Parx Bringing Two New Sportsbooks To Philadelphia

Parx’s play to corner the PA sports betting market includes opening up a casino sportsbook Jan. 10 and another at its South Philadelphia Turf Club Jan. 17.

Pennsylvania’s top-grossing casino is making a play to corner the emerging PA sports betting market.

Parx Casino opened up a sportsbook on the property in Bensalem on Jan. 10. The owner of Greenwood Gaming is now set to do the same at its South Philadelphia Turf Club off-track horse race betting location on Thursday, Jan. 17.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) conducted two days of formal testing at the new Sportsbook at Parx Casino before the official launch. It is planning to do the same at the South Philadelphia Turf Club this week.

The launch of the Sportsbook at Parx makes it a total of four PA casinos now running sports betting operations. The others are:

The South Philadelphia Turf Club will become the first sportsbook in the state to open outside a PA casino.

The sportsbook could become the state’s most popular sports betting location when it launches. It sits in Philadelphia’s Stadium District, where all of the city’s major sports franchises play.

Kambi software dominates PA market

Both the Parx and South Philadelphia Turf Club sportsbooks will run on software provided by Kambi. SugarHouse and Rivers sportsbooks are also Kambi-powered operations.

Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook is operated by the country’s largest sportsbook operator William Hill and uses its proprietary software. Hollywood launched the state’s first legal sports betting operation in mid-November. It generated $500,000 in revenue on $1.4 million in handle in its first two weeks.

The Sportsbook at Parx Casino opened in a temporary location and allows the following types of bets:

  • Moneyline
  • Parlay
  • Props
  • Spread
  • Teaser bets 
  • Totals

Leagues that PA bettors can wager on include:

  • NHL
  • Boxing
  • College basketball
  • College football
  • MLB
  • MMA events
  • NBA
  • NFL

Temporary location in Parx’s 360 Lounge

The sportsbook’s temporary location is in Parx’s 360 Lounge. Parx has converted the bar into a sports-betting lounge of sorts with two 16′ by 9′ HD TVs and 20 75″ HD TVs for game viewing.

Plus, there are a dozen self-service sports betting kiosks and seven live teller windows for over-the-counter betting.

However, the bar isn’t the only place players can place bets. Parx has 30 electronic sports betting kiosks throughout the casino floor as well. The facility has made in-game betting available at the kiosks and placed upcoming game odds on the big screen TVs around the bar as well.

Parx is also promising to launch an online sports betting app complete with live in-game betting before long. In fact, Parx has already launched a mobile Betslip Builder app allowing players to plan out bets, put together bet slips and view Parx’s real-time sports odds.

$10 million, state-of-the-art sportsbook

Parx is also building a permanent sportsbook in the north corner of the casino next to the Liberty Bell Gastropub. It plans to open it in the second quarter of 2019. Management promises it will be a $10 million, state-of-the-art facility with:

  • An LED wall wrapping around half the sportsbook
  • A full-service bar with video poker
  • HD TVs throughout
  • Dozens of self-service betting kiosks and live teller windows

Greenwood has also poured $1 million into renovations at the South Philadelphia Turf Club in anticipation of the sportsbook’s launch. This reportedly includes the addition of as many as 150 HD TVs for game viewing, an odds board and several dedicated sports betting teller windows.

A Beginner’s Guide To NHL Betting In Pennsylvania

Licensed sportsbooks are now opening up all across PA, meaning you can legally bet on the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the NHL. Here’s how:

Laws have been passed, regulations formulated and licensed sportsbooks are now opening up all across Pennsylvania. Now, anyone older than 21 and inside PA can legally bet on the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and all types of NHL action.

In fact, all PA sports betting operations are launching with a wide variety of simple and easy ways even casual fans of the NHL can bet on the league.

The basic NHL bets available at all PA sportsbooks include:

  • Moneylines
  • Point spreads (puck lines)
  • Totals
  • Futures

NHL moneylines

Moneyline bets are one of the easiest and most popular ways to bet on any sport, including hockey. NHL moneyline bets pay according to a team’s probability of winning. All you have to do is pick the winner of the game and accept the odds each bet will pay.

Books express moneyline odds as either a positive (+) or negative (-) number. Negative numbers are reserved for favorites and represent the amount you’ll have to bet to win $100 plus your bet back. The positive numbers are for underdogs and show how much a $100 bet will earn.

