FanDuel Backed Team USA Before The WWC Quarterfinals, Paid Out All Bets

FanDuel Sportsbook decided to cough up $400,000 in early payouts that Team USA would win the Women’s World Cup before the team even played the quarterfinals

So much for the sweat.

FanDuel’s sportsbook paid out Women’s World Cup futures bets made on the U.S. Women’s soccer team before its quarterfinal game with France even began.

FD paid out $400,000 in bets for its customers

Thursday FanDuel announced that all online customers in New Jersey who made futures bet on the U.S. women’s team to win the World Cup were getting paid out early. The site doled out a total of $400,000 before the game kicked off. The U.S. eventually won 2-1.

“We are paying out our customers early so they can just enjoy the game and not worry about advancing,” said Director of Risk and Trading for FanDuel Group John Sheeran. “All across America fans are supporting Team USA and showing their excitement at home, at work, and on social media. So we wanted to share our Team USA excitement and pride with our customers.”

News release cites good vibes from NJ sports betting triumph

FanDuel also cited the exciting news that New Jersey beat Nevada in total sports betting handle during the month of May.

According to Legal Sports Report, New Jersey took in $318.9 million in sports betting handle in May, while Nevada had a total of $317.3 million. It was a big victory for the state that became the trendsetter in the sports betting movement pushing across the country.

New Jersey will likely beat Nevada again in the near future. And with Pennsylvania’s population and sports betting growth, the Keystone State could be tops someday as well.

FanDuel’s move should generate more WWC action

The generosity and publicity surrounding FanDuel’s Sportsbook will likely lead to some increased action on the Women’s World Cup.

The United States will now take on England at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the World Cup semifinals in France.

FanDuel’s Sportsbook currently has the U.S. as -115 and England as +320. There are a number of other betting options available beyond the moneylines as well.

The sports betting lines at the newly-launched  Rivers online site and Parx online site are very similar.

The other Women’s World Cup semifinal will feature Sweden (+210) vs. the Netherlands (+130) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Heading into last Thursday’s game, Team USA was responsible for 85% of the bets and 90% of the handle in World Cup futures bets at the FanDuel Sportsbook.

The U.S. is now listed as -130 to win the World Cup. Futures bets made after last week’s announcement do not qualify for an early payout from FanDuel.

FanDuel has been donating for every U.S. goal

In addition its early payout, the FanDuel Group has also celebrated Team USA by donating  $10,000 to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) and an additional $1,000 for every goal Team USA scores in the World Cup.

The WSF is a powerful voice, catalyst, and convener dedicated to ensuring all girls and women have equal access to sports and physical activity, and the tremendous life-long benefits they provide.

New $60 Million Hotel Landing In Rivers Pittsburgh

Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh has almost everything, but not a hotel. Rush Street Gaming will be fixing that with this $60 million expansion.

One of Pennsylvania’s strongest-performing casinos will soon get a standout hotel to go with it.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh announced that it will begin construction this summer on a $60 million hotel called The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh.

The seven-story hotel will feature 219 guest rooms and be attached to the east side of the casino facing the Carnegie Science Center.

Hotel was first approved in 2017

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission first approved the hotel in 2017. However, plans for the building were delayed after gaming legislation was passed that added mini-casinos across the state and transformed PA’s gaming landscape.

In the meantime, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh completed several significant property enhancements. Those upgrades included:

  • Adding a gourmet burger restaurant, FLIPT
  • The Event Center for large galas and expositions
  • Launching Pittsburgh’s first licensed sportsbook

Big month for parent company Rush Street Gaming

The announcement of The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh continues a busy month for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming.

At last week’s Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Rush Street Gaming presented its plans to rebrand Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino as Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

Rivers brand will be strong in PA

The SugarHouse rebrand, which will begin this summer, will create a uniform gaming, rewards, and marketing product for all of the company’s Rivers casinos. Rush Street Gaming also operates Rivers Casinos in Des Plaines, Illinois and Schenectady, New York.

In Pennsylvania specifically, the Rivers brand will benefit from two well-performing casinos in the state’s two biggest cities.

Hotel construction should boost an already-flourishing casino

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh is typically one of the state’s top performers in both slot machine and table game revenue, as well as overall earnings. The construction of the hotel and corresponding rooms should strengthen that performance.

