FanDuel Catching Up On DraftKings In The PA Fantasy Sports Race

DraftKings and FanDuel continue to dominate fantasy sports in PA, but FanDuel is gaining ground and might unseat the top dog by year’s end.

It’s a two-horse race and it has been for some time.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently released the fantasy contest revenue numbers from March. As expected, DraftKings and FanDuel’s revenue accounted for more than 95 percent of the bottom line.

Of note is a considerable surge in FanDuel’s revenue report.

Breaking down the March PA DFS numbers

DraftKings’ reported revenue for March was $864,702.58. FanDuel was second at $736,340.40.

What’s interesting about these numbers is that FanDuel closed the gap considerably.

In February, the company was approximately $284,000 behind DraftKings. However, in March, the gap was around $128,000. FanDuel cut its competitors lead by more than half. Perhaps brand awareness tied to the launch of FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino helped boost the numbers?

Among the group considered “the rest”, there was significant movement month-on-month. For example, Boom Fantasy produced the lowest revenue in February at $2,151.45. The site, however, vaulted into third place in March because four other sites relied on fantasy football and experienced steep declines.

DRAFT‘s fantasy contests eclipsed $20,000 for the third month in a row this year. Their March revenue put them ahead of Yahoo Fantasy Sports.

2019 fantasy contest revenue peaked in January

Overall, the state’s fantasy contest sites/apps experienced a decline in monthly revenue compared to January. That month, the NFL playoffs were in full swing. Along with a full slate of NBA and NHL games, sites enjoyed solid revenue, notching more than $2.1 million.

By contrast, sites saw around a 23 percent decline in revenue from January to March. Much of that decline is due to certain sites’ reliance on fantasy football.

For example, Fantasy Football Players Championship did not report any income in March. However, in February, the company reported $47,744.12, which was around $23,000 more than DRAFT and around $38,000 more than Yahoo Fantasy Sports. This is likely because the company’s product is constructed around season-long fantasy leagues.

Another factor in the income decline was Fantasy Draft. The platform reported revenue of more than $4,000 in January and more than $5,800 in February. In March, though, the company operated at a loss of more than $700.

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Looking back to the PA fantasy contest launch

Fantasy contests launched in Pennsylvania in May 2018. At that time, 10 companies submitted revenue reports. FanDuel earned the most revenue that month, edging out DraftKings.

The only company on that original revenue report not present in any of the 2019 reports was Fastpick.

Revenue-wise, the 10 operators listed on the revenue report combined for $1.33 million. Now, nearly one year later, the revenue report is $1.63 million.

PA fantasy contests stalling?

The lack of growth isn’t troubling, per se, but does make one wonder why more DFS-style fantasy sites aren’t operating in Pennsylvania. Market saturation could be a factor, as could be the sheer dominance DraftKings and FanDuel exert on the market.

Furthermore, fantasy contests aren’t exactly a lucrative year-round proposition for some operators. For example, in January, two companies reported less than $5,000 in revenue.

In February, another two companies reported less than $5,o00 and in March, five companies did. One, Fantasy Draft, even reported losses of $727 last month.

Good JuJu Vs. Bad Juju: FanDuel Taking Bets for Smith-Schuster vs. AB

FanDuel Sportsbook is offering fan service for Steelers Nation. PA bettors can wager on whether or not JuJu Smith-Schuster will outperform Antonio Brown.

Antonio Brown gave the world a lesson in how to burn bridges.

Now, oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino are giving you the chance to make prop bets on whether the new Oakland Raiders will shine brighter than his protege, JuJu Smith-Schuster, this upcoming 2019 NFL season.

“There have been plenty of shots fired between former teammates JuJu Smith Schuster and Antonio Brown over the last week and no doubt each will be trying to outperform the other this season to prove a point,” said FanDuel rep Marc Sausa said in an email statement about the novel lines. 

The beef between AB and JuJu

On his way out of Pittsburgh this offseason, Brown made it clear he was not happy with Steelers management or quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

The front office underpaid Brown, he claimed, and Big Ben was a negative presence in the locker room, so much so that Brown left a practice leading up to the final game of the 2018 season.

And, recently, Brown took jabs at now-#1 wideout Smith-Schuster.

In a tweet timestamped 2:10 p.m., April 7, Brown ripped into his younger counterpart. He referenced Smith-Schuster’s costly fumble in the Steeler’s must-win game against the New Orleans Saints in Week 17.