Take a look at a typical Flyers’ road game against a fierce rival like the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals. The Flyers are having a tough season, so the moneyline on the Flyers at most PA sportsbooks will likely hover around +165. That means if you bet $100 on Philadelphia to win, you’ll win $165 if they come through.

If you like Washington to win at home, you’ll probably find a price of around +200. That means a $200 bet on the Capitals will pay $100 plus your bet back.

NHL puck lines

NHL point spread bets, aka puck lines, are almost as easy to bet on as moneylines. The puck line at any PA sportsbook for every NHL game is set at -1.5 for the favorite and +1.5 for the underdog. That’s because two goals or less decide the average NHL game.

Betting the puck line is simple. All you need to do is make the correct prediction with the puck line factored in, and you’re a winner.

The thing that varies is the price you get on the puck line bet. Books will express favorites as negative (-) numbers and underdogs as positive (+).

It works just like the moneyline. That means if you take the Penguins as a -1.5 puck line favorite at home against the Florida Panthers, you will win when Pittsburgh beats Florida by two goals or more. Most PA sportsbooks will set the price on the Penguins puck line at around -165. That means you’ve got to bet $165 to win $100 plus your bet back.

Of course, that also means if the Panthers win, or the Penguins win by just one goal, only bets on Florida will pay off. Most PA sportsbooks will set the price on the Panthers puck line at around +135. That means you’ll win $135 for every $100 bet.

NHL totals

NHL totals bets are a lot like the over/under bets on football games. PA sportsbooks will set a line on the total number of goals both teams will combine to score. Then it’s up to you to decide if the actual total number of goals will be over or under that number.

PA sportsbooks will typically make the totals around five or six goals for most games and odds on totals bets on either side are generally -110. That means no matter what side you bet on, you’ll have to bet $110 to win $100 plus your bet back.

In the Flyers-Capitals game described above, a PA sportsbook might make the totals line 5.5. That means if both teams combine to score five goals or under, under bets pay. If the total is six goals or more, e.g., Capitals 4, Flyers 2, the over bets pay.

NHL futures

Futures bets on the NHL, or any other sport, are just what you might think they are because of the name. In fact, futures are bets involving something where the outcome will not be determined until sometime in the future. That traditionally means betting on something like who will win the Stanley Cup before the season even starts.

The earlier it is in the season, the better odds you’ll usually get on these bets. Midway through a losing season for the Flyers, PA sportsbooks will offer NHL futures odds on the team that pays pretty big. In fact, with the chances of the Flyers going all the way at around slim to none right now, you could get a line of +10,000 or more.

The Penguins are more of a contender. However, no team can be considered a favorite to win it all just halfway through the season. Therefore, PA sportsbooks will offer futures odds on the team winning the Stanley Cup at around +1200 right now.

Just like moneyline bets, this means a $100 bet on the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup will pay you $1,200 if they go all the way.

NHL parlays

NHL parlays involve combining two or more NHL bets on a single card. Most PA sportsbooks will offer parlay cards. These bets pay much better odds than single bets alone because you have to win them all for the parlay to pay. You can put together parlay cards involving bets on a single game, multiple games, and even numerous sports.

However, it’s always important to remember that you must win all the bets that are part of a parlay for it to pay.

NHL in-play betting

Most PA sportsbooks will also offer some more advanced NHL wagering options, like live in-play betting. This allows you to make bets with changing odds as the action continues.

It’s an excellent option for anyone who wants to watch hockey games at a sportsbook and react to the action with timely wagers. Play-by-play, real-time wagering will typically be available at PA sportsbooks for Flyers and Penguins games and can add even more excitement to the experience of watching a hockey game at the venue. Expect the opportunity to bet on changing moneyline and puck line odds throughout any NHL game.

NHL betting tips

Betting the basics in NHL games at PA sportsbooks isn’t hard to do. However, picking winners can be.

Here are three facts about the NHL you can usually count on to help you make good wagering choices:

Home ice advantage is real

Home teams get the last line change; plus, a boost of confidence only the support of a home crowd can provide. However, some teams are better at taking advantage of this than others. Pay attention to the home and road records of the teams in any game to make sure you’re on the right side of things yourself.

