Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Continues to Rise in 2023

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: May 4, 2023 12:00 AM
Pennsylvania sports betting revenue remains on the rise in2023.

The novelty of sports betting in Pennsylvania has yet to wear off.

On the contrary, the state continues to experience month-over-month gains as well as year-over-year increases when looking at their revenue reports. We're not talking about tiny upticks, either. Pennsylvania sports betting revenue is, at times, exceeding the prior month's—and even year's performance—by double-digit percentages.

And that includes their most recent month of business.

March Sports Betting Revenue for Pennsylvania was Through the Roof

April revenue reports for Pennsylvania haven't yet been released. Those will come out towards the end of May. But the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has finalized the data for March 2023, and it's a doozy.

According to the latest figures, the Pennsylvania sports betting handle rose to $723.5 million in March. This represents a 20.7 percent increase month-over-month and a 1.2 percent increase year-over-year. Of course, not all of this money is pure profit. A "handle" simply refers to the total amount of money wagered legally throughout the state. However, Pennsylvania's sports betting revenue for March (i.e profit) did top $66 million—the largest mark so far this calendar year.

Generating this much revenue is no small feat. March is considered a relatively lackluster month for North American sports bettors. Gamblers aren't investing as much in betting odds for the NFL following February's Super Bowl. Major League Baseball hasn't yet started their season. The NBA and NHL are playing out a gray area in their schedules—a window right before the playoffs. Sportsbooks in Pennsylvania were, of course, able to capitalize on March Madness betting. But that tournament only ensures a surge for a finite pocket of time.

Typically, in places that have offered legal sports betting for a while, you're fairly likely to see a dip in performance and revenue during March. The Quaker State should fall under this umbrella. Pennsylvania sports betting debuted back in November 2018. Online sports betting in Pennsylvania, meanwhile, went live in March 2019. This isn't a market that's receiving intermittent bumps of sudden interest. The Pennsylvania gambling market is one of the more established ones—a veteran of the industry, if you will. Where interest could theoretically taper off, it's actually increasing on most months.

And crossing hallmark thresholds in the process.

Pennsylvania Sports Betting Revenue Crosses Yet Another Milestone

As a direct result of the business they did in March, Pennsylvania eclipsed $20 billion in their sports betting handle since opening the doors in 2018. Only two other states previously reached $20 billion in lifetime sports wagering handle, according to Legal Sports Report: Nevada and New Jersey—states that have offered (on-site) sports betting much longer than any other places in the United States.

To be sure, this doesn't mean Pennsylvania is one of the three most lucrative betting markets in the country. Places like New York, Nevada and Illinois, among others, will usually take in more money month-over-month. New York, in fact, is on track to become the biggest lifetime betting market in the country by the end of 2024—despite not rolling out legal gambling until the start of 2022.

Still, reaching $20 billion in total sports betting business is a major accomplishment. If nothing else, it is a testament to the strength and longevity of the Pennsylvania sports betting market. 

Which isn't to say experts expected legal gambling to flop. Pennsylvania has a robust pro sports market across all four major North American leagues. Nevertheless, barely anyone could have predicted they would clear a $20 billion lifetime betting handle in fewer than five years' time.

Online Sports Betting Has Become a Driving Force of Business in The Coal State

How did Pennsylvania evolve into one of the USA's top betting markets? A frothy crop of sports teams and a fairly sizable population certainly helps. But they also did something other states have been reluctant to do: embracing the importance of allowing residents to bet with the top online sportsbooks.

Less than one year after on-site wagering went live in Pennsylvania, they introduced legal mobile sports betting. That move has proven to be a boon for their business. Online sports betting is now the primary revenue driver for Pennsylvania. This might even be an understatement.

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, over 90 percent of all wagers placed inside the state have been processed with a mobile betting site. That is an absurd number, and it's much higher than the national average, which hovers somewhere between 75 and 80-plus percent.

Rural geography contributes to the success of online sports betting in Pennsylvania. Not every resident is centrally located within driving distance of a sportsbook. But Pennsylvania also isn't without major city hubs. They have Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown. More than anything, gambling trends in Pennsylvania speak to the ever growing popularity of online sports betting. It is not only more convenient for users, but gambling operators have an easier time growing their business. There's no doubt this has helped Pennsylvania sustain record-breaking revenue on a routine basis despite being an industry veteran.

Perhaps sports betting growth in Pennsylvania eventually slows down. There are a finite number of people inside the state, after all. Regardless, they have still set the blueprint for other non-glamour markets—such as Wisconsin, Montana, New Mexico, etc.—who have entered the legal sports betting fracas: The best path to sustained profitability is embracing the rise of online sports betting.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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