The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has released the online poker revenue figures for the month of November 2020, and that means we have the first year-over-year comparison for the market.
The regulated PA PokerStars USA site, under the Mount Airy license, remains the sole online poker platform in the Keystone State to this date. It went live for PA online poker on November 4, 2019 and celebrated its first anniversary last month.
During its anniversary month, PokerStars PA generated $2.4 million in online revenues, which is about level with the prior month. Of the $2.4 million in revenue, $328k was paid in state tax (14%) and an additional $47k in a special Local Share Assessment (2%).
PA Online Poker Revenue Exceeds NJ for the First Time in Six Months
To compare it with the revenues of its neighboring state New Jersey, PokerStars PA alone generated slightly more revenue than what was collected in New Jersey over the same period. In November 2020, the three regulated online poker rooms in the Garden State produced $2.396 million.
Although PokerStars PA has generated higher revenue than New Jersey on a few occasions this year, November marks the first time in six months that it exceed the gains of its neighboring state.
However, it is important to note that the markets are quite different. Firstly, Pennsylvania has a bigger population than New Jersey. Secondly, the New Jersey online poker market has been active for over six years while Pennsylvania only went live last year.
And lastly, New Jersey is home to three online poker networks one of which shares liquidity with Nevada and Delaware. Pennsylvania is home to just one online poker room and does not share its player pool with any state. This prevents us from making an apples to apples comparison.
Year-Over-Year PokerStars PA Only Marginally Up
Compared to November 2019, Pennsylvania’s online poker revenues are up 23% in absolute figures, though to be fair, there were fewer operating days in the opening month. Still, taking average revenue per day into consideration, November 2020 is marginally (6%) up on last year.
PA Online Poker Revenue Nov 2019 vs 2020
|Online Poker Revenue||$1,965,494||$2,409,235|
|Approx Operating Days||*26||30|
|Avg Revenue Per Day||$75,596||$80,308|
*26 (25 + 2 half days)
With November adding $2.4 million to its tally, all combined this year, PokerStars PA has generated $33.1 million and $37.5 million since launching in the market.
This puts PA just slightly behind its neighbor NJ that so far has generated $35.7 million this year.
In fact, despite both PA and NJ being quite different, growth in online poker revenue in 2020 has been quite similar in the two states except for the month of July which saw WSOP.com host the World Series of Poker Online Bracelet events on its platform for New Jersey and Nevada players which ended up boosting the revenue numbers for that month.
As seen in NJ, growth in online poker revenues in PA have also slowed down from what it was at the spring high.
However, NJ’s year-over-year growth is over 61%.
Pennsylvania Online Poker Market is Expected to Flourish in 2021
Though PA is trailing its NJ neighbor, the scenario is expected to change significantly in 2021 with the arrival of partypoker PA (along with its sister skins BetMGM and Borgata Poker on the partypoker US Network) and WSOP.com/888 network.
Both of the potentially new operators have acquired licenses, though it remains to be seen whether Roar (a joint venture between partypoker parent company GVC and MGM) offers online poker in Pennsylvania under BetMGM license or under Borgata.
888 was approved by the PGCB as an Interactive Gaming Manufacturer in October while the owner of WSOP.com, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, received its approval from the PGCB on February 12, 2020.
There is also a chance that Pennsylvania could join the Multi State Interactive Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) in 2021 allowing its operators to share its player pool with other states. However, for that to happen, a decision on the Wire Act must be made.
The Wire Act decision is likely to be in favor of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission which ultimately would allow shared liquidity to remain in place.
And with the busy period coming up coupled with the shutdown of casinos due to the coronavirus pandemic, online poker revenues in both PA and NJ are expected to be strong in the coming months.
Pennsylvania Online Casino Revenue Continues to Soar
Unlike online poker, online casinos in Pennsylvania continue to see sequential monthly growth, with November hitting another high, generating $57 million.
A year ago, the market had just five online casinos (half of now) which combined to produce $7.7 million.
Rivers-Philadelphia once again topped the market, generating $16.5 million alone to capture a market share of nearly 29%. PokerStars PA’s online casino under Mount Airy license accounted for 6.8% of the total online casino revenue, generating $3.9 million. Notably, year-over-year, it is up by nearly $3 million.
Online sportsbook revenue also hit an all-time high in November reaching $42.3 million, up by a factor of 2.5 year-over-year.
Pennsylvania Online Casino Revenue Figures for November 2020
|Online Casino||Total Revenue|
|Valley Forge Casino||$10,384,395|
|Caesars Interactive Entertainment||$1,523,626|