Pennsylvania reported a 1.7% decline in revenue even as sports betting reached $900 million for the first time.

Total sales in Pennsylvania were $444.5 million (£351.2 million/€405.6 million) in November, down from $452.4 million in the same month last year.

This came despite sports betting stakes reaching $934.1 million, surpassing the previous record of $829 million set in October this year. Notably, sports betting revenue in November was 18.4% higher than the $789.2 million accumulated in the same month last year.

ESPN Bet is blamed for the decline in sports betting revenue in Pennsylvania

Despite the significant increase in stakes, sports betting revenue fell from $52.9 million in October to $12.9 million in November, a 73% decline from the previous month.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board cited a low hold percentage and the launch of ESPN Bet in November as reasons for the “sharp decline in revenue.”

ESPN Bet, which operates under the Hollywood Casino at Penn National, posted a loss of $7.8 million, largely due to the “significant amount of non-taxable advertising bets” as the company attempted to establish itself in Pennsylvania to make a name.

ESPN Bet, a product of a $1.5 billion (£1.2 billion/€1.4 billion) deal earlier this year between Penn Entertainment and Disney-owned ESPN, launched on November 14 in 17 states introduced.

FanDuel and DraftKings at the top in sports betting

While ESPN Bet is still new to the market in Pennsylvania, long-time sports betting leaders FanDuel and DraftKings continue to dominate.

FanDuel, which operates under the Valley Forge Casino Resort, posted nation-leading $384.1 million in sports betting in November with total revenue of $8.4 million.

DraftKings, meanwhile, lagged behind with a reported $253.1 million in revenue, although its total revenue of $7.9 million was only about $500,000 behind FanDuel’s.

Parx Casino ranked third in total sports betting revenue in the state in November, but at $1 million it fell well short of the numbers posted by FanDuel and DraftKings.

The Growth of iGaming in Pennsylvania

Despite the overall decline in sales, iGaming continues to prove successful in Pennsylvania, one of only seven states where it is currently legal.

In November, iGaming generated revenue of $158 million, an increase of 22.8% compared to the same month last year. It was also 2.1% higher than October 2023’s $154.8 million.

As for iGaming revenue, slots and tables increased 26.2% and 17.6% respectively year-on-year, although poker revenue fell 10.3% compared to November last year.

Under a new partnership announced Wednesday, Playtech slots and table games will be offered at Boyd Interactive’s Stardust-branded online casinos in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The increase in iGaming revenue in Pennsylvania follows the trend of Michigan, one of the few other states that offers online gambling. Michigan’s commercial and tribal igaming operators posted record gross revenues of $175.3 million in November, surpassing previous records of $171.8 million in March and $160.3 million in October.