The first legal sports bet in Pennsylvania was placed earlier today at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville.
JUST IN: @PNGamingInc has begun a testing period of accepting the first sports bets in Pennsylvania.
The sports book inside the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is expected to be fully operational this Monday at 11 a.m.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 15, 2018
The casino, located about 17 miles east of Harrisburg, received approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to conduct two test days at their sportsbook. The second test period will be held tomorrow between 2 pm-midnight.
From Hollywood Casino’s Facebook page:
For those wondering, it was a $20 bet on the Steelers to win the Super Bowl.
Today’s events are, obviously, just the tip of the iceberg for PA sports betting. It’s expected that Parx Casino in Bensalem will soon, possibly within the next week or two, begin taking on-site sports wagers at a temporary facility… while a full, 10,000 square-foot behemoth that, we’re told, will be one of the most impressive on the East Coast is set to open sometime in the spring.
Now, to be clear, this is for physical or “retail” sportsbooks.
Online sports betting in PA will come likely sometime in early 2019. The state is requiring casinos to have physical presences first and, we’re hearing, may hold back a few online options until multiple sites are ready to go. SugarHouse Sportsbook is well-positioned to be first in early 2019, while Parx and others may follow suit.
FanDuel Sportsbook has partnered with Valley Forge Casino Resort to offer an online app. However, their application is still pending. And, in PA, so-called “skins,” like DraftKings and FanDuel, have a tougher road to market as the casino backing them must be featured prominently in the branding, unlike in New Jersey sports betting, where, say, Draftkings Sportsbook is backed by Resorts casino– something that’s not immediately apparent to most bettors.
The point is, online betting is coming to PA in early 2019, but you may see SugarHouse and Parx come before more established national brands like DraftKings and FanDuel. Today was just one small step for sports punters, but perhaps one giant leap for… you know what, never mind. You get it.
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