Pennsylvania Will Not Have Online Sports Betting by Super Bowl
If Pennsylvanians want to be able to place mobile bets on Super Bowl 53, they might have to drive to the nearest casino to do so. Although the state has approved the option of mobile sports betting, no casino has been officially told that they can start doing so.
Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
PA’s gaming update does allow people to place wagers online, but there has been no permission granted from the state regulators. Doug Harbach, who is a spokesperson for the Gaming Control Board, confirmed the news that there won’t be any online Super Bowl betting in Pennsylvania.
Because there won’t be any online betting allowed, people will have to travel to one of three areas of the state where legal bets will be allowed by February 3rd, when the Patriots and the Rams play the Super Bowl. These three areas are Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
Casinos Where Sports Bets Will Be Accepted
The first casino in the state to offer legal sports gambling was the Hollywood Casino at Penn National just outside of Harrisburg on November 17, 2018.
Since it opened, the Parx and SugarHouse in Philadelphia and the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh launched their own sportsbooks. Parx also accepts sports wagers at the Turf Club, an off-track betting parlor in South Philadelphia.
On Tuesday, the GCB started testing Harrah’s sportsbook operation in Chester near to Philly. Speaking of the testing, Dog Harbach had the following comments about a timeframe:
“If all goes well, they would open for regular hours on Thursday and the number of operational sportsbooks would stand at six.”
The Hollywood Casino
Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook took over the space of the simulcast theater and is approximately 5,000 square feet. It has a 110-inch video wall, six betting windows, and 26 televisions. It’s operated along with strategic partner William Hill and is open from 11 am to midnight every day monday through Friday. On weekends it opens at 10 am.
The SugarHouse Casino
SugarHouse launched its own sportsbook on December 15, 2018, alongside Kambi to power its sports betting operations. This location is temporary while construction goes on at the permanent location in the old Lucky Red Bar. The new, permanent location will open in the spring of 2019.
This is a smaller facility with under 2000 square feet of space, but it has a 98-square-foot video wall, seating for 70 people, and 12 HD televisions.
The Parx Casino
The Parx casino opened its temporary sportsbook on January 10, 2019. While the permanent facility is being worked on, the current operations are taking place in the old 360 Lounge, which makes up 3,000 square feet.
In addition to 30 kiosks spread throughout the property, the sportsbook has 12 self-service betting kiosks, seven betting windows, 20 75-inch HD TVs, and two 144-square-foot TV screens.
The Rivers Casino
The Rivers Casino, which is a sister property to SugarHouse, opened on December 15, 2018, at the same time as the SugarHouse. Like the others, Rivers is operating a temporary sportsbook while it renovates the Levels Lounge to become the permanent sportsbook facility.
The temporary location is 3,000 square feet that holds self-service kiosks, 15 HD televisions, a 98-square-foot video wall, and live betting windows.
The Harrah’s Philadelphia
Harrah’s Philadelphia was the most recent to open for business. It too is using a temporary space for its sportsbook, while it works on the permanent location. The temporary space, however, is very nice with lounge seating and 45 HD televisions.
The permanent area will feature two horse racing terminals, six live teller windows, self-service kiosks both inside the facility and around the casino, and 40 flat-screen TVs with major sports packages.
South Philadelphia Turf Club
The only location that allows sports betting outside of casinos is the South Philadelphia Turf Club, an off-track betting parlor very close to the three major sports arenas in Philly.
Greenwood Gaming has spent $1 million on renovations to update the 27,000-square-foot facility with additional TVs, modern signs and displays, nine self-service kiosks, and seven teller windows.
Sports Betting Revenue
In December, sportsbooks in Pennsylvania took in a total of $16.17 million in sports bets. After paying out winnings, the casinos took in $2 million in revenue; the state then took $722,000 in taxes.
Compared to states like New Jersey and West Virginia, that number is a lot less, likely because those states offer online sports betting. New Jersey took in $319 million in wagers in the same month, while West Virginia took in $42 million.
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