The first two sports betting licenses have been handed out in Pennsylvania. Parx Casino in Bensalem and the Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County are now permitted to offer local punters the ability to wager on sports.
Huge Land-Based Betting Plans
Both casinos have big plans for the introduction of sports betting in the state. Parx Casino is currently preparing to transform its 360 Lounge into a temporary sportsbook which will feature a dozen self-service kiosks and seven sports betting windows. It will also have two 9-foot tall televisions displaying odds, along with a 75-inch TV showing games.
The casino operator will also be renovating the South Philadelphia Turf Club into a sports book. It will cost $1 million to complete, and the venue will feature 150 HD televisions that will allow visitors to “watch pretty much any game that’s on in the country,” according to John Dixon, the Chief Technology Officer at Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment.
The Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook will be located in the venue’s existing horseracing simulcast theatre. It will have 60 televisions, and players will be able to watch almost any game.
Both casinos want to get their sportsbooks up and running shortly. Parx has stated that their sportsbetting offerings should be available by November while Hollywood Casino hopes to start things offer within the “next few months”.
What About Online?
The online market is a completely different beast, so Parx and Hollywood Casino are proceeding with caution. While their land-based sportsbooks should be available in the autumn or winter, it will be a little while longer before players are able to place bets online.
Executives at Parx Casino would like to have online sportsbetting up and running by January 2019. They have stated that it would take them a little while long to feature online gambling, as there are more regulatory approvals that need to be made. All of the vendors that contribute to the online sportsbook have to licensed and tested, which tends to be quite a long process.
One of the main reasons the operators want to get online sports betting live as soon as possible because it allows for in-play betting – a very lucrative market. According to Dixon, it’s “just not fast enough” to run in-game betting using tellers and kiosks. Punters need to be able to access an online betting system using their own devices in order to place wagers on games that are in progress.
So, it is hoped that the whole shebang – both online and land-based betting – will be available to Pennsylvania players by the start of 2019. It will be a hugely exciting development in the American online gambling market, and we can’t wait to see just how popular sports betting becomes in Pennsylvania and other regulated states.