With the Slow Season Just Ahead, Declining Revenue for Pennsylvania Online Poker Could Persist With the Slow Season Just Ahead, Declining Revenue for Pennsylvania Online Poker Could Persist

Pennsylvania online poker produced $3 million in revenue during the month of July, according to figures released this week by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

So far this year, PokerStars PA (still the only online poker provider operating in the state) has generated $23.2 million in revenue. A total of $27.6 million has been brought in since legal regulated online poker first went live in Pennsylvania in November 2019.

While July was the third consecutive month of declining revenue after the market reached it high mark in April during the height of lockdown efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the revenue collected in July is also more than was generated in all months prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Remainder of 2020 for PA Online Poker

The rise in the popularity of PA online poker as a result of the pandemic is expected to persist, though the impact is expected to continue to diminish as the people of the Commonwealth take more strides toward returning to their normal routines.

While it is difficult to predict how revenue levels will shake out over the course of the remainder of the year, we can apply what we know about the seasonality of online poker from its years of existence globally and more close to home in neighboring New Jersey.

The late summer and fall months are normally expected to produce less revenue than the amount that was generated in July, until the online poker high season begins again in December. However, there are several factors that can cause those expectations to be exceeded including:

  • A resurgence of Covid in the state that causes another lockdown – While Covid is still raging in the US, masks and social distancing have become more widely accepted. There seems to be little appetite for returning to home confinement and as such, this factor has a low probability.
  • A big online tournament series and/or promotion by PokerStars PA – It certainly seems likely that PokerStars will host another big tournament series in the state before December, a factor which can cause a short spike in revenue.
  • The launch of partypoker PA and/or WSOP PA – With two additional online poker operators awaiting approval from the PGCB, there is a good chance that at least one will join the fray, which along with the corresponding promotional efforts that would accompany the launch will mean a return to higher than normal revenue.
  • Settlement of the federal Wire Act case – No matter how the Appellate Court rules in this case, the losing side can still appeal the case to the US Supreme Court, so while joining New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in the MultiState Internet Gaming Agreement could cause a mini online poker boom in Pennsylvania, the odds that this case is resolved without further appeal before the end of the year is low.

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Pennsylvania Online Casino Games And Sports Betting

Pennsylvania online casino revenue amounted to $51.3 million in July, the most in any month since the games became available on the internet in mid-July 2019.

Over the first 12.5 months since legal regulated online casino games launched in the state, operators have combined to produce $267 million in revenue. Of that figure, $192 million was derived from slots and $75 million came from table games such as blackjack and roulette.

Of the 9 casinos offering online casino games, Rivers-Philadelphia leads the pack with $88.6 million in revenue since launch and $15.5 million in July, which also tops the market.

Over the same period, online sports betting in Pennsylvania (not including retail sports betting which takes place on location at the casinos) generated $144 million. In July, operators combined to collect $12.4 million, the most since January 2020 prior to mot sporting events being cancelled due to the pandemic.