Sports betting handle in Pennsylvania in May was down for the second consecutive month since hitting a peak of $44.5 million in March, though the first four days of online sports betting action suggested a broader audience was just a few clicks away from joining in.
Bettors wagered $35.9 million on sports in May, down 2.4 percent from April and down 19.3 percent from March, according to a report released Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
SugarHouse Casino, the first casino to launch online sports betting on May 27, said that bettors placed $573,163 in interactive wagers during the last four days of the month.
Sports betting generated about $1 million in state and local taxes in May. It has generated $7.1 million taxes on $198.3 million in total wagers since it launched in November.
For the fourth consecutive month, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh led in sports-betting volume with $7.9 million, ahead of SugarHouse and Parx Casino in Bensalem. Parx also takes bets at its South Philadelphia and Oaks off-track betting outlets; when the two satellite operations are included, Parx took in $10.9 million in bets.
Parx, BetRivers, FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National, and Presque Isle Downs plan to launch online sportsbooks this summer — Parx and Rivers could launch this month.
With the launch of online sports betting, industry experts say betting will grow dramatically in Pennsylvania. In New Jersey, customers placing bets on mobile platforms or from desktop devices now account for about 80 percent of the sports betting volume.