It also is generally the top sportsbook in the state, thanks to its status as the only book in the city. Comparatively, Philadelphia has six sportsbooks in its larger area. Rivers Sportsbook took in more bets than anyone in May, with $7.9 million in wagers.

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will feature expansive windows on every level with unobstructed views of the Ohio River and Pittsburgh’s famous skyline.

The guest rooms will also include 10 luxury terrace suites, each with private first-floor patios.

The hotel’s location will be a desirable one. Patrons of The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will be within a short walk to Heinz Field (home of the Pittsburgh Steelers), PNC Park (home of the Pittsburgh Pirates), and subway stations with routes all over the city.

What’s next for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh?

The attached hotel will fill a need for Rivers Casino Pittsburgh that is not lacking much else.

The casino currently features:

  • 2,708 slots
  • 128 table games
  • A 30-table live poker room
  • 55 hybrid gaming seats
  • Nine restaurants and bars
  • A riverside amphitheater
  • Black box Event Center space
  • Multipurpose ballroom

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh will add 128 new jobs

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, which opened in 2009, currently employs approximately 1,700 staff members and has been voted a great place to work in Pittsburgh.

The new hotel, which was privately funded, should add 128 permanent new hotel and casino jobs, along with 1,400 temporary construction jobs.

The hotel is expected to open in early 2021

It will take approximately 18 months to complete the project. The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh should open in early 2021.

“The time is right,” Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, said in the news release. “Statewide gaming expansion changed our schedule, but never our intentions. Rush Street always envisioned a hotel for Rivers to create a full-service destination on the North Shore. We see it as a natural evolution.”

Rush Street Gaming continues to bring positive changes to its Rivers properties.

The Landing Hotel Pittsburgh is simply the latest evidence.

Wind Creek Casino Is Officially On Its Way To Bethlehem

After more than a year, Wind Creek finally gets to set up shop. They are officially the new owners of what was the Sands Bethlehem casino.

Pennsylvania’s leader in table games is finally getting its new owner.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) officially approved the sale of Sands Bethlehem Casino to Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The $1.3 billion deal wrapped Friday, finalizing a process that began in March 2018.

Wind Creek’s rebranding and renovations begin immediately

The casino will be renamed Wind Creek Bethlehem. The new owners will invest $15 million in rebranding efforts, which will include changing out signs at the entrance, hotel, event center, and outlet mall.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, renovation efforts will go much further. Approximately $340 million will be spent to add another hotel tower with nearly 300 rooms and create an additional 42,000 square feet to the event center.

Water park planned to enhance tourism

The Wind Creek group is also hoping to build a 300,000-square-foot water and adventure park, along with a third 400-450 room hotel on the property.

In comments made to the PGCB, Wind Creek officials declared their desire to make the Bethlehem property the “No. 1 resort destination in the Northeast.”

Ownership change should bring greater focus to the casino property

The sale of the Bethlehem Sands casino should also bring a healthy change of perspective. The Bethlehem casino will become just the 10th property owned by the Wind Creek group.

It is estimated that 20% of Wind Creek’s earnings will arrive via the Wind Creek Bethlehem. In contrast,  Sands Corporation has a much larger portfolio that includes international mega resorts.

Employees will stay on under new ownership

Employees at the Bethlehem casino, which has been open for more than a decade, will also be able to stay on with the new management team.

“One of the things that drew us to this property is the quality and experience of the service-minded employees,” Wind Creek Hospitality President and CEO James Dorris said in a press release Monday. “Each of the nine executives has accepted a multi-year contract with us, and we hope that all team members want to continue their work here as part of the Wind Creek family. We will need them as we grow the offerings at Wind Creek Bethlehem.”

Wind Creek will look to build on Bethlehem’s gambling success

According to PennLive, Pennsylvania’s total casino revenue in 2018 was the highest total ever. Sands Bethlehem played a key role in that, finishing first in table games revenue and third in slot machine revenue among Pennsylvania’s casinos.

Now, the new owners will look to enhance those numbers. Many upgrades are planned for the property. Wind Creek Hospitality will also introduce its rewards program to its new customers. The Wind Creek Rewards program offers travel perks to its Caribbean resorts Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, and Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino.

With all that is planned for the property, the future for Wind Creek Bethlehem should be an exciting one.

Alicia Miller Karner, Bethlehem’s community and economic development director, may have said it best to the Morning Call.

