ennsylvania casinos reported that revenue returned to pre-pandemic levels in July, and sportsbooks capitalized on the return of major sports to nearly double the handle from June to July.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Monday reported total gaming revenue of $283 million in July, up from $281.5 million a year ago, a 0.5% year-on-year increase, a positive number considering July was the first time since the coronavirus outbreak that most of the state’s 12 casinos were operating.
Retail and online sportsbooks generated $164.8 million in wagers in July, up 85.1% from $89 million in June, according to official data. July's wagers were up 177.7% from $59.3 million in July 2019. Online betting accounted for 94.3%, or $155.4 million, of July's handle, and about 84% of sports betting revenue was generated online. Gross revenue surged to $8.1 million, up 22.3% from $6.7 million in June and up 185.7% from $2.9 million in July 2019.
A significant amount of business has shifted from casinos to online platforms in the last year, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Online slots, table games, and poker generated $54.4 million in July. Along with online sports betting, online gaming generated $61.2 million in revenue in July, or nearly 22% of all casino gaming revenue. Online gaming generated less than $4 million statewide a year ago in July, just two months after Rivers Casino Philadelphia, then called the SugarHouse Casino, was the first casino in Pennsylvania to launch igaming.
The boom in online gambling offset substantial year-on-year declines in retail betting, as some customers remained at home even after most casinos reopened in June. Retail slots revenue, which accounts for more revenue than all other types of games combined, was down 17% from a year ago. Revenue from casino-based table games was down 32% from a year ago.
Parx Casino in Bensalem generated $59.9 million in revenue, up 14.4% from a year ago — it was one of only three casinos to report increases in retail slots revenue. Total revenue at Parx was more than double the next closest Pennsylvania casino, the Wind Creek Bethlehem, where revenue was off 38% from last year. The Bethlehem casino launched igaming only on July 24, so it has missed out on the online gaming boom.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which did not reopen until July 17 following four months of coronavirus lockdown, experienced big declines in retail slots and table games revenue since it was open only half the month. But the Philadelphia casino was the statewide leader in internet casino-type gaming revenue, pulling in $15.5 million in revenue, making up for much of its decline in retail business.
Valley Forge Casino Resort, acquired in 2018 by Boyd Gaming of Nevada, reported a 57.7% increase in revenue over last year, largely because of its successful association with FanDuel for online sports wagering and casino games. FanDuel Sportsbook led the online market with $68.8 million in bets, up from $32.9 million in June.