Pennsylvania Online Poker Revenue Grows by 23% in August

Online poker in Pennsylvania had its best month since last summer. 

map of pennsylvania

All these players helped generate more than $3 million in poker revenue in Pennsylvania. (Image: GeoComply)

According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the four online poker rooms pulled in $3.2 million, up $600,000, or 23%, from July. The breakdown:

  • PokerStars, $1.914 million
  • WSOP, $819,249
  • BetMGM, $345,983
  • Borgata, $117,440

August was the first full month for WSOP in Pennsylvania. Opening since mid-July, WSOP increased its earnings by nearly a half-million dollars. All the sites except PokerStars saw increases. Borgata made about $20,000 more, BetMGM, about $55,000 more and PokerStars made about $60,000 less. 

PokerStars dominance wanes

PokerStars launched in Pennsylvania in November 2019 and enjoyed an online poker monopoly until BetMGM joined in April. August’s haul puts PokerStars close to the $59 million mark.

August was PokerStars second-worst performing month, but was online poker’s fourth-best month since the market opened in 2019. In February 2020, it pulled in $1.8 million. 

PokerStars is still the dominant force in Pennsylvania online poker, accounting for 59.4% of the state’s overall revenue.

Slotted for last?

Total gambling revenue across all 16 casinos, fantasy games, and video gaming terminals hit $408 million, $25 million less than July. Pennsylvania took $168,844,089 in taxes.

The total online gaming revenue across the six casinos that only run online slots and table games was $85.6 million. 

As usual, both at the brick-and-mortar casinos and online, slots emptied the most pockets. The digital bandits took in $276 million in August — $209.8 million in retail locations, and $66.3 million online. 

Table game revenue for August totaled $101.5 million ($86.3 million at the casinos, $19.2 million online). Video terminals that operate in 58 establishments across Pennsylvania brought in $41.7 million. Sports wagering brought in another $18 million — PGCB doesn’t break down how much of that takes place online. 

Fantasy sports pulled in $1.6 million, with FanDuel and DraftKings taking all but around $7,000 of that. 

Online poker revenue represents less than 4% of online play in the Commonwealth. 

PA poker potential

Back in April 2020, PokerStars hit a watermark of $5.2 million, a $2 million jump from the prevision month. Since then, the site watched its revenues decline and then remain steady at around $2.4 million a month. 

This is the first time operating here that PokerStars finished under $2 million two months in a row. 

Just to compare, neighboring New Jersey’s online poker sites brought in $3 million in July, and $2.4 million in August. 

September’s gambling report will go a long way in predicting just how well online poker can do in Pennsylvania. Both WSOP and PokerStars held and promoted full series this month — WSOP did a circuit series and PokerStars ran PACOOP.  

These series’ may push online poker revenue over the $3.5 million mark despite the fact that WSOP was forced to overlay a handful of its events because not enough players generated its guarantees.  

BetMGM, PokerStars, and Borgata all run casinos and sportsbooks from their poker clients while WSOP is poker-only. With the NFL back in action, WSOP may actually see a decline in revenues because of this — the convince of sharing a bankroll between poker, casino and sportsbooks cannot be denied. 

The sites are nothing without players and the sites are seemingly doing the minimum to attract new blood. Although competition between WSOP and PokerStars will likely lead to more large guarantee buy-in tourneys, it’s hard to say whether these events will translate into larger player pools.

Written by
Bob Pajich

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