Following a soft-launch in early November, December was the first full month of online poker in the Keystone State. The rollout came two years after the legislature legalized online gambling in 2017. With early reports indicating that interest in poker was high in the Keystone State, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has supplied some evidence:
PokerStars PA Boosts Revenue
In November, online gaming revenue was $9,655,811. One month later, Pennsylvania’s five licensed operators earned $10,624,699. The jump was somewhat expected thanks to launch of PokerStars PA. Although the site went live in November, December was its first full month of activity.
Currently, PokerStars PA is the only Pennsylvania online poker room in operation and there has been no official word that a competitor is on the verge of entering the market. In less than two months, online poker revenue in the state totaled more than $4.4 million and added $710,000 to state coffers.
Things started well thanks to the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP). Buoyed by a surge of activity during the event’s opening week, PokerStars PA increased the overall guarantee from $1 million to $1.2 million.
The total payout eventually surpassed $1.5 million; a figure that helped PokerStars rake $2,473,173 in December.
While impressive, the $2.5 million in revenue made in December only made up less than 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s gross gambling revenue, but online gambling is steadily taking up a bigger percentage of market share than in years past.
Online Poker Compared to Other iGaming Verticals in the State
Like its first month, online poker compares favorably in terms of revenue when considered alongside other iGaming verticals in the state.
The highest amount generated from slots last month was $1.9 million by Rivers-Philidelphia, with Hollywood Casino ranking second with $1.5 million. For table games, once again Rivers-Philidelphia led the market with $1.1 million in revenue. Mount Airy was the next highest with $805k.
When combining slots and table games, poker still fares well, out earning all but the market leading Rivers-Philidelphia.
Poker compares favorably when compared to the highly lucrative sports betting vertical, too. When compared to land-based sports betting, poker generated more than any single operator. In fact, poker almost outgained all land-based sports betting in the market last month which combined for just under $3 million.
It will be interesting to see the trajectory of Pennsylvania online poker revenue over the course of its first year. It’s uncertain whether the hype may wear off, or if it will continue to gain more and more traction. We may more operators enter the market and it is even possible that the state may begin sharing liquidity with other states should the Wire Act case be settled favorably.
For now though, perhaps the best effect good revenue numbers out of Pennsylvania can have is to serve as an illustration of how much money states can generate in tax revenue from the regulation and legalization of online poker.