Parity is real

There’s not that much separating the league’s top teams from the cellar dwellers. In fact, most games are decided by a single goal and the majority feature five goals or less. Unlike the playoffs in most sports, underdogs regularly upset favorites in hockey. If you can find NHL lines that allow you to take advantage of these facts, go for it.

NHL games are almost always close

In fact, they’re often decided by just a single goal. That makes betting the underdog on the +1.5 puck line always an attractive bet. The key is to shop around for a great price on the bet and be wary of teams that offer big odds because there’s usually a good reason why.

PokerStars Officially A Part Of The PA Online Poker Galaxy

PokerStars is set to launch in Pennsylvania in early 2019 after getting approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board last week.

PokerStars is set to launch in Pennsylvania in early 2019 after getting the thumbs up from PA regulators last week.

At its latest meeting Nov. 28, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved the global online poker giant’s PA interactive gaming petition. This opens the door for PokerStars to launch an online poker and PA online casino site in the Commonwealth in the first quarter of 2019.

PokerStars’ parent company The Stars Group inked a deal to operate in PA under Mount Airy Casino Resort‘s license this past August. At the time, both sides said the plan included the launch of a full suite of online gambling products, plus sports betting under The Stars Group’s BetStars brand. However, neither side has applied for a PA sports betting license as of yet.

PokerStars in the US

Up until now, New Jersey lawmakers have been alone in allowing PokerStars to operate in the US. In fact, the US Department of Justice closed the US market to PokerStars in 2011. At the time, the DOJ charged its principals with a number of money laundering and bank fraud offenses.

PokerStars has since changed ownership and settled the case. It returned to the US in 2016, launching PokerStars NJ in the fenced-in New Jersey market.

There, PokerStars NJ operates under the Resorts Casino Hotel NJ online gambling license. Resorts Casino Hotel is managed by the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which also owns and operates Mohegan Sun Pocono in PA.

Mohegan Sun Pocono

At its Nov. 28 meeting, the PGCB also approved Mohegan Sun Pocono’s interactive gaming petition. It is moving forward on slots and table games, but withdrew the online poker portion of its application.

Mohegan Sun Pocono is now moving ahead with an online casino operation that shouldshe  launch in early 2019.

Now that PokerStars is set to launch in a second US state, its hopes for further expansion across the US are two-fold.

First of all, PokerStars will be eagerly anticipating PA lawmakers signing the Multi-State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA) agreement.

PA joining MSIGA will allow PokerStars to share player pools between its NJ and PA sites. However, PokerStars will launch in a fenced-in PA market and all indications are it will be at least a year before PA lawmakers sign on to MSIGA.

PokerStars and Eldorado

Plus, on Nov. 26, The Stars Group inked an agreement with US casino operator Eldorado Resorts, Inc. The deal gives The Stars Group the option to operate online sports betting and online gambling with Eldorado casino properties in 11 different states.

The 11 states covered in the agreement are:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia

However, it’s unclear which state the company will go to next.

Of these 11 states, only Nevada has any kind of online gambling legislation on the books.

However, Nevada’s online gambling laws prevent PokerStars from entering its online poker market. The law includes “bad-actor” language instituting a lifetime ban on operators who accepted US customers after Congress passed The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. PokerStars is among these operators.

Mississippi and West Virginia have launched legal sports betting. If either state approves online and mobile operations, they could be next for The Stars Group after PA.

On the online gambling front, Illinois is the most likely from this list to pass legislation in the near future. Although, it remains unclear if Illinois lawmakers will follow Nevada’s lead on ‘bad actor’ language, or be open to PokerStars like NJ and PA.

PGCB Clears Big Hurdles For Mohegan Sun, PA Sportsbooks

Sportsbooks at Parx, SugarHouse, and Rivers, and Mohegan Sun’s online gambling operation moved another step closer to opening this week, thanks to the PGCB.

A trio of Pennsylvania sportsbooks and one PA online casino operation moved another step closer to opening after the Nov. 28 meeting of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Firstly, the PGCB gave conditional approval of sports wagering operator licenses for Rush Street Interactive and Sports Information Services, Limited, otherwise known as Kambi.

Rush Street Interactive is the online arm of Rush Street Gaming.  Rush Street Gaming owns both SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Kambi is a sports betting company working with SugarHouse, Rivers and Parx Casino as each prepares to launch sportsbook operations, both at the casinos and online.

