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Can't Access PointsBet From PA

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Jul/12/2019

Plenty of folks betting sports in New Jersey crossing into the state of Pennsylvania will be happy to know they can still engage in the activity, just not with PointsBet.  That company has opted not to offer its unique wagering platform in the Keystone State.

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The Australian-owned online sports wagering firm cites exorbitant taxes for its decision not to operate in PA.

The $10 million licensing fee isn’t the issue, but the nearly 40 percent in total taxes makes it hard for them to enter, according to PointsBet US CEO Johnny Aitken.

“The tax there is very onerous. … But to go and bid for a Pennsylvania license," Aitken said.  "I’m not so much concerned about the $10 million upfront (licensing) fee, but those operating taxes, which when you average it all out tips over 40 percent, it makes it very hard for us to enter, be aggressive on our offers and price, all the things we need to do to try to win money back from the black market.”

The math just doesn't add up.

From Lineups.com:

In Nevada, sportsbooks have traditionally had a hold percentage of around five percent. This means that for every $100 in sports betting handle, sportsbooks make about $5. If that were to hold true in Pennsylvania, that means nearly $2 of every $100 in handle would be going to the state, leaving a $3 profit per $100 for sportsbooks. Add in overhead costs as well as marketing and advertising, and that profit drops even lower. Turning a profit in Pennsylvania isn’t an easy gig for sportsbooks, only the strongest will survive.

FanDuel has already entered the PA sports betting market through its partnership with the Valley Forge Casino, though a mobile product does not yet exist, and nobody seems to know why.

Draftkings is still looking for a partnership arrangement in the state while the Stars Group has joined forces with Fox Sports to offer its Fox Bet mobile wagering product.  SugarHouse, Bet Rivers, and Parx have already begun offering mobile sports betting, just not via iPhones and iPads.

None of these companies are compliant with Apple's new App Store policies related to coding.

Most offshore sportsbooks, some in business for over 20 years now, will continue to be accessible from the state of Pennsylvania, though all are browser-based.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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