Pennsylvania’s gaming regulator has cleared its brick-and-mortar casino industry for restart in June, but it took a while for patrons to return. One thing that kept going, though, has been online gaming, and specifically the Keystone State’s decision to allow casino properties to expand into iGaming.
Online wagering on casino-style games was up in July, boosting results while casinos in Pennsylvania had to operate at limited capacity. With some poker rooms timidly reopening throughout July, most of the action concentrated online, despite a H1, 2020 drop.
Yet, poker numbers have started to slip, but interestingly, online casino results improved. The Keystone State still continues to have a single poker operator in the state, PokerStars, even though an entry is expected by WSOP/888 and partypoker.
Online Poker Revenue Has Been Dropping Since April
After it peaked in April, reaching $5,253,304 or 67.7% increase year-over-year, online poker revenue has been declining, or as it were, normalizing. The inability of PokerStars to retain players may be attributed to several unconfirmed facts.
|July, 2020||$2,986,498||Down 7.9%|
|June, 2020||$3,240,917||Down 29.5%|
|May, 2020||$4,596,418||Down 12.5%|
|April, 2020||$5,253,304||Up 67.7%|
|March, 2020||$3,133,019||Up 71.2%|
|February, 2020||$1,830,356||Down 15.2%|
|January, 2020||$1,830,356||Down 12.8%|
|December, 2020||$2,473,137||Up 25.8%|
First, PokerStars is the only card room in the state, limiting the ability of players to avoid sharks and find players more evenly matched to their own skill level. Secondly, with the lockdown restrictions being lifted, many players flocked back to actual casino sites, whether they play poker there is debatable. However, the dip is evident.
On the plus side, the decrease in revenue has not been as quick, pointing perhaps, to a normalization of the industry.
Internet Gaming in Pennsylvania Growing at Break-neck Speed
With Pennsylvania’s multi-faceted approach to gambling, online gambling has been going strong. Online gambling revenue from casino-style games decreased by 10.4% in June, but it had been growing for four straight months prior to that.
The July revenue was another 8.6% increase, or $54,352,149, but lower than May. Estimated $23,685,729 went to Pennsylvania’s state coffers in gambling tax proceedings thanks to the activity.
More impressively, Pennsylvania managed to outpace Nevada in terms of sports betting handle in July, with the record $164,782,229, a whopping 85.1% increase, not least owing to the return of the NBA.
Not only that but Pennsylvania’s brick-and-mortar casinos reported better year-over-year results, showing once and for all the strength of online gaming.