On Wednesday, May 15, the Mohegan Sun Pocono received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to operate a sports betting lounge in their casino. Mohegan Sun Pocono is located in northeast PA, in Luzerne County. This news has been much anticipated by local sports betting enthusiasts.
This will be the first casino in northeastern Pennsylvania to have live sports betting. This is expected to be a boon for the area. Sports bettors will no longer have to travel long distances to place bets. Instead of traveling to Delaware or New Jersey, or other places to make legal bets, Pennsylvania residents will be able to bet at home, keeping all associated revenue in Pennsylvania. Friends will be able to meet other friends, have a lovely dinner, place a wager, and not face a long drive home.
The sportsbook and its amenities have been well thought out.
“You’re going to have the people that want to come, have a few drinks, have something to eat, and watch the games with their friends, and then you’re going to have the people that just want to come in really quick, put a bet in and then leave.”
Located in Plains Township on the outskirts of Wilkes-Barre, Mohegan Sun Pocano is one of Pennsylvania’s 6 licensed racinos featuring harness racing as well as a full Vegas-style casino with slots, table games, video poker, and live poker. This resort destination occupies 400 beautiful acres and has a four star hotel on site. Outlets for dining, drinking, entertainment, a spa and fitness center, and even some retail shopping await guests at this luxurious entertainment complex.Parking for 5,000 vehicles gives testimony to the casino’s size and popularity.
The sportsbook is expected to have all major sports on offer, including NFL football, college football, basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, NASCAR, soccer, and even rugby to name just a few.
The Mohegan Sun Pocono plans to have the sportsbook up and running for the fall season, hopefully in time for college football.
European based Kindred Group (specifically their Kambi division) will run the sportsbook. Kambi runs other Pennsylvania sportsbooks as well.
Eight Pennsylvania casinos now licensed for betting on sports
- Rivers Casino
- SugarHouse Casino
- Hollywood Casino
- Valley Forge Casino
- Parx Casino (three locations)
- Harrahs Casino
- Presque Isle Downs and Casino
Taking advantage of a new legal landscape
States have finally been cleared to operate legal sports betting after a landmark Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruling last year in a case initially brought by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie eventually known as Murphy v. NCAA.
On May 14, 2018, SCOTUS used Murphy v. NCAA to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), ending a 36 year old federal ban on sports betting, holding that PASPA violates the Constitution’s anti-commandeering rule. The Court stated “Congress may not simply ‘commandeer the legislative process of the States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program.”
Prior to the repeal, United States citizens wishing to make a legal single-game sports bet had to make their way to Nevada, the only state fully exempted from the prohibition. In late 2017, anticipating a good ruling, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed legislation to fully capitalize on the predicted easing of federal restrictions and bring legal sports betting to their citizenry.