Greenwood Gaming, the owner of Parx and the Turf Club, filed for a sports betting license today. They became the second gaming operator in PA to file for the license– the first was Penn National Gaming for its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

As I’ve written before, reps from Parx and Chickie’s and Pete’s were at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City in June, leading to speculation (on my end) that a sportsbook in or around a major sports bar like that would make a ton of sense. And if nothing else… a sportsbook at the Turf Club would bring a local betting option to the sports complex, until Xinfity Live! inevitably figures out a way to get one.

So why have only two casinos applied for sports betting licenses in PA?

Taxes, baby.

You can thank your elected officials for requiring a $10 million licensing fee and then a 36% tax rate on sports betting in PA. In New Jersey, those figures are $100,000 and 8.5%.

The prohibitive rate has kept casinos from filing applications to offer in-person and online sports betting in PA. It’ll happen eventually, but the delay can be directly attributed to these costs.

So what does this mean?

Though the director of licensing for the PA Gaming Control Board, Susan Hensel, said at the conference that sports betting in PA would be up and running by the start of football season, it’s unlikely either of these applications get approved until October, meaning we’re at least a month away from legal sports betting in PA.

However, several operators have indicated they will apply for licenses.

Mouth Airy Casino Resort has partnered with The Stars Group to offer its BetStars sports betting app, and DraftKings and FanDuel have of course made their ambitions to offer sports betting nationwide known– but they’ll have to partner with casinos first.

SugarHouse, too, has a physical location in Philly and offers online sports betting in New Jersey through it’s partnership with Golden Nugget. It makes sense that they would bring their recently launched SugarHouse Sportsbook to PA as well.

We’re not there yet. But it looks like you’ll soon be able to bet on sports in PA.

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