The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the state’s first two sports-betting operations at Parx Casino in Bensalem and the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County.
Parx officials plan to launch on-site sports betting in November at the Bensalem casino, followed by a satellite sportsbook at its South Philadelphia Turf Club in the stadium complex. They also hope to launch online sports betting in January, according to a report at Philly.com.
The land-based sportsbook at the Hollywood Casino, should be ready to begin in the "next few months," Daniel Ihm, the casino’s general manager told the website.
In a related matter, SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia has reportedly applied for a sports betting license. Harrah’s Philadelphia also recently applied for a sports betting license. The two applications are likely to be heard by the board next month.
In a press release, Sugarhouse said it intends to offer a full range of bets on American and international sports, and will construct its permanent sports book on its existing gaming floor.
The board also approved two online gaming licenses for the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia and the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. The board has already approved online licenses for Parx, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester, and Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Poconos.
The Sands Bethlehem license is notable as the casino is owned by Sheldon Adelson, who has been a vocal opponent of online gambling. However, negotiations are underway for the Poarch Creek tribe to buy the casino, and reports said the casino made the application to meet state deadlines.
The Poarch Creek operate a social gaming website that they hope to transform into a real-money online site through the casino, local reports said.
However, online gambling’s launch date is still uncertain as the board must still issue approvals and licensing for a variety of online service providers as well as review the casinos’ internal controls and testing of equipment and software before betting can begin.