Pennsylvania’s top-grossing casino has indicated that it plans to enter the PA sports betting market.
PA’s 13 casino license holders have been able to apply for a license to operate sportsbooks since the end of May. The licenses allow for sportsbook operations both online and inside the casino.
However, none have. As a result, it has been widely speculated license holders see the state’s $10 million licensing fee and 36-percent tax rate as a barrier to market entry.
In fact, some license holders claim the cost of running a sportsbook in PA makes it impossible to turn a profit.
Apparently, Parx Casino in Bensalem and its online gambling content and software supplier GAN don’t feel the same way.
GAN and Parx sports betting partnership
In fact, GAN’s Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Berman told PlayPennsylvania.com it will be providing the tech behind Parx sports betting roll out over the coming months:
“We’re being used to deploy on-property sports betting as well as online, to be made available to on-property patrons on self-serve kiosks/tablets, deployed on-property, as well as traditional retail over the counter services.”
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also began accepting applications for the state’s $10 million online gambling licenses in April. The licenses are for operating online slots, online table games, and online poker. No casino license holder applied for almost 90 days. However, at the 11th hour before the July 16 deadline, nine of the 13 finally filed applications.
A single Parx account
Berman says Parx customers will be able to use one account across its online gambling and sports betting platforms:
“Patrons will have a single ‘Parx Account’ on the GAN platform to deposit/withdraw funds from, which can be used for retail sports betting, internet sports betting as well as internet gaming. The concept is to reduce anonymous cash-only sports betting on-property as much as possible, and to drive sports betting patrons to open their ‘Parx Account’ to maximize all-important cross-sell to online sports/casino.”
Berman said its all about GAN allowing market-leading Parx to offer a complete gambling experience to its customers:
“Following the execution of this extension and amendment, GAN now offers clients a platform equipped with multiple options for integrated sports betting to be launched seamlessly alongside GAN’s market-leading internet casino product. We welcome the opportunity to deliver sports betting in the retail channel, as well as online, through GAN’s unique platform containing patented technology.”
No data service provider has been named. However, GAN officials have indicated its deal with Parx includes a share in both retail and online sports betting revenue.
Sports betting at Parx by the end of 2018
Parx says sports betting will launch before the end of 2018. This despite the fact the state’s Gaming Board has yet to announce any sports betting license applicants. The board is still designing regulations to govern sports betting in the state.
In the meantime, there are still concerns in the local casino industry. Particularly that lofty licensing fees and oppressive tax rates will make it hard for legal sportsbooks to compete. Offshore online operations, illegal bookies, and legal sportsbooks in neighboring states don’t have the same expenses.
New Jersey’s sports-betting tax sits at 8.5 percent. The state will charge online operations 13 percent when they launch. Of course, there is also a five percent federal excise tax on all sportsbooks revenue.
New Jersey’s initial sports wagering license fee is just $100,000.
That leaves PA’s $10 million fee and 36-percent tax as the highest in the country.