Three more PA sportsbooks ready to go

As a result of the PGCB approving sports wagering operator licenses for both companies, these three Pennsylvania casinos are now on the verge of launching PA sports betting operations.

All that’s left is PGCB testing and the final paperwork on gaming licenses.

Parx Casino was actually the second PA casino property to apply for a sports betting license. It is a looking to launch in December. Parent company Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment are also looking to launch sports betting operations at its South Philadelphia Turf Club off-track betting parlor. However, the PGCB has decided that it will have to wait until the Parx operation passes testing and goes live.

SugarHouse and Rivers previously targeted Dec. 1 for the opening of temporary sportsbooks on the properties. Even with the approvals, the casinos are reporting that date is not going to happen, but hope to launch imminently.

The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course opened Nov. 17 after going through testing and its final paperwork in a matter of days.

Following the PGCB’s approval, Kambi’s Chief Commercial Officer Max Meltzer said the company’s future in PA looks bright:

“We’re delighted to have received our transactional waiver from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today, which puts us one step closer to launching the Kambi Sportsbook with our partners in the state. I’m confident the players of Pennsylvania will enjoy what Kambi has to offer both on-property and online, particularly through the lens of our fantastic customers, who’ll have the ability to leverage our empowerment tools to differentiate, innovate and create exciting sports betting experiences.”

PGCB approves Mohegan Sun Pocono online gambling

In the meantime, the PGCB also approved Mohegan Sun Pocono’s application for online slots and online table games licenses.

The Wilkes-Barre, PA, casino originally applied for a license to operate online poker as well. However, the PGCB allowed it to pull that application this week, giving the casino a $4 million rebate on its licensing fee.

Mohegan Sun has kept quiet about who its online gambling software partner will be. So far, it has only said it is a well known public company in Europe that has filed for similar licenses in New Jersey.

Kindred Group, the owner of the Unibet brand, is really the only company that fits that description. It is quoted on the Swedish stock exchange. Plus, Kindred is Hard Rock Atlantic City‘s online gambling software partner in New Jersey.

It’s worth noting that Kambi is actually a Kindred spinoff. Plus, it renewed a long-term contract to provide sports betting services to Kindred in May 2018.

Hollywood gaming license renewed

Finally, the PGCB voted unanimously to renew Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course‘s gaming license. The PGCB renewed the Grantville casino and racetrack’s license for an for an additional five years.

The PGCB noted it has generated $2.7 billion in gross gaming revenue since its November 2006 opening. Plus, it has also generated $1.4 billion in gaming tax revenue for the state.

Hollywood Sportsbook Officially Up And Running

Legal sports betting officially launched in Pennsylvania this weekend with the opening of The Sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Legal and regulated sports betting officially launched in Pennsylvania this weekend with the opening of the sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

The William Hill US-operated sportsbook ran live wagering testing Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 to ensure everything complied with state regulations. However, the official launch was 10 a.m. Saturday when the sportsbook at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course started full operations.

William Hill and casino owner and operator Penn National Gaming converted the existing horse racing simulcast theater on the Grantville property’s second floor into the new sportsbook.

Six windows and a 50-foot TV wall

The space features six new betting windows and a 50-foot wall of TVs for game viewing. Additionally, viewing stations with lounge seating and odds-display monitors will be added a later date.

The sportsbook is located just off the casino floor near Skybox Sports Bar, which offers a full bar and food menu and additional TVs for game viewing.

Regular hours are 11 a.m. opening on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends. The sportsbook closes at midnight daily.

Additionally, the casino is hoping to launch statewide online and mobile sports wagering in early 2019.

Available wagering

In-person wagering is now available on a wide variety of pro and college sports including:

  • Auto racing
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Cycling
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • MMA
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Available wagers include straight bets, parlays, matchups, futures, props and in-play betting.

The launch of the state’s first sportsbook makes PA the seventh state in the country to offer legal single-game wagering. The other states are:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Delaware
  • Mississippi
  • West Virginia

The PA sports betting market

PA sportsbooks must pay a $10 million licensing fee to obtain a license. Additionally, the activity is taxed at a rate 36 percent of gross sports betting revenue.

However, four other casinos have conditional approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Additionally, a fifth, Valley Forge Casino Resort, applied for a PA sports betting license just last week.

The four other casinos with conditional approval from the PGCB are:

William Hill

William Hill US is an offshoot of the UK’s William Hill. It is one of the world’s largest sports betting operators.

The US division is the largest sports betting operator in Nevada. However, with the launch of legal sports betting across various states, William Hill has also become the top sports betting operator in the country. It now operates in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

PGCB Director Thinks Online Casino And Sports Betting PA Launch Is “Imminent”

After the latest round of approvals from the PA Gaming Control Board, the group expects sports betting and online casino to launch very soon.

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

For Most PA Casinos, Revenue Remains Steady As She Goes

When it comes to PA casino revenue, no news is good news, with September 2018 numbers holding steady at the 12 Pennsylvania gaming properties.

September marked another big month for most of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos.

According to figures released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) this week, casinos combined to post statewide total gaming revenues of $268,519,825 throughout the month. The number is down less than one percent from the September 2017 statewide total gaming revenue figure of $271,012,678.

September 2018 PA slot machine revenues are actually up 0.42 percent from the same month last year, hitting $196,209,617.90.

However, a decrease of 4.4 percent in table games revenue, from $75,615,712 in September 2017 to $72,310,207 last month, caused a slight statewide total gaming revenue dip.

The state collected $11,634,379 in tax revenue from table games and $102,279,882 in tax revenues from slots throughout the month.

PA’s 12 casinos operated 25,471 slot machines and 1,281 table games on a daily basis during September 2018.

Parx on top, Sands slipping

Parx continued to hold on to the title of top-grossing casino in the state. It posted $49,185,572 in total gaming revenue, up 3.66 percent from $47,447,881 in September 2017.

However, perennial second-place finisher Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem saw its numbers dip substantially. It held on to second place, but total gaming revenue figures dropped more than 10 percent from $47,506,731 in September 2017 to $42,633,271 last month.

Sands continued to post the biggest table game revenue numbers in the state, despite reporting an 18.8 drop from $22,688,379 in September 2017 to $18,422,996 last month. Its slot revenue numbers dropped 2.45 percent from $24,818,351.87 in September 2017 to $24,210,274.55.

Sands revenue numbers appear to have been falling since March 2018, when the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality announced it would be buying the property for $1.3 billion from Las Vegas Sands Corp.

The ascension of Valley Forge

Valley Forge Casino Resort posted the largest increase in September total gaming revenue. The $10,451,129 in total gaming revenue Valley Forge posted last month marked a 10.48 percent increase over the $9,459,888 it recorded in September 2017.

Valley Forge revenues have been climbing ever since it paid $1 million to the state to eliminate a $10 resort fee for customers at the end of 2017. Boyd Gaming Corporation also entered into an agreement to acquire Valley Forge Casino Resort in December 2017. The Las Vegas, Nevada-based gaming company finalized the $280.5 million deal in September.

PA casino gaming revenue numbers

Five of 12 casinos posted year-over-year gains in September. Here’s a look at the September 2018 total gaming revenue numbers and movement at all 12 casinos:

For most, the numbers are expected to climb substantially with the launch of PA sports betting and PA online casinos coming in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early 2019.

The following charts, courtesy of PlayPennsylvania.com, display September 2018 PA market share numbers and a PA gaming revenue comparison:

NFL Kickoff Sparks $2.1 Million September For PA Fantasy Sports

After a sub-$1 million month in August, the start of the NFL season helped PA fantasy sports operators post $2,133,714 in revenue in September.

The NFL season kicked off in September and regulated PA Fantasy Sports operators are certainly thankful it did.

After a sub-$1 million month in August, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) says approved fantasy sports operators posted $2,133,714 in revenue in September.

Pointing out the obvious, the Board says the start of the NFL season impacted revenue growth among the operators substantially.

Thanks to a 15 percent tax on the fantasy sports operators’ adjusted revenue, the state collected $320,057 in fantasy sports tax revenue for the month.

DraftKings leads the way

DraftKings lead all operators in September, taking in more revenue than all nine approved operators combined to post in August.

The leading daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator in the country, DraftKings posted $1,174,327.61 in PA fantasy sports revenue throughout the month.

Top DFS competitor FanDuel was not far behind, posting $948,838.89 in PA fantasy sports revenue in September. FanDuel’s monthly numbers were also slightly above the $943,620 in revenue all nine approved operators combined to post in August.

