The Hollywood Casino made history in Pennsylvania on November 17th when they became the first sportsbook to go live in the state. Now as many as three additional sportsbooks could be available in PA by the end of 2019.
After optimism that Parx Casino would be the first to market, the Hollywood Casino sportsbook leapfrogged the top PA casino to become the first to offer sports wagering and serve central Pennsylvania. Five other casinos have applied for sports betting with four casinos already approved. Three of those casinos could launch by the end of the year with testing imminent. Another casino, Valley Forge, was late to the party and did not apply for a license until by mid-November.
So where are PA casinos in the process of bringing sports betting to their casinos? We take a look at where things stand heading into December. Things could change at a moment’s notice so stay tuned to PA No Deposit for additional information.
Before November it looked as though the Parx Casino might have been the first PA casino to offer sports betting, with November cited as a likely launch date. That timeframe was not meant to be as the Parx Casino had to wait until Kambi, their sports betting platform provider, was approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Kambi was given that approval on Wednesday, increasing the chances that the Parx Casino will have a sportsbook by the end of the year.
Parx launching their sportsbook would mean that sports bettors around the Philadelphia area would have their first chance to place wagers in the state. The owners of Parx — Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment — is set to have a sportsbook at the Parx Casino and another at the Philly Turf Club.
Rush Street Interactive, the owner of the SugarHouse and Rivers Casinos were also approved on Wednesday. Both casinos are also working with Kambi on a sports betting platform.
In addition to providing the retail sportsbooks for both casinos, Kambi will also be aiding in the online sports betting platform.
After Parx backed off on its goals of a November launch, it looked like SugarHouse and Rivers might be the first. It was originally announced that the pair would be live by December 1st but they have since backed off that claim. They still look to be a favorite to launch next, but either way, they will be very close to the Parx Casino.
2019 will have to do for other PA casinos
The other two PA casinos that want to offer sportsbetting to Pennsylvanians will have 2019 target dates.
In the case of Harrah’s Philadelphia, they applied for a license early and have been approved. Unlike the four casinos that have been approved, the Caesars Entertainment property seems to be taking its time, instead choosing to take a measured approach.
Valley Forge only applied for a sports betting license in mid-November. If the time frame of the approval of other PA casinos is any indication, Valley Forge is likely looking at late December at the earliest. With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s easy to see how a Valley Forge approval will be moved into January unless their application is somehow fast-tracked. A launch will then likely at least a few weeks after an approval.
What About PA online sportsbooks?
PA online sportsbetting will be coming to the state sooner rather than later but not now. The state instead is focusing on sports betting launches as well as online gambling launches over the next couple of months.
When the first sportsbook goes online, it’s very likely that additional online sportsbooks will launch after that. If New Jersey is any indication, PA online sportsbooks will focus on mobile apps as the platform of choice for players.
One thing seems certain at this point — Pennsylvanians will be able to wager online well before the 2019 NFL season.