New Jersey, where more than 80 percent of sports bets are made.
Assuming Pennsylvania bettors show a similar fervor for online betting as their neighbors in New Jersey, the impact will be a game-changer.
“There is no reason to believe that Pennsylvania bettors will behave significantly different than New Jersey in their preference for online sports betting products,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com. “The convenience and ease of use of sports betting apps make them appealing to most bettors. And having established operators will help get the online market off on the right foot.”