Smith-Schuster fired back with his own tweet, taking the high road by saying:

“All I ever did was show that man love and respect from the moment I got to the league. I was genuinely happy for him too when he got traded to Oakland w/a big contract, and how he takes shots at me on social media?”

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The prop bets between AB and JuJu

This feud is now the stuff of legends and the basis for FanDuel’s pair of futures bets. One pits the two against each other in TD’s and the other in receiving yards:

  • More touchdowns
    • Antonio Brown: -220
    • JuJu Smith-Schuster: +175
  • More Yards
    • Antonio Brown: -140
    • Juju Smith-Schuster: +115

Based on these odds, Brown is the favorite to score more touchdowns and rack up more yards.

Interestingly, though, the two receivers were relatively evenly matched in 2018 when it came to catches and yards:

  • JuJu: 15 games, 111 catches, 1,426 yards, 7 touchdowns
  • AB: 15 games, 104 receptions, 1,297 yards, 15 TD’s.

Smith-Schuster enjoys the luxury of a high-powered offense that includes running back James Conner and a legendary QB.

While AB is now the star in a relatively pedestrian audience, he brings with him an uncanny ability to haul in TD’s. He’s logged double-digit touchdowns in four of his past five seasons.

Interestingly, Smith-Schuster posted career highs in his third season. His numbers exceeded what AB put up in his third season in the league.

Both JuJu and AB were playing behind stars (AB, Mike Wallace) and emerged as a star in their own right.

If you’d like to place a prop bet on these two wideouts, you can do so in person at Valley Forge Casino. Or, if it is easier, you can always pop over the New Jersey state line and take advantage of FanDuel’s online betting app there.

PA Online Lottery Could Face Competition From Neighboring Ohio

With Ohio considering an online lottery and launch of PA online casinos just a couple months away, the PA online lottery is about to get some competition.

It’s been a good run for the Pennsylvania Lottery.

In the time since former Gov. Tom Wolf passed Pennsylvania’s gambling expansion bill in Oct. 2017, the PA Lottery launched several different types of games, including PA iLottery instant-win games. All of this has come without in-state competition in the online space.

However, that reign prosperity may come to an end in a very short amount of time. Not only is online gambling in PA just a couple of months away. Neighboring Ohio is considering launching an online lottery as well.

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Ohio planning to launch iLottery

One danger to the Pennsylvania iLottery may emerge from Ohio within a year’s time.

This past weekend, Cleveland.com reported that lottery officials want to launch an iLottery in less than a year.

Speaking with Cleveland.com, Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald said going online is just common sense based on prevailing shopping preferences.

“By allowing additional methods of purchasing existing content, the lottery can keep up with the way people have become accustomed to buying everything from music and books to their groceries.”

That move could cut into the PA lottery’s profits. Geolocation rules require that you have to physically be in Pennsylvania to play the PA iLottery.

Therefore, Ohio residents that might be driving across the border to play in PA would no longer need to make the trek. Those residents will soon not even have to leave their homes to get the same action PA provided.

Online gambling expected to launch this summer

Meanwhile, the PA Lottery also has to prepare for in-state competition.

PA online gambling has been a much-anticipated facet of the Pennsylvania gambling scene ever since Oct. 2017. However, the implementation of gambling websites has progressed much slower than anticipated.

There were rumblings at the beginning of the year that casinos were finalizing plans to launch online gambling sites. A launch seemed imminent.

However, a surprise decision from the Department of Justice regarding the Wire Act put those plans on hold. The DOJ concluded that effectively all forms online gambling fell under the purview of the Wire Act. Practically speaking, this meant money and data was not allowed to cross state lines. This made it tricky for online operators who had servers in other states like New York, for example.

That development put any plans to launch online casinos in a holding pattern. Thankfully, though, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Executive Director Kevin O’Toole testified earlier this year that no the DOJ decision did not deter casinos who paid $10 million for an online casino license.

This, in theory, was not good news for the iLottery. An onslaught of online gambling sites would most likely mean decreased traffic to its online games.

Ironically, the PA casinos filed a lawsuit against the Lottery because its online games resembled online casinos. At the time of publication, that suit was still active.

