Hollywood Casinos and Parx Get Green Light For PA Sports Betting
Sports betting is one step closer to become a reality in Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, the PA Gaming Control Board awarded its first two sports-betting licenses to the operators of the Parx Casino in Bensalem and the Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County. Parx Casino is expecting to start taking bets this month. Although that puts them in a rush to have everything set to begin operations. Hollywood Casinos will take a little longer to operate.
The idea of Parx Casino is to modernize its 360 Lounge into a temporary sportsbook. It will feature 12 self-service kiosks and seven betting windows. This will work for a while before they get the South Philadelphia Turf Club ready for business. They will spend $1 million in renovations with plenty of security and 150 HD TVs for the customers to never leave the site.
Parx officials are aiming to start online sports betting operation in January as well. “Online, there’s a lot more pieces to the puzzle.” Tony Ricci, chief executive of the Parx parent company, said in an interview to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “There are a multitude of vendors involved, and they all need to be licensed and tested.” The Hollywood Casino sportsbook at the Penn National Race Course will take a little longer. There is no real estimation on when they will launch operations. Daniel Ihm, general manager of the Hollywood Casino, said to the Inquirer it should be ready in the “next few months.”
Online Casinos Offers Also Approved In Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also approved two new interactive gaming licenses on Wednesday. They were awarded to the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. The launch of the online gaming casinos doesn’t have an official date. Sands is selling its casino for $1.3 billion to Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Sands officials already acknowledge they were applying for the license only to meet a condition of the sale. Part of that deal required Sands to have an online gambling license. They had to put $10 million upfront for the license.
Pennsylvania is the sixth state to license sports wagering since U.S. Supreme Court ruling that permits all states to legalize sports betting. They will compete with neighbors New Jersey and West Virginia, which have been operating since June and August 2018, respectively. “This is going to roll out on a state-by-state basis over the next three years, and we think in the next five years 25 to 30 states will have legal sports betting,” explained Joseph Weinert, executive vice president of Spectrum Gaming Group.
Four casinos still have pending applications in Pennsylvania. Mohegan Sun Pocono, Presque Isle Downs (no online poker), Rivers Casino are waiting. There is also the case of the Stadium Casino. They haven’t built their headquarters. Rivers Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and Harrah’s Philadelphia are the three remaining applicants for sports betting licenses to be approved. There are other seven existing casinos petitions available in the state, but they haven’t been filled out, yet.