Caesars Online Sportsbook finally soft-launched with limited hours during a mandatory test phase, which began Tuesday afternoon.

Full approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is pending, which will make it the ninth online sportsbook in the Keystone State.

The virtual book is in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester, Delaware County, and their platform provider, Scientific Games. Interface for now is through desktop and Android phones, with an iOS app to come.

Online casino games in the offing

Sometime this spring — no timeline has been announced — online casino games including slots, table games and video poker will also launch, according to a news release.

The official release makes no mention of online poker. But given that Caesars’ license allows for it and the brand offers poker through in neighboring NJ, it’s reasonable to expect it to follow.

A long windup to launch

It looked as if the online book would launch last fall. In fact, there was an announcement made targeting a September live date, but then the timeline was subsequently withdrawn without explanation.

Harrah’s has had approval from PA regulators to set up shop online since August 2018.

The retail sportsbook for Harrah’s opened in January 2019.

Integrated into Caesars Rewards Program

Executive VP of Gaming and Interactive for Caesars Entertainment Christian Stuart said of the venture:

“Caesars Entertainment is the leader in legalized and regulated gaming in the US, and this online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania is an exciting expansion given the incredible number of sports fans across the state.

“The online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania achieves another milestone in our strategy to offer Caesars-branded mobile gaming products equipped with the latest technology and superior customer service that customers trust, across the most populous states in the US.”

Mobile products are integrated fully into the popular Caesars Rewards loyalty program, said Stuart. That means customers can earn and redeem points across all properties in the network.

The delay is not addressed in the announcement release. But it appears to have had to do with the pending closing of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado.

Caesars’ merger with Eldorado likely delayed rollout

Eldorado Resorts, Inc. got official PGCB approval in early February to follow through with the acquisition of Caesars.

The corporate change should not be an issue in PA. But the sale could prompt some changes in New Jersey, where Caesars owns a cluster of properties in Atlantic City.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack General Manager Chris Albrecht said of the online rollout, “With the addition of mobile sports betting, we look forward to more guests playing with us on the property and all around Pennsylvania.”

Caesars Entertainment operates across 29 locations, both retail and online. It is now in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa, New York and Nevada.

Funding options

Accounts can be funded in the app via Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, ACH and several other forms of payment.

Sports bettors, online casino players and likely online poker fans should be in for a treat given the ubiquity of the brand and Caesars’ well-received rewards program.