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, 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 Sportsbook & Casino became a fully integrated online casino and sports betting site. 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 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 more than double.

Rush Street officials also say more than 80 percent of the betting is being done on mobile devices via the 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 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. 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, 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.

SugarHouse Bringing Its NJ Sportsbook Back Home To PA

Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino is now the fourth casino license holder in the state to apply for a $10 million PA sports betting license.

Philadelphia’s first casino wants to open a sportsbook.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino became the fourth casino license holder in the state to apply for a $10 million PA sports betting license.

Online and in-person betting

Presumably, SugarHouse parent company Rush Street Gaming is asking the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) for permission to run a sportsbook on the property and a statewide mobile sports betting app.

After all, it launched a mobile sports betting app fully integrated with its online casino product in New Jersey last month. The NJ sportsbook product is powered by subsidiary Rush Street Interactive with technology provided by online sports betting tech firm Kambi. If approved, SugarHouse will likely launch a similarly designed mobile sports betting product in PA.

SugarHouse is the first standalone PA casino not connected to a horse racing facility to apply for a sports betting license In PA.

The other PA casino license holder to apply for sports betting licenses so far are:

Seeking sports betting approval

The Board will deal with the Parx and Hollywood applications at its next meeting Oct. 3. Parx is also looking to open a sportsbook at owner Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment‘s South Philadelphia Turf Club off-track betting parlor.

However, Board spokesperson Doug Harbach said the applications from SugarHouse and Harrah’s, also filed this week, will not be on the Oct. 3 agenda. The Board’s next meeting is Oct. 31.

Applicants must apply for a sports betting license 90 days ahead of launch. That would mean a SugarHouse sportsbook could not start taking bets until late December. However, the Board can expedite the process as it sees fit.

SugarHouse Sportsbook in NJ

SugarHouse NJ mobile sports betting app was only up and running for eight days in August. However, it generated $103,324 in revenue during that time. Plus, the sportsbook reported more in-game wagering than any other New Jersey sports betting app over that time period.

Rush Street Interactive COO Mattias Stetz says the sports betting numbers are growing each week. He expects that trend to continue.

For now, he said the NJ mobile sportsbook’s focus is on giving players the best possible user experience through innovation and constant product improvement.

SugarHouse is the only casino inside Philadelphia city limits. However, Greenwood Gaming and partner Cordish Companies are building a second Philadelphia casino in South Philadelphia’s sports stadium district. The plan is to open Stadium Casino in 2020.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Latest PA Casino To Sign Up For Sports Betting

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack is making plans to open up a sportsbook on the property and launch a mobile sports betting product.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester is making plans to open up a sportsbook on the property and launch a mobile sports betting product across PA.

In fact, this week, the Caesars Entertainment casino and horse racing facility became the third casino license holder in the state to apply for a $10 million sports betting license.

Land-based, interactive and mobile sports betting

Harrah’s Philadelphia’s application clearly states its intention is to offer a combination of land-based, mobile, and interactive sports wagering.

Plus, it outlines that subsidiary Caesars Interactive Entertainment and gaming tech firm Scientific Games Corporation are collaborating to put together the online, mobile, and interactive sports wagering side of things.

Additionally, the application indicates modifications will be made to the property to create a sports wagering area.

However, details of exactly what the sports wagering area will include and how much money Harrah’s Philadelphia is spending on building it are unknown at this time.

Appendices attached to the application included specific details. A publicly released version of the application had the appendices redacted though.

The other two PA casino license holders to apply for sports betting licenses are:

Harrah’s Philadelphia’s application also indicates it will lean on its casino operations and parent company Caesars Entertainment’s sportsbook operations elsewhere to build a successful sports betting operation in PA.

Caesars and Harrah’s sportsbook locations

Caesars Entertainment runs sportsbooks at 13 Nevada casinos. Plus, it runs a Nevada mobile sports betting app. Additionally, the company launched sports betting at several of its New Jersey and Mississippi properties this summer.

In New Jersey, Caesars Entertainment opened sportsbooks at its Harrah’s Resort and Bally’s Atlantic City casinos. Plus, it launched an NJ mobile sportsbook app under the Caesars Casino & Sports brand.

In Mississippi, Caesars opened sportsbooks at its Harrah’s Gulf Coast and Horseshoe Tunica properties.

PA sports betting timeline

When exactly sports betting will launch at Harrah’s Philadelphia or any other PA casino is still up in the air.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) could approve the first three license applications at its next meeting on Oct. 3.

However, license applications must be submitted 90 days ahead of operations launching in accordance with state sports betting regulations.

That would mean a sportsbook at Harrah’s Philadelphia could not start taking bets until December. However, the Board could shorten the process for any of the applicants, as it sees fit.

PaddyPower Betfair and FanDuel want in

Additionally, PaddyPower Betfair submitted an application to the Board to become a PA sports betting technology provider this week.

