Barstool Sportsbook App Makes A Splash in Pennsylvania Launch

Icon Displaying Variety of Sports, Hand Holding Cash
Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook app shattered download marks by DraftKings and FanDuel over the weekend. The much-publicized sports betting app created by Penn National and Barstool Sports had a three-day soft launch in Pennsylvania last week before going live during the weekend. Preliminary data on Pennsylvania sports betting were very impressive.

Better Opening Numbers Than FanDuel and DraftKings

According to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower, the Barstool Sportsbook app was downloaded 63,000 times during the weekend or an average of 21,000 downloads per day. The numbers are significantly higher than the 4,000 downloads that DraftKings got during its first weekend in 2018 and its single-day high of 15,000 downloads during the opening of the NFL earlier this month.

Similarly, the Barstool Sportsbook app’s weekend numbers topped FanDuel’s inaugural weekend total of 9,000 downloads during the opening weekend of the 2018 NFL season. FanDuel established a single-day high of 19,000 downloads last September 13 as the NFL’s 2020 season opened but Barstool’s 21K downloads per day last weekend was still better.

Expanding The Industry

Per Morgan Stanley analyst Thomas Allen, the app’s downloads started out “extremely strong” yet the download numbers for its competitors didn’t seem to slow “meaningfully”. That bodes well for Pennsylvania sports betting as Allen notes that the Barstool Sportsbook app isn’t “cannibalizing” the industry but merely expanding it.

Allen downgraded Penn National and DraftKings last month from overweight to “equal-weight”. The Morgan Stanley analyst cited valuation as the reason for the downgrade with both stocks going sky-high this year. DaftKings went public last April and as of Monday’s closing, the stock had risen 194% since then. Meanwhile, Penn Gaming had a gain of 416% during the same period.

Too Early To Tell

Obviously, it’s too early too tell whether Penn Gaming’s new app will become a national force. Sure, Pennsylvania sports betting is a major wagering market but it is only one state. Penn Gaming plans to launch in several states in the first quarter of 2021. DraftKings and FanDuel are etched in the other states as well with other major competitors like BetMGM, William Hill, FoxBet, and PointsBet contending for market shares as well.

Barstool’s launch was well-timed and it debuted in a mature betting market. On the other hand, DraftKings and FanDuel launched without the same fanfare and before the U.S. Supreme Court thrashed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Despite these apples to oranges comparison, there is no question that the Barstool Sportsbook app made a splash during its opening weekend.

US Casino Revenue Continues to Plummet

Prior to March of this year, the casino industry in the United States was surging. Most states were earning a huge amount of revenue from their gambling venues. That is no longer the case. According to new reports, US casino revenue continues to plummet.Revenue Drop Picture

Some states are being impacted more than others. New reports indicate casinos in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware are all losing an incredible amount of money right now. Today, we’re going to look at exactly how much revenue has fallen in these states.

Let’s get into it!

Certain States Are Now Beginning to Open Up

Since March, states around the country began going into lockdown. Infection rates of the new coronavirus have risen in some areas and started to fall in others. Certain parts of the US are now experiencing relatively low rates of infection and are preparing to open back up.

This includes Georgia, which has already lifted most social distancing measures. Governor Brian Kemp has allowed businesses like restaurants to open, yet things are far from normal. Some health experts believe that opening back up to early will result in a major increase in cases in some states.

It’s a very difficult situation. State leaders are trying to weigh the pros and cons of allowing businesses to start operating again. One state that’s being hit particularly hard due to these new regulations in Nevada.

Cities like Las Vegas are nearly shut down right now. Tourism and gambling account for a huge percentage of the city’s revenue. No visitors are coming to Las Vegas right now and this revenue is simply not flowing in. Casino officials have now begun discussing plans to get things back to normal.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is now calling for the city to open back up. Interestingly, several casinos here are preparing to open their doors in late May. We’ll need to wait and see how long it takes for revenue to start increasing here again.

New reports are revealing how the gambling industries in other states are doing right now.

US Casino Revenue is Dropping Quickly

We’ve been reporting on how much money certain casino companies are losing for weeks. Several of the top casino companies in the US have stated things need to change. New reports are now beginning to surface that show how much money has been lost in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

These three states all have something in common. Online casino gambling has become legal and regulated here. Unfortunately, it does not appear these internet casinos are able to make up for the revenue being lost by the land-based casino shutdown.

