Last week, we looked at some early revenue misses as many states struggled with reality versus initial projections of what type of numbers they would bring in from legal sports betting. March appears to have, at least temporarily, turned some frowns upside down. Outside of the Super Bowl, we have officially past the most significant time of the year for gambling with the conclusion of March Madness. The upcoming months are sort of slow down point for punters, especially as the NBA and NHL playoffs conclude. Yes, there will still be baseball daily but baseball has never drawn the handle of football or even basketball. And while a slowdown is inevitable, it is still nice to see some improving numbers in handle as it indicates maybe more people betting.
Speaking of increases in revenue brings us to the Keystone State. Pennsylvania brought in over $44 million in March with books holding over $5.5 million. The hold percentage of 12.5% and $5.5 million is triple what they held the previous month at $1.9 million. The state had to be happy as well as the tax revenues are extremely high and they were able to pull in almost $2 million from the PA operators. The overall increase in numbers is generally attributed to a solid March Madness as well as two new operators opening their doors in the Valley Forge Casino and Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook.
It was across the board growth for operators and things are looking up in PA as they have a potential gamechanger on the horizon. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board predicts that mobile gaming will launch by May 2019. Most operators will plan to launch apps as soon as possible as they are given the go by the board. I'll personally take the bonuses and promos available at Offshore Sportsbooks for my mobile wagering but this is still a big step in the right direction.
Worth The Effort?
Casino operator Deleware North is suing the company that was to be providing sports betting platforms in West Virginia. Miomni was supposed to be supplying Deleware North with sports betting platforms at two casinos, Mardi Gras and Wheeling Island Casinos. They were also to provide the BetLucky sports betting app. Betting operations have halted at Deleware North's casinos and the charges have begun to fly. A quick turnaround from what looked like a promising relationship just 6 months ago.
Why Move Away If It Works?
Lawsuits, high taxes, and state fighting. Looks like West Virginia could be a poster child for all the things wrong I worried about with legal sports betting rollouts. Hopefully, some of these states figure out that the only ones harmed are the consumers (punters). I like Vegas and betting in person as much as the next person but for my money, I'm still looking offshore more times than not. Maybe a few extra steps initially with due diligence, depositing, and such, but most of the offshore shops have been doing this for a lot longer and know how to balance a business with making sure their clients are taken care of. These states initially seem to be an awful lot into what they can make or take without giving much consideration to what the end consumer actually wants. Hopefully, these changes sometime in the future.