Mount Airy And Mohegan Bring PA Sportsbook Licensee Tally To Nine

There are only four PA casinos not pursuing sports betting now that both Mount Airy and MOhegan Sun Pocono have started the application process.

The frozen sportsbook tundra that was northeast Pennsylvania may have a thaw in sight.

This past week, news broke that that Mohegan Sun Pocono submitted petitions to provide legalized sports betting via a land-based sportsbook. Also, as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed, Mount Airy also submitted a petition.

A look at Mohegan Sun’s petition

Downs Racing, who owns Mohegan Sun, filed their petition on Mar. 27, according to a copy of the petition that PAOnlineCasino obtained. The petition reads:

“Downs Racing is seeking a certificate to offer all types of sports wagering permitted by Pennsylvania law and intends to offer a combination of land-based, mobile, and interactive sports wagering.”

It goes on to say that Downs Racing expects that launching a sportsbook will provide further benefit to the Commonwealth. The group also noted that it paid around $123 million in taxes to the state for its 2016-2017 fiscal year.

“Downs Racing has also made sizeable donations to local agencies, charitable efforts and community-based organizations,” the petition says.

As for the types of sports betting the casino will offer, its petition says they want to provide wagering across all permitted platforms. This would include PA online sports betting.

A look at Mount Airy’s petition

The copy of Mount Airy’s petition PA Online Casino obtained contains a note that the casino filed the petition on Mar. 29.

“It is anticipated that the addition of sports wagering will enhance the Mt. Airy facility, increasing its competitiveness in the regional gaming market by providing a significant amenity for gaming patrons,” the petition noted. “If sports wagering is authorized at the Mt. Airy facility, significant economic benefits will be realized by the Commonwealth and Commonwealth residents”

According to the petition, the casino plans to offer land-based, online, and interactive sports wagering. With these platforms, the casino notes that it should take around 36 months to reach its mature projected tax revenue.

The petition goes on to say that the casino’s immediate plans are to provide sports wagering via kiosks on the gaming floor.

Schematics indicating exactly where these kiosks go were not available via the petition we studied.

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Online betting expected this summer

At the beginning of the year, all seemed positive for Pennsylvania casinos who wanted to launch sportsbooks. However, the Department of Justice ruled in February that online gambling fell under the jurisdiction of the Wire Act.

This somewhat surprising decision created problems for sportsbook operators who planned on using existing servers in New Jersey, for example. Now, Pennsylvania sports betting data through those servers is not an option. As a result, the properties need to quickly execute a contingency plan.

The Wire Act forbids this because it forbids moving money and information across state lines. Moreover, the new opinion also has to potential to redefine what constitutes an out-of-state transaction in a much narrower manner.

As a result, the PGCB’s executive director Kevin O’Toole revealed during a budget hearing in Harrisburg in March that the projected launch date for online gambling — sports betting included — would be postponed until the summer, although some experts predict at least on book goes online later this month.

Parlay-Vous Money? Parx Bettor Hits 15-Leg, $57K Bet

One Parx Sportsbook bettor defied the odds and cashed in a 15-leg parlay ticket. The ticket cost $25 and paid out a whopping $57,146.40.

It was a stroke of luck 15 times over.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported this past week that an unidentified gambler went to Parx Sportsbook in Philly and placed a $25 bet on a 15-game parlay and hit every single game, earning him or her $57,146.40.

Parx Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming and Sports Matthew Cullen told the Inquirer the casino had no hard feeling about such a big payout.

“It’s not bittersweet at all paying that out. This is the business that we are in. Some bets we win and some bets our customers win. It’s the nature of our business.”

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Fifteen up and 15 down: Analyzing the $57K bet

The mystery bettor’s ticket included 15 different games across three different sports: NCAA basketball, the NBA, and the NHL.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the games upon which he or she bet, along with the type of bet:

NCAA

The mystery winner picked two NCAA games: One from the big tournament and one from the NIT. The Fairleigh Dickinson game was a bit of a nail-biter, as they were down 13 with 18:37 left in the second half.

    • Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Prairie View A&M (moneyline). Farleigh Dickinson rallied to win after being down double digits in this March Madness play-in.
    • Creighton vs. Loyola Chicago (-3): An NIT matchup, the Bluejays won by 9.

NHL

The parlay included one game that ended up being a blowout.

  • Washington vs. New Jersey (moneyline): The Caps downed the Devils 4-1.

 NBA

This is where the Pennsylvania sports bettor needed the lion’s share of the luck, as he or she bet on the moneyline and over/under for each game except for the Brooklyn game:

  • Philadelphia vs. Charlotte (over)
  • Milwaukee vs. LA Lakers (under)
  • Golden State vs. Minnesota (under)
  • LA Clippers vs. Indiana (over)
  • Houston vs. Atlanta (under)
  • Brooklyn vs. Sacramento (Nets and +3.5, over)

Perhaps the most shocking outcome amid these games was the Nets’ win. Their matchup against the Kings included a 20-0 run by the Kings. The Nets needed a 44-point effort from resurgent D’Angelo Russell (27 came in the fourth quarter) to preserve the win for the Nets.

Parx among eight sportsbooks in PA

PA sports betting is a relatively new phenomenon, as it took more than a year after the state’s gambling expansion bill to open a land-based sportsbook.

However, since the first sportsbook opened at Hollywood Casino at Penn National in November 2017, seven more have followed:

Seton Hall And Fairleigh Dickinson Are Dancing: Here’s Where To Bet On Them

New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson Knights weren’t looking good five minutes into the second half of their NCAA Tournament play-in game against Prairie View A&M Tuesday at the University of Dayton (OH) Arena.

The Knights were losing 50-38. Fifteen minutes later, they were on their way to the round of 64 after closing on a 44-26 run.

With their win, they join Seton Hall University as the only two New Jersey teams participating in March Madness. The state’s gambling laws don’t allow people to bet on New Jersey teams in New Jersey.

What that means for serious March Madness bettors is that they cannot bet on one seed Gonzaga either, as the entire game is off the board. Should Seton Hall advance to the second round, going to Pennsylvania will be the only way to bet on the Pirates’ presumed opponent the University of Kentucky too.

Thankfully, neighboring Pennsylvania has sportsbooks at which you can place bets on the Knights and Pirates.

However, if you do want to bet in Pennsylvania, be aware there is no PA online betting yet. There are eight retail sportsbooks to choose from though, including six in the Philadelphia area.

Kambi sportsbooks offering lines for Seton Hall and Fairleigh Dickinson

At the time of publishing, Pennsylvania sports betting operator Kambi was offering lines on NJ teams’ games via Rivers Sportsbook, SugarHouse Sportsbook, and Parx Sportsbook.

We went to Rivers’ online bet slip to find out the lines at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

#10 Seton Hall vs. #7 Wofford (9:40 p.m., 3/21)

The spread for Seton Hall’s Thursday match-up against upstart Wofford is +2.5. The over/under was at 145 and the money line for Seton Hall was +128.

The Pirates put together a 20-13 season and made a solid run in the Big East tournament before falling to Philadelphia’s own Villanova 72-74 in the final.

The Pirates’ finished the season ranked 34th in the AP poll, 29th in the Coaches poll, and had a NET ranking of 57.

The Knights have been to the Big Dance 13 times and each of the past four years. Their deepest run in the tournament came in 1989 when the reached the finals but lost to Michigan.

#16 Fairleigh Dickinson vs. #1 Gonzaga (7:27 p.m., 3/21)

Understandably so, Kambi had Fairleigh Dickinson as a heavy underdog at +27. At the time of publishing, that was the biggest spread of any #16-#1 match-up.

The total for the match-up was 152.5 and there was no money line on the game.

Fairleigh Dickinson is one of four 16 seeds who snuck into the tournament. The Knights finished the year at 21-13 and earned an automatic bid to the tournament after beating St. Francis in the Northeast Conference tournament championship.

At the end of the season, the Knights were not ranked in any of the major polls and had a NET ranking of 203.

The school is 0-5 in its five NCAA Tournament appearances.

Only one 16 seed has won their first round match-up: the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2018, when the beat possible title contender Virginia.

March Madness expected to bring in $8.5 billion handle

According to a Forbes article published this week, the American Gaming Association estimates that 47 million Americans will bet more than $8.5 billion on the NCAA Tournament this year.

About half of what’s bet will be spent on tournament brackets.

“The NCAA Tournament brackets and pools generate gigantic interest, and $4.6 billion is expected to be wagered on a collective 149 million brackets by more than 40 million people,” contributor Jay Ginsbach wrote. On average, fans fill out four brackets at an average of $30 per bracket.”

Parx Launched A New PA Betting App — For Horse Racing

Parx Racing has brought some good news to PA gamblers lamenting the postponement of PA online casinos.

This past week, the Philadelphia casino launched its mobile horse racing betting platform. The new platform provides bettors with an on-track experience on the go, accessible by phone or browser.

We reached out to Parx for a comment about the new app but did not receive one at the time of publishing.

In a press release this past year from Sportstech Racing and Digital, the app’s developer, president Andrew Gaughan said the app is bringing excitement to the racetrack.

“Sportech has deployed over 25 websites and over 25 mobile apps for customers in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia and we are very pleased to be able to add our valued customer Parx Racing® to that list. We are committed to delivering to their players an overall enhanced digital user experience that helps extend the excitement of the racetrack to the digital channels.”

Overview of the Parx Racing app

Per the requirements of the state’s gambling regulations, only those who are physically in the state of Pennsylvania can use the app to bet.

The in-app experience includes:

  • Handicapping information
  • Livestreams of up to three tracks
  • Replays
  • Odds, probables, carryovers

The app is available to iPhone users with the iPhone 5S and higher. It is also available to Android users. You can use it via web browsers too.

According to the app’s information, you have to be at least 17 years old to download the app. However, per Pennsylvania’s regulations, you have to be at least 18 years old to wager on the app.

The launch of this new wagering platform adds another revenue stream for Parx. The brand already includes Philadelphia’s premier casino and its racetrack located between Philadelphia and Trenton.

In January, the casino entered the sports betting arena by launching a sportsbook at their Philadelphia location and another at South Philadelphia Turf Club, which is owned by the same company who runs Parx: Greenwood Gaming.

Sportech relationship solid amid Wire Act delay

The Parx Racing app and browser platform are presumably the first of multiple digital platforms Sportech will provide for Parx. The companies previously noted the partnership between the company and Parx encompasses all digital platforms.

Though the Parx Racing app is somewhat of a whimper compared to the roar of PA online casinos, it is a sign that Sportech hasn’t jumped ship amid the wait for the launch of PA online casinos.

Earlier this year the Department of Justice announced it has reversed its opinion about the Wire Act. In the opinion, the DOJ claims that the act’s regulations extended to all forms of online gambling. That includes casinos, sports betting, online lottery, and more.

The reversal of opinion led to a reversal of fortunes for PA online casinos. As a result, launch for the industry likely won’t happen until the summertime.

In a meeting with the House Appropriations Committee, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Kevin O’Toole said that the delay may extend into the summer. He and his colleagues are working with  PA casinos and online operators to make sure their operations meet Wire Act requirements.

PGCB did note that none of the casinos who bought online gambling licenses are considering pulling out of the market.

In the meantime, racing fans have something to pass the time. Elsewhere, the rest of PA sports bettors are counting the days until betting on their phones happens.

New Wire Act Opinion Trips Up PA Online Casino Launch Dates

Concerns about the DOJ’s new Wire Act opinion has PA regulators delaying online gambling launches until the summertime, namely June or July.

In the wake of the Department of Justice’s expansion of the Wire Act to include online gambling beyond sports wagering, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)  has decided to postpone the launch of PA online casinos.

PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole broke the news during a 1-hour, 8-minute budget hearing this past week. O’Toole responded to questions from Rep. George Dunbar about the Wire Act’s effects on PA online gambling.

Basically, O’Toole told the PA House Appropriations Committee casinos need to review their online gambling operations. As a result, there will be a delay in launch dates. He told Dunbar:

“As soon as that reinterpretation of the Wire Act occurred, with the help of our office of chief counsel, we prepared a letter and we sent it to all the (casino) general managers and their council. What we wanted to accomplish in that letter was to make sure that the casinos thoroughly read that reinterpretation and looked very closely at their plan for implementing interactive gaming in Pennsylvania.”

Big Wire Act issue is server location

The gist of the DOJ’s reinterpretation is that the Wire Act applies to all types of internet gambling. This means iGaming operators and casinos would be limited to moving money and data within the state of Pennsylvania.

So, if an operator had a server in New York, for example, the Wire Act would prohibit the operator from transmitting information to and from Pennsylvania via that server. The information would be crossing state lines, which is a violation.

Originally, O’Toole pointed out, out-of-state operators planned on using their existing server infrastructure to run PA online gambling.