It is the parent company of daily fantasy sports and New Jersey sportsbook operator FanDuel.

FanDuel plans to run sports betting operations out of Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia. It has a deal in place with the casino’s new owner Boyd Gaming. However, Valley Forge has not yet applied for a PA sports betting license.

Photo by RaksyBH /

When It Comes To August Casino Revenue, Parx Pulled Away From The Pack

Total gaming revenue at Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos was up in August, rising to more than $275 million thanks to a small boost from slots.

Pennsylvania’s gaming revenue was up in August thanks to a small boost from slots.

Numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) this week showed total gaming revenue across the state’s 12 casinos rose 2.8 percent over August of last year. Statewide total gaming revenue hit more than $275 million last month, $7.5 million above August 2017 totals.

Total gaming revenue is the combination of slot machine and table games revenue.

Table game revenues dipped 1.33 percent last month, from $74.2 million to $73.2 million. However, slot machine revenues picked up the slack.

In fact, August 2018 slot machine revenue at PA’s 12 casinos rose above the $200 million mark, representing a 4.4 percent jump over August 2017 figures of approximately $193 million.

The state’s 1,275 table games in operation throughout August generated more than $11 million in tax revenue. However, the tax revenue generated by the state’s 25,511 slots put that to shame. Slots put more than $105 million into the state’s coffers last month.

Parx widens its gaming revenue lead

Parx Casino widened its lead over Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem as the top-grossing casino in the state in August.

In fact, Parx posted more than $52 million in total gaming revenue throughout the month, an 8.51 percent jump from last August.

Sands held onto second place posting $44.4 million in total gaming revenue, despite that representing a 1.43 percent drop from the same month in 2017.

Sands also managed to hold on to the table games revenue lead in PA. This despite the casino’s table games revenue dropping 6.35 percent to $18.6 million.

Of course, Parx’ $34.7 million in slots revenue was tops in PA. It represented an 8.57 percent jump over its own numbers from August 2017 and was well above the $25.7 million posted by runner-up Sands.

Parx’ 8.51 percent jump in total gaming revenue represented the largest percentage change among the state’s 12 casinos. However, it was followed closely by Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino. Rivers saw its total gaming revenue rise 8.16 percent, from $27.7 million in August 2017, to $29.9 million last month.

Rivers is the third-highest grossing casino in PA, above Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino in fourth. Both casinos are Rush Street Gaming properties.

Mohegan Sun Pocono saw the largest percentage drop in total gaming revenue last month. Its total gaming revenue dipped 5.54 percent from $20.6 million to $19.5 million.

Lady Luck brings up the rear

Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin continued to be the state’s poorest performing casino. It also got the news in August Churchill Downs is taking over management as a part of Churchill Downs’ purchase of Presque Isle Downs and Casino.

Lady Luck’s total gaming revenue dropped 4.19 percent, from $2.9 million in August 2017, to $2.7 million last month. It was the only PA casino to post under $10 million in total gaming revenue last month.

Below is a table showing total gaming revenue for all 12 casinos in PA and statewide totals.

CasinoAugust 2018 Total Gaming RevenueAugust 2017 Total Gaming Revenue% Change
Parx Casino$52,172,737$48,080,2248.51%
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem$44,437,750$45,081,674-1.43%
Rivers Casino$29,976,472$27,714,2608.16%
SugarHouse Casino$24,652,705$23,069,9266.86%
Harrah's Philadelphia$21,225,725$20,866,4421.72%
The Meadows$20,284,299$21,331,372-4.91%
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course$20,043,684$18,859,275
Mohegan Sun Pocono$19,541,451$20,687,196-5.54%
Mount Airy Casino Resort$17,752,347$17,338,475
Presque Isle Downs and Casino$11,460,245$11,538,645-0.68%
Valley Forge Casino Resort$10,683,577$9,991,3526.93%
Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin$2,779,807$2,901,452
Statewide Total$275,010,801$267,460,2922.82%

With PA Online Gaming Licenses Opening Up, Industry Could Be An International Affair

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is putting seven unclaimed online gambling licenses up for sale to qualified gaming entities outside the PA casinos.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) now has a plan for dealing with the seven online gambling licenses that have gone unclaimed by PA casinos.

During a meeting this week, the PGCB decided to put the remaining licenses up for sale to qualified gaming entities. It will award the licenses to these qualified gaming entities through a random draw involving all that apply. A date for the draw has yet to be determined.

Essentially, this decision opens up the PA online gambling market to companies outside the PA casino industry for the first time.

Currently, the seven available interactive gaming licenses include:

  • 3 for online poker
  • 2 for online slots
  • 2 for online table games

Leaving licenses on the table

Six of the licenses available represent the three each The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin passed on.

Additionally, the online poker license is the one Presque Isle Downs & Casino passed on when it applied for online slots and online table games licenses alone.

