Pennsylvania’s online gambling products have been competing neck to neck since early last year. In the first six months of 2020, table games like poker, baccarat and roulette were dominating casino sites.
Then slots took over during the summer before sports betting picked in September. In 2021, gambling markets have been making the same dance. Sometimes slots spike and contribute 70% of iGaming revenue in PA. Sometimes sports betting takes off. Below is an overview of what happened in the industry in July.
Online Casinos Set a New Record
Online casinos in Pennsylvania generated revenues worth $85 million in July, a new record. This came after a month of decreased income in June. Slots contributed the largest chunk of this money–$63.2 million against $22.8 million from table games.
Hollywood Casino’s website generated the largest amount of money in the month–$32.1 million. Rivers Casinos collected $25.8 million while Fanduel’s casino partner site—Valley Forge raked in $14.2 million.
When you think about it, online casinos were set for success in July. Many sports leagues had already begun their off seasons. As such, gamblers didn’t have plenty of options besides playing online casino games.
Many gamblers in PA play at the best online casinos in Pennsylvania featured here. They are all licensed by the PGCB. Some of them are operated by renown brands like Rivers and Hollywood Casinos. However, they vary in their games, bonuses and payment options. So, compare to decide which is the best site for you.
Sports Betting Revenues Declined
As we’ve mentioned, July was a calm month for sportsbooks. Baseball and soccer were getting started. But football, hockey and basketball had finished or were completing their league seasons.
Around the world, European club soccer was over although there were some international competitions happening. In other words, sportsbooks were not completely out of customers. But they were recording lower sales than in June, May and April.
To expound more, mobile betting companies tallied $379M worth of bets, a 6.9% decline compared to May. Interestingly, sportsbooks recorded a slight increase in profits despite people betting less money.
Brick and Mortar Casinos Made a Comeback
Although online casinos hit the headlines with their record earnings, some brick-and-mortar casinos had a great month in July. Rivers Pittsburgh and Rivers Philadelphia, for example, doubled their incomes for the month.
Valley Forge Casino and Hollywood Casino at Penn National also recorded over 80% in increased sales in July. Not every casino was so lucky though. Harrah’s Philadelphia recorded a 29% decline in its revenues while both Lady Luck and Mount Airy Casino also saw decreased profits in July.
The reason some casinos struggled to make month in July is because they had shut down to help fight the pandemic. Rivers Philadelphia, in particular, closed for two weeks. Others operated under half the normal capacity or for a reduced number of hours.
DFS and VGT Soared
Although slots and table games were the highlights of July, daily fantasy sports and video gaming terminals increased revenues as well. VGTs generated 80% more money for PA in July than in any other month this year. DFS was also up by 70%.
Online Casinos Vs. Brick-and-Mortar Casinos in PA
With revenues for online casinos leapfrogging those of brick-and-mortar casinos, does that mean they’re better? Most people love the social experience od land-based casinos. But they also prefer to play games that provide lower risks.
As such, there’s room for both land-based and online casinos to co-exist. However, they both have unique pros and cons. Below are some of them.
Real Casinos are Livelier
Let’s face it. People travel all the way from all corners of Pennsylvania to gamble in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. They have the option to gamble online. But they choose to play at land-based establishments because it’s more social.
It’s easier to talk to fellow gamblers whether you want to play slots or poker. You can have a chat with your dealer, pit manager or anyone else you come across. Most casinos also feature pubs, restaurants and clubs where you can dance to talk to others.
Now, online casinos are trying to make their platforms more social. They do this through live casino games—you’re linked to players and dealers through a video link. Then you can play blackjack, poker, baccarat and roulette while interacting with fellow dealers and players.
Online Casinos are More Convenient
This is a no brainer. Online casinos are convenient in every bit compared to their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Creating an account takes a couple of minutes. And you can use an iPhone, a Windows laptop or your gaming machine.
There’s no need to worry about carrying money to the casino. A few clicks through a digital wallet like PayPal or a credit card like Visa ensures you have money to gamble. Get this—you can spend as little as $5.
The number of ways online casinos are more convenient than their land-based counterparts is endless. This explains why their growth in the Keystone state has been skyrocketing.
Online Casinos Provide Better Games
This isn’t an exaggeration. The Internet offers higher quality games than Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Pennsylvania. This is particularly true for games of chance like slots and video poker. Online casinos have considerably low operating costs.
As such, they’re not pressed to maximize their profits by offering low-paying games like Las Vegas does. Instead, they use their profits to create high-quality, high-paying games for competition reasons.
On average, online slots payback 90% to 99% of gambled money. By comparison, land-based slots payout 85% to 95% of gambled money. The differences are small in table games. But online casinos seek an advantage by offering a wider variety of games.
There’s a growing competition between brick-and-mortar casinos and online casinos in Pennsylvania. In July, online casinos won after setting a new record of $85 million. Sports betting income dropped because it was an offseason for many major leagues.
With a new sports season kicking in and with land-based casinos back in normal operation, it will be interesting to discover which platforms gamblers choose to use. Online gambling seems to be growing in popularity rapidly. But not everyone is ready to give up on brick-and-mortar casinos just yet.