The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) had a busy week. It approved another three PA sports betting and two more PA online gambling license applications at its Oct. 31 meeting.

The PGCB gave conditional approval for Harrah’s Philadelphia, Rivers Casino, and SugarHouse Casino to launch sports betting operations. Each must first satisfy conditions set by the state’s Office of Enforcement Counsel (OEC) before taking bets.

However, with a number of approved PA casinos almost ready to do so, the PGCB also granted Executive Director Kevin O’Toole the power to review cases and give ready-to-launch sportsbooks the green light.

The PGCB also gave conditional approval for Presque Isle Downs and the preparing-for-construction Stadium Casino to launch online gambling operations. Similarly, both PA casinos must also satisfy conditions set out by the OEC before each gets up and running online.

Rush Street Gaming owns and operates both Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino. The organization appears fully prepared to launch on Dec. 1.

Rivers sportsbook

Rush Street representatives told the PGCB sports are in the DNA at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. The casino is just a stone’s throw from Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, and PNC Park, where MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates play.

The plan at Rivers includes launching a temporary sportsbook on the south gaming floor. The 3,000 square-foot space will feature seating for approximately 100 people, on-site cashiers, and self-service betting kiosks.

Rivers also plans to install a 14-by-7-foot LED video wall and 15 flat-screen TVs for game viewing.

Ultimately, Rivers will replace the temporary sportsbook with a permanent operation in the center of the gaming floor near its Levels Lounge. The permanent sportsbook will feature an expanded bar with video poker, club, VIP, and table seating.

Rivers plans to have the permanent location ready to launch by the spring of 2019.

SugarHouse sportsbook

The sports betting plan at SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia will operate on a similar timeline. It plans to launch a 1,800-square-foot temporary sportsbook across from its poker room near the north entrance on Dec. 1.

The space will feature seating for approximately 70 people, its own 14-by-7-foot LED video wall and 12 flat-screen TVs for game viewing.

SugarHouse also plans to replace the temporary location with a permanent sportsbook in the spring. It will be located on the central gaming floor, where the Lucky Red Lounge now stands.

Additionally, Rush Street officials believe they will be ready to launch an online and mobile PA sports betting product out of both properties by that time.

The retail and online and mobile sports betting operations at both casinos will run on Kambi Group software. Rush Street uses Kambi to run its SugarHouse-branded mobile sportsbook in New Jersey.

Harrah’s Philadelphia sportsbook

Caesars Entertainment‘s Harrah’s Philadelphia property in Chester plans to launch an online and mobile sports betting product in the future. However, its sports betting plan is focused on retail operations for now.

The plan includes opening a 4,322 square-foot Harrah’s sportsbook across from the casino’s table games pit.

The sportsbook will feature stadium-style seating and 40 flat-screen TVs with television packages for all major US and international sports leagues. There will also be an odds board, six teller windows, and self-serve betting kiosks scattered throughout the property.

The sportsbook will run on software provided by long-time Caesars partner Scientific Games.

Stadium online gambling plans

The plans put forth by at least one of the two properties approved to launch online gambling in PA are much less defined.

Owners of Stadium Casino are still preparing to begin construction of the property in South Philadelphia’s Stadium District. However, rumor has it the property’s casino license is up for sale.

An attorney representing the company gave no indication the rumors are true. However, he did say Stadium Casino is “in a bit of a pickle,” at this point, without a defined online gambling plan or employees to create one.

Stadium did make one move, requesting its application be amended to remove online poker.

Stadium Casino appears to be moving forward with plans to launch online slots and online table games operation. However, nothing will go ahead online until the brick and mortar casino is built.

Presque Isle Downs online casino

Horse racing giant Churchill Downs is still finalizing a $178.9 million deal to buy Erie’s Presque Isle Downs from Eldorado Resorts. Churchill Downs will also assume operations of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington as part of the deal.

The sale should close by the end of the year. However, Presque Isle Downs told the PGCB it is prepared to launch online gambling operations with Churchill Downs under the BetAmerica brand.

Churchill Downs’ BetAmerica offers licensed online horse race and greyhound wagering across the country.

The operation will include online table games and online slots only. Presque Isle Downs did not apply for an online poker license.

Churchill Downs is currently in the process of launching an online gambling operation in New Jersey under the Golden Nugget Atlantic City‘s license. Officials said the NJ online casino will be up and running by the end of the year.

As far as its PA online casino is concerned, Presque Isle Downs and Churchill Downs are looking at early 2019 for launch.

PGCB approval

Mohegan Sun Pocono remains the only PA online gambling license applicant still seeking PGCB approval. The nine PA casinos the PGCB has now granted conditional approval to run online gambling operations are:

Additionally, the PGCB has now given conditional approval for sports betting to five PA casinos:

  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
  • Parx Casino
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia
  • Rivers Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino