Mohegan Sun Pocono went before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) last week and left with conditional approval to offer sports betting. That brings the number of PA sportsbook licenses to 10.
The PGCB’s approval sets the stage for Mohegan to accept its first bet ahead of the 2019 NFL season opener.
Aviram Alroy, vice president of Interactive Gaming at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, commented in the Morning Call:
“We want to be cautious with our timeline. I want to say early fall to launch it. we’re probably going to launch it on the bricks-and-mortar side earlier than online. We very much want to be ready for NFL season, for sure.”
A PA sportsbook for the youngsters
Once open, Mohegan Sun Sportsbook will be prominently positioned near the main entrance next to Molly O’Shea’s Irish Pub.
The sportsbook will encompass 1,130 square feet and be able to accommodate up to 75 players. Players can bet and watch from 42 couch seats and 23 high-top chairs.
The book will include:
- Seven betting terminals
- Three teller booths
- HD video wall
“We’re aiming for a very younger age,” Alroy said.
The sportsbook placement, layout and amenities will make it impossible for anyone entering the casino to miss. Alroy described the book as “very modern, very comfortable.”
A surprise omission in Mohegan’s PA sports betting plans
It’s what was not in Mohegan’s presentation that surprised everyone.
In the presentation to the PCGB, Mohegan showcased its expansion plans and improvement proposals for the venue. But absent from the presentation, however, was the incorporation of its racetrack or the opening of a racebook. It is worth noting, Mohegan was granted a gaming license because of its racino status.
Up to this point, all single casinos with a racebook have integrated the racebook in the sports betting operations.
Such assimilation helps drive traffic to the racetrack and boosts overall betting. A board member commented that “there seems to be evidence of synergism” between wagering on races and sports.
The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association was disappointed with a racebook being not being included.
Alroy responded to the Horseman’s Association:
“We want to go and start as soon as possible and not add a lot of components at the beginning.”
Mohegan Sun Pocono President and General Manager Tony Carlucci clarified the mixed message: “I don’t want to lead with the impression … We’ll have it. … I think there was just a little confusion in our answer. But we’ll have it.”
Then he added that the sportsbook is operating with limited technology. Thus, the casino has a limit on what it can accommodate on high impact sports days, such as football Sundays.
The board requested the Office of Enforcement Counsel asked Mohegan to explain its horse racing positions as part of its order of conditional approval.
Sports betting is a team sport
Mohegan will power its sports betting operation with three partners:
- Kindred Group
- Pala Interactive
Kindred will work with Mohegan as its sports betting and online sports betting app betting supplier. Pala Interactive will join the team to assist with the interactive gambling aspects.
Novomatic will provide the self-service betting terminals within the sportsbook, as well as throughout the casino. Betting kiosks have proven extremely popular in neighboring New Jersey and lessen the wait for sports bettors at the betting counter.