Pennsylvania’s gambling revenue dropped from $304 million in February to just $154 million in March. New Jersey saw a decrease of $124 million last month. That’s an incredible $274 million lost between these two states in just one month.

It’s clear that online gambling is surging in these states. In fact, revenue from Pennsylvania’s online gambling platforms increased by 24%. Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, spoke about this situation to the media this week.

“We certainly have seen an uptick in online play, in particular table games, the biggest being poker,” he said. “It does not make up for the casino losses. It will not come close to satisfying the tax revenue we’ve been used to.”

What’s Happening in Atlantic City Right Now?

There’s been a lot of discussion about Las Vegas over the past few weeks. Many have talked about how this city will approach the new regulations around the country. Interestingly, Atlantic City hasn’t been a major talking point.

Based on the new US casino revenue reports, it’s clear that this city is hurting. All of the casinos are shut down here and it may be months before they’re allowed to open. Some have expressed fear that some of the gambling venues here will be forced to shut down permanently.

Gambling revenue dropped by 44% last month compared to the same month in 2018. Online gambling revenue increased by nearly ⅔ last month, though. Many casino companies here are likely to start investing more into their internet gambling marketing efforts.

Things are already beginning to change in Atlantic City. Last week, Caesars Entertainment announced it was selling Bally’s for $25 million. More property sales may start taking place here over the next few months.

US casino revenue is falling fast. Some states are now choosing to open up different businesses. Unfortunately, it may be a long time before any land-based casinos are able to open to the public again.

Stay tuned for more US casino news over the next few weeks!

Pennsylvania’s First Month of Online Poker Generates $2.5 Million

Playing Cards on Top of Keyboard, Poker Chips, Red DiceFollowing 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:

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Publishing its December 2019 revenue report, the regulator showed that monthly online earnings were up 10.3 percent. Pennsylvania online poker, in total, generated $2.5 million in revenue during December 2019. Nearly $400,000 of that revenue was collected by the state as tax revenue.

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.

Thanks to the Pennsylvania Championship of Online Poker (PACOOP), everything started off pretty well. Held afloat by the increase in 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 ever generated from slots last month was $1.9 million by Rivers-Philidelphia. Hollywood Casino ranked second and brought in about $1.5 million in profits. 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, the good amount of revenue coming out of Pennsylvania demonstrates just how much money a state can truly generate in tax revenue from the regulation and legalization of online poker. It won’t be long before other states begin it to follow in its footsteps after seeing the numbers.

Parx Casino Launches an Online Sportsbook in NJ

New Jersey now has the biggest and most lucrative sports gambling market in the United States. Casinos here, almost all of which are located in Atlantic City, operate both land-based and online sportsbooks. This week, Parx Casino officially launched an internet sports betting platform in this state.

Parx Casino

Parx Casino is one of the most popular gambling venues in Pennsylvania. It’s now entering the NJ sports gambling market. Let’s look at the details of this new online sportsbook and talk about how New Jersey’s sports betting industry is doing right now.

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Revenue Continues to Increase

As we’ve already mentioned, New Jersey now has the most lucrative sports betting market in the country. Amazingly, sports gambling has only been legal and regulated here for a little over a year. New Jersey was the first state to approve sports betting legislation after PASPA was struck down in May of 2018.

For all of 2019, revenue from sports gambling has increased in this state. In August, revenue here boosted by an incredible 13% compared to the same month last year. Gamblers in this state wagered over $293 million that month on sports alone.

The Borgata Hotel & Casino brought in $80 million through its land-based and online sportsbooks. Casino officials claim it was the biggest month since opening in 2004. Hard Rock Atlantic City also had a solid August, bringing in $41 million, up 31% from the same month in 2018.

Even Ocean Casino, which is the lowest-earning casino in Atlantic City, posted solid revenue figures last month. This casino-resort brought in more than $25 million.

Many companies are taking notice of these revenue gains. This week, one of the most popular gambling venues in Pennsylvania announced that it’s breaking into the NJ market.

