Eastern Pennsylvania can’t have all the fun.
The western part of the state is finally gaining its second sportsbook. According to GoErie.com, Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie is opening its BetAmerica-branded operation this week. A soft launch starts Wednesday at 4 p.m.
After a two-day soft launch and monitoring from the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board (PGCB), the sportsbook should fully open on Friday at noon.
BetAmerica sportsbook joins Rivers Pittsburgh in Western PA
Presque Isle’s BetAmerica sportsbook will change that, giving people in northwest Pennsylvania a sportsbook to call their own. The sportsbook was initially set to open on June 1, but encountered delays while the kiosk provider waited for PGCB approval. Now, the wait is over and the action is about to begin.
The Presque Isle sports betting operation will feature betting kiosks spread across the entire casino floor. Customers can make wagers at any of 50 kiosks near the Hub center bar, Bar 90, the High-Limit Room, and the non-smoking area of the sportsbook.
How much business can Presque Isle draw from New York?
The Presque Isle Sportsbook is uniquely positioned to attract customers from western New York, where sports betting has yet to gain a foothold. New York opened its first retail sportsbooks last week in the eastern part of the state, at Rivers Casino Schenectady and FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort.
However, online sports betting has yet to be approved in New York, making Presque Isle’s BetAmerica sportsbook the closest option for western New York residents.
Erie is only about 30 minutes from the New York border and a 90-minute drive from Buffalo.
Grand opening will coincide with NFL preseason games
The BetAmerica sportsbook will celebrate a grand opening on Aug. 8 at 4 p.m. in conjunction with the NFL’s first full slate of preseason games. Both Pennsylvania teams and the Buffalo Bills will be in action that night. Game times are as follows:
- Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills: 7 p.m.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: 7:30 p.m.
- Tennessee Titans vs. Philadelphia Eagles: 7:30 p.m.
Betting lines should be available at all retail sportsbooks and via PA’s online betting sites a little closer to kickoff.
Next for BetAmerica is online betting
Based on the examples provided by PA’s sportsbooks, BetAmerica’s retail launch is the logical next step in a move toward online betting. The PGCB has not allowed a sports betting operation to go online without establishing a brick-and-mortar operation first.
BetAmerica already offers an online site in New Jersey and plans to fire up online betting in Pennsylvania as soon as it can.
But first, the retail operation must open its doors in Erie.
That long-awaited moment happens tomorrow.