Pennsylvania online poker generated $2.5 million in revenue during December 2019, according to figures released last week by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, with nearly $400,000 of that revenue collected by the state as tax revenue. Proceeds in the final month of the year exceeded those collected in November when the first fully regulated and legal online poker room opened in the state.
In less than two months, online poker revenue in the state totaled more than $4.4 million and added $710,000 to state coffers.
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, giving PokerStars USA plenty of opportunity to strengthen its position in the state.
Pennsylvania Online Poker Compared to New Jersey Online Poker
Looking at the online poker market in neighboring New Jersey allows us to put the results of the Pennsylvania market into perspective. In December, three online poker networks in the Garden State combined to produce $1.7 million in revenue.
Comparing the numbers based on the population of each state indicates that online poker in the two states is quite comparable. New Jersey has approximately 70% of the population of Pennsylvania and its online poker operators collected 70% of the $2.5 million generated in Pennsylvania.
The obvious difference between the two markets is the number of operators. Though the actual marketing budgets are not made public, it is fair to assume that the marketing resources available to the three networks in New Jersey exceed those of PokerStars Pennsylvania. However, it could also be argued that the hype in the newly launched Pennsylvania market has been advantageous.
Pennsylvania Online Poker Compared to Casino Games and Sports Betting
Like its first month, online poker compares favorably in terms of revenue when considered alongside other igaming verticals in the state.
In Pennsylvania, revenue from online slots and table games are reported separately (as a separate license for each vertical is required). Individually, poker outgained the online slots and casino games revenue from every operator in the market.
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 even compares favorably when compared to the highly lucrative sports betting vertical.
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.
Online sports betting is known for being more popular than its land-based counterpart and that held true last month with online sportsbooks generating $14.5 million. And while that figure is well beyond what poker brought in, on an individual basis, only one of the online sportsbooks out gained poker. Valley Forge Casino and its online sports betting partner FanDuel generated $7 million.
It will be interesting to see the trajectory of Pennsylvania online poker revenue over the course of its first year. The hype may wear off, we may see 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.