Parx Casino Announces Launch of NJ Online Sportsbook

New Jersey isn’t the only state to recently legalize sports gambling. 19 states have approved sports betting legislation and 13 have sports gambling platforms up and running. Pennsylvania began offering sports betting options in November of 2018. This form of gambling has quickly grown popular here.

This week, Parx Casino has announced that it’s breaking into the New Jersey sports betting market. This casino, which is owned by Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, officially launched its internet sportsbook in this state. This new betting platform is now live and available to New Jersey residents.

Parx Casino teamed up with GAN to begin operating its newest online sportsbook. Dan Smurtif, CEO of GAN, commented on the launch to the media this week.

“Launching the largest casino in Pennsylvania online has now logically extended across the border into New Jersey, extending their reach into New Jersey’s fast-growing and established Internet gambling market. This represents an incremental revenue opportunity for GAN and is a logical extension of our technology infrastructure to serve Parx Casino patrons who routinely cross the invisible border between these two populous states.”

It’s exciting news for sports betting fans in the state of New Jersey. There is another major player entering the market.

About Parx Casino and Racing

Pennsylvania is home to a huge number of gambling venues. Perhaps none is as popular as Parx Casino and Racing, located in Bensalem. This venue started off as a horse racing track and has since begun operating a casino featuring 3,330 slot machines, 180 table games, and a poker room.

Parx Casino began operating a land-based sportsbook back in January. It launched its online sportsbook in June. Since that time, it’s become the most popular internet gambling platform in the state. In August, it managed to generate more than $621,000 in sports wagers.

Officials at this casino have discussed plans to break into the New Jersey market for months. The company teamed up with GAN to officially begin offering sports betting options in this state earlier this year.

Residents of New Jersey now have 16 different online sports betting platforms to choose from. We’ll need to wait and see how popular the online sportsbooks from Parx becomes over the next few months.

Stay tuned for more US sports betting news over the next few months!

NetEnt to Supply Casino Content to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has been at the center of attention for the last couple of months due to gambling laws being redefined and providing opportunities for new casinos to open. NetEnt is a popular casino software provider which has been awarded a license from this state, and they will have an opportunity to share their content with casino lovers from this state.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board provided a conditional license for NetEnt so that the company can supply content in the newly regulated market of this state. In fact, the company has had the honor to be the first one to supply online gaming products to Pennsylvania, and it has been licensed by the local regulators even before the official market opening.

NetEnt was also quick to submit the application for an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer Conditional License in September 2018, as soon as the changes took place in the US state. This is not the full license but a conditional one which enables NetEnt to provide products to local gambling operators. The full license process is underway and will not be completed until their application is examined in detailed and reviewed by the officials.

Pennsylvania actually legalized online gambling during Q3 and Q4 of 2017, but it is a process that takes time, and legal online casino services are still not live in the state. The state is actually undergoing a gambling industry revolution of a sort which takes time — it is a slow but effective process that would bring additional revenue from gambling taxes and fill the state’s budget. In fact, online casinos are expected to go live during 2019, according to some of the comments made by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regarding this topic.

All of the changes were a consequence of a revised opinion of the Wire Act made by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, which made all the difference and overturned a 2011 opinion that only imposed limits to sports betting. According to the new interpretation, this would affect all forms of online gambling.

This is one of the main reasons why the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board got scared, along with a couple of regulators from other states where online gambling was legal. The new interpretation really threatened to put an end to the regulated online gambling industry. Therefore, the gambling regulator in Pennsylvania had to make sure that operators are in full compliance with the new opinion on the Wire Act.

What about NetEnt?

NetEnt has inked a content distribution deal with a couple of casino operators while they were waiting for the conditional license to arrive from the Gaming Control Board. One of the deals they signed first was with Penn Online Entertainment, LLC which is a division of Penn National Gaming operator. Another deal that they have managed to sign was with Parx Casino which will go live with Parx Online once the Pennsylvania officials sort everything out.

The Managing Director of NetEnt Americas LLC, Erik Nyman, stated in a press release that they were pleased to have been selected in the first round of licenses. He also said that the expansion fit their strategy related to their live products and that they were happy to be there on the first day of opening.

2019 is definitely going to be very interesting, not only in Pennsylvania but across the entire US as some important changes are taking place regarding sports betting and online gambling. For now, it seems that Pennsylvania is doing a great job and the first result of their effort will be visible mid-2019.