The path to sports betting has been cleared for two gaming operators in the state of Pennsylvania, as the Gaming Control Board approved licensing for Parx Casino and SugarHouse Casino this week.
Both casinos are hoping to launch their new sports betting services within the next few weeks, after gaining the approval for licensing by the board. Each venue will have to complete two-day test runs to ensure that their sportsbooks are operating in accordance with state laws and regulations.
Once the testing period is over and the proper approvals have been given, Parx and SugarHouse will be able to operate fully.
Parx Casino of Bensalem will be working with Sports Information Services Ltd, which the board approved for licensing. SugarHouse will be working with Rush Street Interactive PA LLC for its operations. Rush Street Gaming owns both the SugarHouse and the Rivers Casino.
Spokesperson for the Gaming Control Board, Douglas Harbach said: “We expect that both of those casinos will be in a position to hold two-day test runs with Gaming Control Board staff sometime in the next several weeks.”
The SugarHouse Casino will be offering a temporary sportsbook that is located near the north entrance. Players will find the betting area is next to the casino’s poker room. The space is 1,800 square feet in size and will be able to seat 70 people comfortably.
The venue has plans to open a permanent sportsbook in 2019, with the facility constructed within the Lucky Red Lounge, an area located in the central game floor.
For the Parx Casino, operators have plans to convert its 360 Lounge into a temporary sports betting area. The space will have self-service kiosks that players can use to place their own wagers instead of visiting one of the seven betting windows.
On top of this option, the Parx Casino will be using its offtrack betting outlet, the South Philadelphia Turf Club, as a sportsbook as well. As much as $1m will be spent to renovate the facility for the new service.
Once the physical locations are open, the casinos will then focus their efforts on online sports betting. It is expected that online wagering will be made available within the next few months.
Pennsylvania sports betting begins
The very first sports bet was accepted in Pennsylvania on 15 November as the Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Racetrack began its two-day testing phase. The facility would operate for the short trial period and the Gaming Control Board would give its final approval, allowing the venue to open fully.
The state joins Nevada, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi as states where sports betting is fully legalized and there are sportsbooks in operation.
According to VSO News, the sportsbook of the Hollywood Casino is located on the second floor of the venue and offers more than 30 TV screens where bettors can watch all the action after placing their wagers.
Sports bets can be placed at the venue in person via a teller located at betting counters. Sports bettors who visit the facility can place their wagers from 11 am until midnight during the week and from 10 am until midnight on the weekends.