It’s been more than a year since Gov. Tom Wolfe signed PA gambling expansion into law. Yet, we are only now getting ready for the launch of sports betting in Pennsylvania.
The historic legislation paved the way for, among other things, the opening of sportsbooks and online sports betting, both of which are now close to becoming a reality.
Parx and Hollywood Casino made headlines this past week as they announced where they are at in the timeline for launching a land-based and online sportsbook.
Hollywood Sportsbook may be just weeks away
Earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved the sports betting petitions of Hollywood and Parx, giving them a three-week headstart over the other three applicants.
Of the two casinos, Hollywood is the closest to debuting their sportsbook. The retail sportsbook is the result of the property’s partnership with European sports betting giant William Hill.
In order to launch the sportsbook, Hollywood and William Hill will have to satisfy the requirements of the PGCB’s “trial” phase, in which Hollywood will have to check off a variety of requirements.
Those requirements include the following steps, per our research of existing regulations at the time of publishing:
- Provide estimated full-time and part-time employees along with job descriptions and photos of each principal or key employee
- Identify the Minority Business Enterprise, Women Business Enterprise, and/or Local Business Enterprise status of each known and proposed contractors and subcontractors
- Ensure providers, vendors, contractors, and subcontractors file appropriate applications and are authorized by the PGCB to perform their respective duties
- Submit an itemized list of the types of wagers to offer and in which sports
- Submit detailed site plans of proposed sportsbook
- Allow for inspection of all equipment and devices and comply with laboratory testing by PGCB
Considering that William Hill has worked with U.S. regulators in West Virginia and New Jersey, meeting the PGCB’s trial requirements shouldn’t be too difficult. Really, it is about running successful tests in order to get the okay to launch.
Parx to launch in a couple of months
At first, it seemed inevitable that Parx would launch a sportsbook first. However, over the past month, Parx seems more focused on its permanent sportsbook than rushing a temporary facility to market.
Parx is investing $10 million in a permanent sportsbook and have plans to launch a temporary sportsbook sometime in the next couple of months.
The exact launch date of the land-based sportsbook is unknown. What might be holding up the process is Parx’s sports betting partner, Kambi, still has not been approved for a PA operator license. So, rather than aiming for November like it initially did, Parx is now simply saying “in the next few months.”