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Online State for Another Record Year for Sports Betting Revenue and Taxes | News

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Punters wagered more than $5.5 billion on sports in the past fiscal year in Pennsylvania and as the busiest betting season begins this weekend, the Keystone State is set to… reach an even larger handful.

Through December, the midpoint of the current fiscal year, more than $3.5 billion has already been wagered, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

This pace predicts another record year of revenue for licensees and tax revenue for state coffers.

“Companies are really aggressive in attracting new customers who may be interested in sports betting. It’s still in its infancy,” said Kevin Kile, Director of the Office of Sports Betting Operations at PGCB.

The state’s sports betting industry celebrated its third year in November. Its growth is exponential.

Total annual handle, or total money wagered at licensed casinos and their online partners, increased 145% from $2.2 billion wagered in fiscal year 2019-20, according to reports. the end of the year.

Licensee revenue and the resulting taxes paid to the state more than doubled year-over-year to $308 million and $111 million, respectively, according to those reports.

There is a 34% tax on daily gross sports betting revenue. Most of it goes to the state’s general fund. Doug Harbach, spokesman for the PGCB, said 2% is reserved for a municipal grant program.

In-play betting and prop betting have helped increase interest in online betting, Kile said.

NFL Conference Championship games begin this weekend. The winners will move on to the Super Bowl on February 13. No period of the sports calendar attracts more action.

“It’s obviously the pinnacle of the industry with NFL games, followed by (NCAA basketball) March Madness,” Kile said.

Online betting keeps the business running. Of the $5.5 billion wagered in the last fiscal year, all but $455 million was placed on the Internet. That’s nearly 92% market share.

That online betting dominates the sports betting landscape should come as no surprise. Consumers can buy a car, a pizza, and seemingly everything in between online.

Online bets must be placed within Pennsylvania’s borders, and licensed operators must partner with physical facilities that do not have their own online sports betting site.

There are 17 off-track casinos or betting houses that accept bets in person. Of these, 14 have licensed online operations. PointsBet is the latest approved online operator. Its license was granted in December. The operator has partnered with Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino in York, which opened in August. The online book is expected to go live in February.

FanDuel partners with Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia. About 36% of online bets are placed through FanDuel, the largest share in the state. Draft Kings and Hollywood at the Meadows in Washington, Pennsylvania do business together, making it Pennsylvania’s second largest online bookstore. Barstool works with Hollywood at the Penn National Race Course in Grantville. The collective managed the third highest number of bets last year.

The marketing behind these three books seems to have put them front and center, to say the least. Other well-known operators like Caesar’s have yet to perform as well.

Pennsylvania won’t be the biggest state when it comes to online betting, said Katie Kohler, editor of industry news site PlayPennsylvania.com. That designation will belong to New York, she said, where online sports betting began this month.

Kohler cites a Morgan Stanley report that four sports betting apps handled a total of $603.1 million in bets over a nine-day period this month. Pennsylvania operators managed $750 million for the entire month of December.

There are common complaints about the state system, Kohler pointed out. Pennsylvania does not allow betting based on the performance of individual athletes in college sports. There are fewer bets on quirky props, for example, the Super Bowl, like the length of the national anthem performance. Bets on professional sports drafts are also not allowed.

However, Kohler says Pennsylvania could one day hit $1 billion a month. The industry is too new and undergoing the uncertainty of the pandemic to predict what its peak could be in the coming years.

“I don’t know how big sports betting in Pennsylvania is going to get. To be honest, that’s what makes my job great. It’s exciting,” Kohler said.