“There had been an expectation that those iGaming operators who were partnering with our casinos in Pennsylvania if they already had the infrastructure in another jurisdiction that they could leverage that to reduce the cost of implementing iGaming,” he said.

“But with that reinterpretation, it became quite obvious everything had to be on an intrastate basis and that would be probably the biggest challenge – not so much of a challenge but a modest delay to establish an adequate server location within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

The expectation is that online gambling will launch this summer.

Lack of consensus means murky legal landscape

The server scenario we presented above is theoretical, though. There’s no guarantee the DOJ will enforce all possible interpretations of the decision.

In fact, PGCB Chief Counsel Douglas Sherman told Dunbar there’s a moratorium on U.S. District Attorneys prosecuting Wire Act violations.

This means there’s some time for state gambling governing bodies, casinos, and operators to make sense of the interpretation of the Wire Act. Then they can safeguard themselves against any theoretical or practical punishment.

Sherman went on to say that there are rumors that the DOJ will provide, “some clarifications with some guidance.”

PGCB legal council says iGaming licensing fees safe

After O’Toole and Sherman gave their perspective on the immediate effects of the DOJ’s decision, Dunbar asked if there is any indication that Pennsylvania casinos will pull out of their purchase of iGaming licenses.

A fair question, considering how fluid the Wire Act situation is.
Sherman responded with decisiveness, telling Dunbar the money is safe. As Sherman said:

“We’ve not heard that any will be pulling out. I think they’re all examining their operation to make sure it’s an intrastate operation and they can fulfill the goal of opening an online gaming (operation).”

Penn National Announces Mini-Casino Project Hollywood Casino Morgantown

The last of the mini-casino licenses finally has a plan. Penn National announced details for the project, called Hollywood Casino Morgantown.

Bucks County, it’s only a matter of time until you can shuffle up and deal.

This past week, Penn National Gaming, Inc. announced that its second Category 4 satellite casino will be located in Caernarvon Township in Bucks County. Its name is Hollywood Casino Morgantown.

Timothy J. Wilmott, Penn National’s CEO, made the following statement via press release:

“While we explored numerous locations for our Category 4 casino in and around Berks County, the site we selected is unparalleled in terms of ease of access to three major arteries. Hollywood Casino Morgantown is ideally situated to generate new revenues from the more densely populated suburbs to the west of Philadelphia, while further protecting our existing market share at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.”

The announcement ended the mystery of Penn National’s second satellite casino. It was the only remaining license that had not submitted plans to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB)

The Bucks County casino is the second of two satellites Penn National will build. The other location, Hollywood Casino York, will go in open retail space at York Galleria.

Details about Hollywood Casino Morgantown

Per PA gambling laws, satellite casinos are allowed up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games the first year. there is also the option to add 10 additional table games the second year.

Penn National said they’re launching with 750 slots and 30 table games.

Here are further details about their property. Unlike Hollywood Casino York, this mini-casino will go on an empty lot. The project should create around 250 jobs.

  • The building process will create around 275 construction jobs
  • Construction should take about 18 months
  • Caernarvon Township gets two percent of gross slots revenue and one percent of table games revenue.
  • 80,000 square-feet in size

According to the release, the project will cost $111 million, which includes the roughly $10 million in licensing fees.

Hollywood Casino York details

This past September, Penn National revealed plans for its other mini-casino license. The company will open a satellite property inside an old Sears in York Galleria Mall.

This option wasn’t turnkey. However, it did present Penn National the ability to use an existing building rather having to build from the ground up as they will at Hollywood Casino Morgantown.

This nuance to their plans is considerably cheaper for Penn National. Without licensing fees, the York casino will cost around $67 million, which is about $33 million less than their Berks County casino.

An article from the Reading Eagle included the following quote from Wilmott about the York County project:

“We believe the York Galleria Mall, which is a well-known retail destination in York County, is an ideal site for our planned Hollywood Casino York. We explored numerous other potential opportunities within York County, but the mall’s convenient location, existing infrastructure, and ample parking, as well as the support of Springettsbury Township officials and the local business community, helped cement our decision.”

Looks Like Hollywood Casino Will Edge Out Parx As PA’s First Sportsbook

Hollywood Casino thinks it can start taking sports bets as soon as mid-November, while Parx changes its timetable from November to “soon”.

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 EnterpriseWomen 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.”