Meanwhile, it seems interested entities have Churchill Downs Incorporated to thank for four of the licenses still being available.

The Louisville-based racing, gaming, and online entertainment company recently finalized a deal to purchase Presque Isle Downs & Casino. It will assume management of Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin from owner Eldorado Resorts as well.

Meanwhile, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino owner Penn National Gaming looks to be leaving its interactive gaming licenses on the table to focus online gambling plans it has its other PA casino, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Qualified gaming entities

To be considered a qualified gaming entity, the Board has put together regulations stating an applicant must:

  • Have a license in good standing in another gaming jurisdiction
  • Operate in a jurisdiction where licensing standards are comprehensive, thorough, and similar to those in PA
  • Have the business experience and expertise to operate in the online gambling sphere

There’s no telling who will apply. However, the regulations make it clear any casino company not in the PA market will have now the opportunity to get in.

Thumbs up for Hollywood and SugarHouse

Meanwhile, after approving online gambling licenses for Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, Parx Casino, and Mount Airy Casino Resort at its last meeting, the Board said yes to two more properties.

PGCB approved online gambling operations at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and SugarHouse Casino.

SugarHouse Casino parent Rush Street Gaming and its Rush Street Interactive subsidiary already run a New Jersey online casino. It just added sports betting services to the platform, but there is no online poker.

Rush Street Interactive President Richard Schwartz told the Board its online casino platform is ready to launch in PA. However, its plan for what to do with its online poker license remains unclear.

Hollywood Casino executives told the board it has set up its own interactive division to handle online gambling operations. It will launch online casino and poker in 2018 or early 2019 with primary technology partner IGT.

Despite No Application Yet, FanDuel Sportsbook Is Coming To PA Soon

Daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator FanDuel is coming to Pennsylvania through Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino Resort.

Daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator FanDuel is coming to Pennsylvania.

Last week, sources inside the company told PlayPennsylvania that a FanDuel Sportsbook mobile sports betting app will soon launch in PA. It will do so out of Boyd Gaming‘s Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia.

FanDuel has already moved into the New Jersey and West Virginia sports betting markets. Pennsylvania appears to be next.

Valley Forge Casino Resort has yet to apply for a $10 million sports betting license with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). However, FanDuel claims an application is in the works.

There is a PGCB meeting scheduled for Sept. 12. However, the board isn’t likely to begin discussing the Valley Forge and FanDuel plan until its Oct. 2 meeting.

Board regulations require sports betting applications to be submitted 90 days before operations launch. However, the Board could approve a Valley Forge and FanDuel license prior to that. A move that may allow operations to launch as early as November.

FanDuel and Paddy Power Betfair

Earlier this year, FanDuel combined operations with Betfair US, a subsidiary of Paddy Power Betfair, one of the largest publicly traded sports betting companies in the world.

The newly created FanDuel Group soon partnered with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey to launch a brick and mortar sportsbook at the track. It opened on Saturday, July 14. Additionally, its FanDuel Sportsbook mobile sports betting app launched this past weekend.

FanDuel has also inked a deal with West Virginia’s The Greenbrier casino resort to provide an onsite wagering platform inside The Casino Club at The Greenbrier. There are also plans for a FanDuel-branded online site and mobile app.

Additionally, the company’s deal with Meadowlands Racetrack includes a long-term agreement to run retail and online and mobile sports betting with Tioga Downs Casino Resort in New York, once New York passes sports betting legislation.

Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group

The news of FanDuel’s entrance into PA through Valley Forge Casino Resort was hinted at in early August when Boyd announced it had inked a deal with FanDuel Group to run online and mobile sports betting operations across the US together.

The agreement gives FanDuel Group market access in states, like PA, where Boyd holds gaming licenses. In return, Boyd gets tech and related services for its Boyd-branded mobile and online sports betting products from FanDuel.

Boyd CEO Keith Smith said that deal put them in position to lead the US sports betting market:

“With more than 40 years of experience, Boyd Gaming is a leader in the gaming and entertainment space, and a natural partner as we continue to build a leading position in the sports betting market. There is incredible momentum in the sports betting space and we look forward to partnering with Boyd Gaming to bring the FanDuel Sportsbook to more customers across the United States.”

Boyd and MGM Resorts International

Boyd also struck a deal with MGM Resorts International to run online gambling and mobile sports betting operations together. Both deals mean FanDuel will be working with MGM in additional states where MGM has properties and sports betting is legal.

On the FanDuel side, the agreements do not extend to Nevada. Boyd and MGM already run various proprietary retail and mobile sports betting operations there.

MGM does not operate a casino in PA. This makes Valley Forge the only logical entry point for FanDuel into the Commonwealth’s sports betting market.

Of course, PA sports betting regulations allow license holders only one mobile sportsbook. Plus, that sportsbook must prominently feature the license holder’s name. Therefore, one can expect the product to launch with a name like FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge or something similar.