ccording to data from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, casinos in the state eported a 6% year-over-year revenue increase for August.
The boost was fueled by internet gaming and sports betting as live games kicked back into gear, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
Despite on-site occupancy limits during the Covid-19 pandemic, last month’s total gaming revenue across the Commonwealth hit more than $310.7 million, up from about $293.4 million in 2019.
The state says the business generated upwards of $128.8 million in local tax revenue.
Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia saw the biggest revenue increase, leaping 88% to nearly $27.8 million versus $14.7 million in August 2019. Mount Airy Casino Resort saw year-over-year revenue jump 54% to $27 million from almost $17.6 million in the year-ago period. Rivers Casino Philadelphia generated $39.5 million in revenue, up nearly 40% over the $28.3 million in August 2019.
The overall fantasy contests segment saw revenue increase just shy of 54% to $2.1 million last month versus almost $1.4 million in August 2019. The category includes online sports and entertainment operators such as DraftKings (about $1.2 million in August 2020 revenue), FanDuel Sportsbook (roughly $905,000 in August revenue) and Yahoo Fantasy Sports (just over $12,000 in August revenue). The state says fantasy contests last month generated about $320,000 in tax revenue.
The casino industry is among those that has struggled to adjust to the new realities of the Covid-19 era. The high August performance numbers could indicate an upswing for the sector, especially as the football season comes to life in September.
Previously largely dominated by heavy hitters like FanDuel and DraftKings, Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market has become more saturated lately with new competitors. Penn National Gaming is slated to officially launch its new Barstool Sports-branded sports betting app on Friday after an initial test run this week.
August’s total sports wagering handle in Pennsylvania was almost $365 million, a 122% spike from about $164.8 million the month prior. It was also the highest monthly sports wagering handle in the state to date, besting the previous high of almost $348.4 million in January.
August’s statewide total revenue in the sports wagering category balances out to almost $18.3 million. Valley Forge Casino Resort, which operates a FanDuel-branded sportsbook, was the largest contributor as it generated almost $9.1 million in sports betting revenue (nearly 50% of the state total).
The Montco casino has been the only one in Pennsylvania to partner with FanDuel, to which it has previously partially attributed its recent gaming success. The long-anticipated Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia incoming to South Philly is anticipated to also partner with the online sports and entertainment company.
Live! Casino Philadelphia, the $700 million development in the works at 900 Packer Ave. that is expected to open in early 2021, got its feet wet last month with the Aug. 14 launch of its internet casino gaming platform. It brought in just over $25,000 in revenue in the category between the online slots and table game segments.
The forthcoming development from Cordish Gaming Group, a division of Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., will provide about 2,000 jobs in Philly's pandemic-stricken hospitality industry.
Overall, Pennsylvania casinos generated upwards of $55.4 million in internet gaming revenue in August, up a whopping 94% from just over $3.4 million in the same month of 2019.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia was the largest revenue generator in the category with more than $17.1 million, followed by Valley Forge Casino Resort ($8.7 million) and Parx Casino in Bensalem (nearly $7.4 million).