Last year, the US Senate decided it was done with the PAPSA, an act that had, among other things, banned online sports betting in the US. This left it up to each state to decide if they wanted to legalise sports betting and Pennsylvania was one of the first to open its borders to online sportsbooks.
We all expected the sportsbooks to come flooding in. Instead, it was New Jersey who led the way. The reason for this was the 36% tax rate on sports betting revenue imposed by the Pennsylvanian gaming commission. This led to a slow start-up phase as sportsbooks were initially hesitant to set up shop, preferring to pick other states with lower barriers to entry.
Things look set to change. Last month the state welcomed almost $200 million in wagers. This smashed Augusts record of $109 million. Most of those bets came via the Fanduel Sportsbook which generates a third of the state’s sports betting revenue.
Pennsylvania is home to a few sportsbooks now including Sugarhouse and Parx Casino, but many more are expected to enter the market in early 2020. If you are based in Pennsylvania then you should keep up to date with all current Pennsylvania sportsbooks.
Figures released by the PA Gaming Control Board show that the main reason for the current uptick in sports bets is the start of the NFL season. You can only imagine the revenue if either of the PA teams were on fire this season.
It will be a while before the MLB betting season gets going in the state, but with both the Phillies and Pirates representing, we expect that this will lift the number of bets in Pennsylvania even further.
Sports betting in PA has not always been an easy business and it was in fact that Pirate’s who kicked up the biggest fuss when online betting on the MLB began in the state.
The Pirates wanted a cut of the revenue to pay for the maintenance of the PNC Park. This is not an entirely new concept, the idea of an ‘integrity fee’ was hoisted by both the MLB and the NBA, as a way to cash in on sports betting. It doesn’t look like it will work, but it’s a nice try by the Pirates -after all without the baseball teams there would be no baseball to bet on.
So it doesn’t look like either the MLB or the Pirates will be getting royalties soon, but the state will definitely be enjoying a nice little bit of extra cash in 2020 as more sportsbooks are expected to join the party. Things are changing fast not just in PA but in the whole country. At a national level, there is at least a couple of new US sportsbooks every month. You can keep track of all the new US sportsbooks at bettingscanner.com, where they have a state tracker to make things easier.