The following locations have been approved for a sports gaming license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB):
|Sportsbook||Location||Operator||Retail Launch Date||Online Launch Date|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||Grantville||William Hill||Nov 2018||Summer 2019 (est)|
|SugarHouse Casino||Philadelphia||Kambi||Dec 2018||Summer 2019 (est)|
|Rivers Casino||Pittsburgh||Kambi||Dec 2018||Summer 2019 (est)|
|Parx Casino||Bensalem||Kambi||Jan 2019||Summer 2019 (est)|
|South Philly Turf Club (Parx)||Philadelphia||Kambi||March 2019||N/A|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Chester||Scientific Games||Jan 2019||Summer 2019 (est)|
|FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino||King of Prussia||FanDuel||March 2019||Summer 2019 (est)|
|Presque Isle Downs and Casino||Erie||BetAmerica||Launching June 1||Summer 2019 (est)|
|Valley Forge Turf Club||Oaks||Kambi||March 2019||N/A|
|Mount Airy Casino||Mt Pocono||The Stars Group||Application pending||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Wilkes-Barre||Kindred||Application pending||N/A|
The PGCB requires that PA get brick-and-mortar sportsbooks are up and running without any issues before it allows license holders to launch online and mobile PA sports betting operations.
There are currently eight Pennsylvania sportsbooks up and running, including two at off-track betting facilities. Presque Isle should get started sometime June 1. Mohegan Sun Pocono and Mount Airy are just beginning the application process.
When are PA online sportsbooks launching?
If you’ve been following Pennsylvania sports betting news, you know that the launch of online sportsbooks in the state can feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick a football sometimes.
Just when it seemed like launch was imminent, the new interpretation of the Wire Act set things back by a matter of months. With questions surrounding how the Department of Justice will interpret what constitutes an intrastate betting transaction, PGCB is being very cautious.
The organization requested written adherence plans for the new, more broad Wire Act interpretation. In order to be in compliance, many casinos are revising their server plans to locate everything within the Keystone State.
With the caution and the revisions, PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole predicted launch in either late June or early July. However, there are rumors that some sportsbooks could be ready to go as early as April.
Online plans for each PA sportsbook
Each sportsbook in Pennsylvania can have a single online sports betting skin. That skin must prominently feature the name of the PA property holding the license. Even with that stipulation though, there are plenty of big names that partnered up to get into the Pennsylvania sports betting market.
Here is a breakdown of what companies are working with each PA casino:
Hollywood Casino at Penn National
The first of the retail sportsbooks to open in Pennsylvania is partnered up with one of the oldest and biggest names in the game: William Hill.
William Hill has been up and running in Nevada for years, but it is quickly setting up shop in just about any every state they can. The company works with Monmouth Park in New Jersey, where it operates both its retail sportsbook and a NJ online sports betting app.
The company also supplies the West Virginia Hollywood Casino with its retail sports betting system. However, Penn National has partnered with DraftKings to be its online betting provider in the Mountaineer State. There is hope William Hill goes online there too though, as WV casinos each have three online sports betting skins to work with.
It does seem like Hollywood and William Hill are less eager than some groups to get online up and running. However, the casino, which is the only sportsbook not in the vicinity of a major city. With its remote locale, it arguably needs a PA betting app more than anyone.
The biggest casino in the state wanted to be one of the first out the gate when it came to sports betting. Paperwork got the best of the property, which only opened its retail sportsbook in January.
While it was not first, it did make the argument for being finest thanks to its partnership with Kambi. The European betting group is the supplier with the biggest reach in Pennsylvania. It works with Parx as well as the two Rush Street properties, Rivers and SugarHouse.
Kambi couldn’t go online when Parx, but it did offer something close. Parx unveiled a website they named Betslip Builder, which allows bettors to put together bets on their phone, then scan a QR code once they get to the betting counter.
Add in kiosk betting throughout the property and you have a retail experience with about as much tech as possible without a PA online betting app.
SugarHouse and Rivers
As mentioned, these two casinos share a sports betting partner that also works with Parx. Like Parx, the casinos benefit from the quality tech Kambi offers as well as a wide range of bets on offer.
It also helps that PlaySugarHouse is already up and running as a New Jersey sportsbook. Folks interested in seeing what these two apps might look at need look no further than the Garden State. The end user experience should be similar. Plus, aside from betting on NJ college teams (which is not allowed in NJ), you can get all the same bets.
This is a particularly sweet deal for Rivers patrons in Pittsburgh. Even though the book is the only game in town, the prices are the same as SugarHouse, which is in a market filled with books competing for market share.
FanDuel at Valley Forge
FanDuel may be known by most for its daily fantasy sports offering, but the brand is quickly and successfully making its way into sports betting. The company’s branded sportsbook at The Meadowlands in New Jersey along with its NJ betting app make it one of the two most successful brands in the state. The other brand? DraftKings.
Like PlaySugarHouse, a glimpse at FanDuel’s NJ offering will give you a very good understanding of what Pennsylvanians are waiting for. You’ll quickly see why it is popular as well. The site features cutting-edge technology and is easy to navigate and bet on even if you are just a beginning bettor.
Mount Airy and The Stars Group
Mount Airy Casino may be late to the PA sports betting market, but they did come with one of the bigger brands in the online casino space.
The Stars Group, best known for its PokerStars online poker brand, is also in the sports betting game. The company already has the BetStars brand up and running in the New Jersey online betting market. Next up will be a Pennsylvania betting app through the Poconos-area casino.
In addition to BetStars, the Mount Airy deal also includes a PokerStars and Mount Airy online poker site and a Stars Group-powered online casino. Expect a fully integrated PA online gambling app eventually like the one that currently is up and running in the Garden State.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun Pocono was the last of the current crop of Pennsylvania casinos to announce a partnership with a sports betting company. Though it was last, the partner is not a bad one at all. Mohegan Sun Pocono will be working with the European company Kindred. The company is best known for the Unibet brand overseas.
Since Mohegan Sun only submitted its sports betting application at the end of March, it is unclear what brand it might use in Pennsylvania. Once the group presents plans to PGCB, there will be more info on the partnership available to the public. Don’t expect things to be in order for the April 17 PGCB meeting though. More likely the earliest either Mohegan or Mount Airy will present is in May.
While Caesars Entertainment was one of the last casino companies to get in the app game in Nevada, the corporation is definitely stepping up its game as online betting expands.
The company rolled out a brand new Caesars Sportsbook app that was integrated with its NJ online casino. The brand-new app is powered by Scientific Games technology. You can expect the sports betting and casino to be integrated together for the PA app as well. However, there is certainly a chance that Harrah’s has to roll out its sports betting app separately, then integrate at a later date.
Given that Harrah’s was a bit late to the retail game and the property is not as busy as competitors like SugarHouse and Parx, they are having trouble establishing much market share in Philadelphia so far. However, if they can be one of the first to get seamless integration of the two options, that could certainly get patrons to download and start betting.
PA casinos without sports betting licenses
The six remaining Pennsylvania casinos that could still apply for a license but haven’t yet filed with the PGCB are:
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (Farmington)
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino (North Strabane Twp.)
- Sands Casino Resort (Bethlehem)
- Stadium Casino (Philadelphia), which opens in 2020