Fantasy sports in PA is really a two-horse race. However, New York-based DRAFT did manage to almost double its $10,000 a month revenue average, posting $19,659.38 in fantasy sports revenue to hold on to third place in the PA market.

The rest of the PA fantasy sports market

The rest of the approved PA fantasy operators posted the following September revenue numbers:

  • Boom Fantasy: $1,336.87 (+87.3)
  • Fantasy Draft: $1,088.58 (-71.7)
  • Sportshub Technologies: $270.49 (-36.5)
  • Full Time Fantasy Sports: $241.50 (n/a)
  • Fantasy Football Players Championship: $0.00 (n/a)
  • Yahoo Fantasy Sports: -$12,049.35 (-987.08)

The regulated PA fantasy sports market launched in May 2018 with operators posting $1,331,706.34 in revenue. Operators also recorded more than $1 million in revenue in June 2018.

However, there was very little outside of baseball going on in the sports world throughout the months of July and August. As a result, PA fantasy sports operators posted $878,184.93 and $943,620.22 in revenue respectively.

September marked the first time fantasy sports revenues in the state have risen above the $2 million mark. However, there’s a good chance they’ll stay there through the end of the calendar year, with the NFL season continuing until Super Bowl LIII on Feb. 3, 2019.

Plus, there’s potential for even more growth with the NHL and NBA seasons both underway.

PA sports betting on the way

However, there may be some heavy competition on the way.

This month, the Board approved sports betting licenses for both Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville and Parx Casino in Bensalem.

Both are planning to launch sportsbooks as soon as November. The availability of single-game wagering and popular NFL parlays could potentially draw some gamblers away from fantasy sports.

The Board is expected to hand out even more PA sports betting licenses at its next meeting on Oct. 31.

SugarHouse Bet On NJ Sports Betting, And It’s Paying Off

Sports betting is paying off for Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino with revenues at its New Jersey online casino more than doubling since it launched.

The first foray into sports betting for Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino is paying big dividends.

In fact, revenues at SugarHouse’ New Jersey online casino have more than doubled since sports betting launched on the site in August and PlaySugarHouse.com Sportsbook & Casino became a fully integrated online casino and sports betting site.

PlaySugarHouse.com Sportsbook & Casino is a run by Rush Street Interactive, the online division of SugarHouse Casino owner and operator Rush Street Gaming. It operates in NJ under the Golden Nugget’s NJ online gambling license.

Should things go as planned, a PA version of the PlaySugarHouse.com Sportsbook & Casino will soon be available in Pennsylvania as well.

In September, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved SugarHouse’ online gambling license application. The casino is still waiting to hear on the results of a second license application that would allow it to offer retail and online and mobile sports betting in PA.

The New Jersey numbers

In the meantime, the early numbers coming out of New Jersey look promising.

Rush Street Interactive officials say live in-game betting has seen tremendous growth already. Plus, the start of the NFL season has seen the volume of bets on PlaySugarHouse.com more than double.

Rush Street officials also say more than 80 percent of the betting is being done on mobile devices via the PlaySugarHouse.com Sportsbook & Casino mobile app.

Rush Street Interactive COO Mattias Stetz is pleased:

“We’re very happy with the numbers we are seeing. We see that the player base is continuing to grow as the word spreads about the quality and volume of the different live in-game bets at PlaySugarHouse.com. We are at the start of the football season and are excited to see our numbers keep climbing.”

To no one’s surprise, Rush Street officials say football has proven the most popular sport for players to bet on.

PlaySugarHouse.com live in-game betting gives gamblers more than 50 different betting options in the middle of a typical NFL game. This includes betting on things like how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw or the outcome of the current drive. Of course, there are also more traditional bets, like a team covering the spread.

SugarHouse growth

Stetz expects live in-game betting to continue to be a growth area for the sportsbook. Plus, he said the sportsbook has given a boost to SugarHouse’ online casino games as well:

“Our casino bets have also grown since the launch of sports betting. Thanks to the deep integration of the sportsbook and the casino in both Android and iOS mobile apps and the desktop site, and players being able to use the same account and wallet, PlaySugarHouse.com casino has also grown across the board.”

Rush Street Gaming also owns and operates Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Rivers recently pulled its application for an online gambling license in PA. Speculation is Rush Street wants its SugarHouse brand to take the online gambling lead in PA.

