The coronavirus pandemic reportedly cost land-based bookmakers in Pennsylvania at least $220 million in lost revenues last month as sports leagues shut up shop and bettors turned to online alternatives.
This is the conclusion of the online gambling news domain at PlayPennsylvania.com owing to the fact that the coronavirus outbreak prompted most of the domestic sports scene to close from March 11. The source detailed that this had subsequently limited bookies in ‘The Keystone State’ to principally offering futures betting and markets on lesser known international sports such as soccer action from the Belarusian Premier League.
PlayPennsylvania.com reported that the eastern state’s aggregated March sports wagering handle crashed by 60.2% month-on-month to just $131.3 million while revenues from online casino and poker games conversely rose by over 24.6% to top $24.3 million and generate taxes of $5.9 million. The news domain’s Dustin Gouker explained that the timing of the coronavirus-related shutdown had been particularly damaging because the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament was expected to have generated aggregate Pennsylvania handle of at least $100 million.
Read a statement from Gouker…
“The first weekend of ‘March Madness’ is the second-biggest sportsbetting event in the United States behind only the Super Bowl and its cancellation leaves no feasible way to make up that revenue. Obviously, there are dramatic health and economic concerns for everyone right now but the loss of revenues will be felt by Pennsylvania’s gambling industry for quite some time.”
The site also reported that some 90.1% of Pennsylvania’s sportsbetting revenues in March had come from online wagers with the FanDuel Group-powered service at VFCasino.com leading the way courtesy of takings just above $53.7 million. By contrast and it pronounced that the state’s apex sportsbook inside Rivers Casino Philadelphia had seen its handle plummet by 68% month-on-month to a spartan $2.3 million with revenues of only $146,281.
Gouker’s statement read…
“Pennsylvania’s gaming industry is navigating waters that are unprecedented anywhere. It’s an industry that employs thousands in Pennsylvania and generates millions of dollars in tax revenues and it is not designed to be closed. Growth in online casinos is helping but it can’t entirely make up for the revenues lost from sportsbetting and land-based casinos being shut down.”