Pennsylvania Betting to Surpass Nevada NORTH AMERICA

Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks took advantage of a perfect storm of major US sports in September to easily generate a record $462.8m in bets

Penn National’s mid-September launch of the Barstool Sports- branded sportsbook added $29.9m in bets in just two weeks of operation


NEW JERSEY – New Jersey’s sportsbooks capitalised on an unprecedented confluence of major US sports to set yet another all-jurisdiction record with nearly $750m wagered in September. And with the record, the Garden State’s handle year-to-date has surpassed the first nine months of 2019, a remarkable trajectory considering major sports were shut down for months.

“September saw all four major US sports playing meaningful games at once, which was obviously a boon for sportsbooks,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at “The growth seen over the last two months will likely level off once the sports schedule returns to normal. But it’s clear New Jersey’s betting industry is setting a new floor.”

Wagers at New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks rose to $748.6m in September, up 68 per cent from $445.6m in September 2019, surpassing the all-jurisdiction record of $668m set by New Jersey in August. New Jersey sportsbooks have now collected $3.3bn in bets through the first nine months of 2020, up from $2.96bn through the corresponding months in 2019. The state’s sportsbooks have now collected $9.1bn in wagers since the industry launched in June 2018, surpassing yet another milestone.

September’s bets produced $45.1m in gross operator revenue, up 14.1 per cent from $37.9m in September 2019. Those revenues yielded $5.6m in state taxes. In August, New Jersey generated nearly $200m more than Nevada’s $474.9m handle, and appears poised to outpace the nation’s No. 2 market significantly yet again. New Jersey’s sportsbooks took $159.5m in football bets in September and placed another $208.3m on “other” sports, a classification that includes hockey, $115.3m on baseball, and $98.8m on basketball.

OKLAHOMA – Despite the state Supreme Court ruling their operating licences are invalid, the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes plan to continue operating casinos in Oklahoma. The state and the tribes have been at loggerheads for months over whether the existing compact expired on January 1 with the tribes claiming it renewed for a further 15-year term.

Attorney Rob Rosette, representing the tribes, said: "The compacts are valid. That's our legal position. The Supreme Court of Oklahoma does not have jurisdiction over either one of these tribes.” He added that only a federal court would have the authority to void the compacts. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma governor's office said it couldn’t answer questions about the impact of the state Supreme Court ruling on Comanche and Otoe-Missouria gaming operations.


Pennsylvania’s online and retail sportsbooks took advantage of a perfect storm of major US sports in September to easily generate a record $462.8m in bets. By doing so, Pennsylvania entered an exclusive club of gaming markets, joining New Jersey and Nevada, that have surpassed $450m in wagers in a single month, according to PlayPennsylvania.

“With the beginning of the NFL season, a full schedule of baseball, and the NBA and NHL playoffs, there may never be such a confluence of sporting events again,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for “Like New Jersey, Pennsylvania has created a well- rounded market that can drive significant action on every major sport. Tat market dynamic was able to bear fruit in September in a way that may never be fully possible again.”

September’s handle, which was released Friday, was up 137.9 per cent from $194.5m in September 2019 and easily surpassed the previous record of $365m set just last month.

Vegas Strip to take four years to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels


Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip will take longer than most to rebound from the effects of COVID-19 due to their dependence on tourism, exhibitions and conferences, according to Fitch Ratings Service, which believes the effects of the pandemic will still be prevalent in Las Vegas in 2024. It believes that its four year path to recovery is ‘slightly better than the last recession.’

Fitch Analysts Alex Bumazhny, Colin Mansfield, and Connor Parks are predicting Strip GGR will be down 60 per cent this year, 50 per cent next year, and 20 per cent in 2022, compared to the level of revenue earned in 2019.

“A full recovery to pre- pandemic levels is not expected until 2024. Te Las Vegas Strip will experience the slowest recovery relative to other major

But the record wagers produced just $6.3m in taxable revenue, down from $18.3m in August and $14.9m in September 2019, a result of heavy promotion and unlucky results for sportsbooks. September revenue yielded $2.1m in state taxes and another $125,398 in local share assessments. Te jump forward for the state was a product of the NFL’s return, and the atypical September games played by the NBA and NHL.

“Te question now becomes whether Pennsylvania can sustain this level once the sports calendar returns to normal,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for “Pennsylvania has etched a place in the top tier of gaming markets and could possibly pass Nevada as the nation’s No. 2 market before the end of the year.”

Online wagering accounted for 89.5 per cent, or $414.1m, of September’s handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/Valley Forge Casino extended its online supremacy with $168m in online bets, up 16.2 per cent from $144.6m wagered in August.

gaming markets and segments globally,” they said. Not one exhibition or conference has been held on Te Strip for five months with some scheduled early in 2021 cancelling or postponing already.

“Te convention business, which has begun experiencing first half of 2021 cancellations, hinges on participant and employers’ comfortability levels with larger-scale events,” Fitch wrote. “Positively, the 50-person cap on groups was eased on October 1, with larger confernce and entertainment venues of 2,500-person capacity or more allowed 10 per cent occupancy under certain protocols.”

“Easing of group restrictions is a positive,” the Fitch analysts confirmed. “But we don’t envision a material improvement in air capacity or consumer comfortability with flying until a widespread (COVID-19) health solution is present (e.g. vaccine, antiviral drugs), consistent with Fitch’s global airline group’s expectations.”


Swiftly following on the heels of its Bally's Atlantic City acquisition, Twin River Worldwide Holdings has purchased the rights to the iconic Bally's brand previously owned by Caesars Entertainment for US$20m with the plan to roll the Baly’s brand out across its estate of casinos in Rhode Island, Mississippi, Delaware, Missouri, Colorado, Illinois and Nevada.

A spokesperson for Twin River stated: “Tis acquisition will allow Twin River to maintain the Bally's name for the Atlantic City property that it has agreed to purchase from Caesars Entertainment pursuant to the previously announced purchase agreement and enables the company to rebrand virtually all of its portfolio properties under the Bally's name and logo.

“As part of the deal, Twin River has agreed to provide Caesars Entertainment a perpetual license to use the Bally's brand at its existing Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino property.”

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