Rivers Casino is also waiting to hear on the results of a sports betting license application it filed at the same time as SugarHouse.

Parx And Hollywood Clear PA Sports Betting Application Process

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted another group of online gambling licenses and the state’s first sports betting licenses at its Oct. 3 meeting.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) granted another group of PA online gambling licenses and the state’s first sports betting licenses at its Oct. 3 meeting.

The PGCB approved applications for a $10 million license to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker for both Valley Forge Casino Resort and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.

Sands lacks online gambling plan

The PGCB granted Sands a license despite its lack of a concrete online gambling plan. Owner Las Vegas Sands Corporation‘s founder, chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson is an anti-online gambling zealot. He continually pushes a plan to have the federal Wire Act restored.

However, Las Vegas Sands is selling Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality. The $1.3 billion sale has yet to close. However, in the meantime, Sands applied for an online gambling license on Wind Creek’s behalf.

Sands representatives told the PGCB it did so without any knowledge of what Wind Creek planned to do with the license. They also confirmed if the sale somehow falls through, Sands will forfeit the $10 million fee and leave the licenses unused.

Wind Creek representatives admitted to the PGCB it still doesn’t have an online gambling plan. They said the company remains focused on the acquisition itself.

Regardless, the PGCB voted unanimously to approve Sands’ online gambling license application.

Valley Forge eyes November

The PGCB also unanimously approved Valley Forge Casino Resort’s online gambling license application. However, the King of Prussia property has a concrete plan.

In fact, Valley Forge gave the PGCB the following list of online gaming partners it plans to use to launch online gambling products as soon as November:

  • IGT — iGaming platform
  • GAN — Player account functions and risk management
  • GeoComply — Geolocation
  • Aristotle — Age and identity verification

Valley Forge has also partnered with FanDuel with a plan to launch an online and mobile sports betting product before long. A sports betting license will cost the organization an additional $10 million and allow it to run a sportsbook online and on the property.

The PGCB has now approved seven online gambling license applications:

Three PA casino license holders still have pending applications:

Ten licenses are still available, including two online slots, two online table games and three online poker licenses. The PGCB has invited qualified gaming entities to apply for the licenses. It will grant the licenses through a random draw. The period to apply runs from Oct. 15-31.

PA’s first sportsbooks

In the meantime, the PGCB also granted PA’s first two sports betting licenses.

The PGCB granted conditional approval for sports betting to both Penn National Gaming and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment.

Penn National Gaming plans to open a sportsbook at its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville within the next few months.

Greenwood is targeting November for the launch of sports betting at its Parx Casino, and January for a mobile sports betting product. However, a second sportsbook it applied for permission to open at its South Philadelphia Turf Club may have to wait a little longer.

The state’s Office of Enforcement Council recommended the off-track betting facility wait to launch sports betting until Parx proves its sports betting tech works at the casino.

Greenwood lawyers claimed PA laws don’t require this, but the PGCB meeting ended without a final resolution on the issue.

Penn National Gaming and William Hill

Penn National Gaming is partnering with the largest sportsbook operator in the country, William Hill US, to open its Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course sportsbook.

Company representatives told the PGCB the operation will run inside its racebook’s simulcast theater on the second level of the property. The sportsbook will be 5,000 square feet and include:

  • Six betting windows
  • Two odds boards
  • 110-inch video wall
  • Three dozen 55-inch TVs with major sports programming packages

Penn National Gaming also expressed a keen interest in launching a mobile sports betting product at a later date.

The Parx sports betting plan

Greenwood representatives told the PGCB its plan is to open a temporary sportsbook at the 360 Lounge on the Parx casino floor. Construction of a permanent facility is already underway with plans to open in the second quarter of 2019.

Greenwood representatives claim the temporary space will be ready to open in November with both retail and mobile wagering via closed Wi-Fi network. It plans to launch mobile sports betting that is available statewide in January.

Features of the temporary sportsbook include:

  • Seven betting windows
  • 12 self-service kiosks (plus 30 more kiosks throughout the casino)
  • Several 16-by-9-foot HD televisions

Greenwood is also looking to launch sports betting at its Valley Forge Turf Club off-track betting facility.

Three other PA casino license holders have sports betting license applications pending:

  • Rivers Casino
  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia

The PGCB’s next meeting is Oct. 31.