“To have the sale in our rearview mirror allows us to really look forward to the development.”

PlaySugarHouse Offering Vig-Free NBA Betting To The New PA Market

PlaySugarHouse.com Pennsylvania is celebrating its entree into the Keystone State with vig-free bets on the 2019 NBA Finals.

The wait for online sports betting in Pennsylvania is finally over.

Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino, which launched PA’s first retail sportsbook in December 2018, partnered with Rush Street Interactive to become the state’s first online sportsbook. The site PlaySugarHouse.com launched last Friday.

PlaySugarHouse.com looks to build on NJ success

The PlaySugarHouse.com launch followed a successful three-day testing period and full approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board (PGCB) to accept digital wagers. New Jersey’s SugarHouse sportsbook site launched in September 2018.

“Thanks to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s leadership, we are excited to make history in bringing the first online sportsbook to sports fans in the state of Pennsylvania,” Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, said in a press release last week.

“Rush Street Interactive has grown market share since entering the New Jersey market, in large part due to the quality of PlaySugarHouse.com user experience and a laser focus on delivering what our players want, a massive range of sports betting options, responsive customer service and fast payouts. We have now brought the same quality, award-winning PlaySugarHouse.com site to players in the state of Pennsylvania.”

PlaySugarHouse.com has been one of the top four performing digital sportsbooks in the state of New Jersey. Its operator, Rush Street Interactive, was also recently named Mobile Operator of the Year in North America at the 2019 EGR North America Awards.

No-vig NBA bets, deposit bonuses accompany the launch

To celebrate PlaySugarHouse.com’s launch, the site will offer no-vig bets on NBA Finals wagers made in Pennsylvania. The main line spread will be priced at +100 for each team in each game.

NBA Finals action continues Wednesday in California with the series between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors tied 1-1.

To bet, users will have to visit PlaySugarHouse.com to create an account. Even if you have a SugarHouse account in New Jersey already, you will need to create a new one to play in PA. Players will also receive a match bonus of up to $250 on their first deposit.

Betting is live on laptops and Android; iOS still awaiting approval

Gamblers can place their bets now via the PlaySugarHouse.com site on their laptops, desktops, or Android devices. The iOS app for PlaySugarHouse.com in Pennsylvania is still pending due to changes in Apple Store policies but is expected in the next few weeks.

Bettors will have a wealth of options for gambling action far beyond the NBA Finals. Lines for football, baseball, Stanley Cup hockey, French Open tennis, and some selected prop bets are all live right now.

More PA sports betting sites should soon follow

It’s only a matter of time before some other Pennsylvania casino-sponsored sites follow PlaySugarHouse.com into the world of online sports betting.

But for now, the first entrant will enjoy a healthy boost in business. Across the border in New Jersey, online betting accounts for roughly 80 percent of the state’s overall betting handle.

“Since opening, our SugarHouse Sportsbook has been buzzing with sports fans 24/7,” said Rob Long, general manager of SugarHouse Casino in the press release. “…The action is round-the-clock. And now with online and mobile sports betting, you can take it with you.”

Raptors And Warriors Action Will Be PA’s First Online Betting Big Event

PA online bettors can test out the first app just in time for the start of the NBA Finals. Here’s what you need to know about how to bet on the series.

Some things change, some things remain the same.

This year’s NBA Finals features the Golden State Warriors making it for their fifth consecutive season and the Toronto Raptors making the first appearance in their franchise’s history.

Pennsylvania bettors should visit the state’s sportsbooks for Game 1 and futures wagers before 9 p.m. Thursday night when the championship series tips off in Toronto. Or, they can take advantage of the soft launch period of SugarHouse Casino’s online sportsbook to place an online bet on the action or use live in-game betting during the action.

Play At Chumba Casino Now with $2 Sweeps Cash Free

PA sportsbooks post close spreads

Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino sportsbook currently has the Raptors as a half-point favorite with Warriors superstar Kevin Durant out for Game 1. Moneyline odds for Game 1 are also very close:  Warriors (-107), Raptors (-110).  The over/under is currently set at 215.5.

Toronto, which swept Golden State in their two meetings this season, also has the added benefit of home-court advantage in the first game and the series. However, the Warriors are substantial favorites (-315) to win the championship. The Raptors are underdogs at +250.

Across the state, Parx Sportsbook has similar odds.

Steph Curry is betting favorite for Finals MVP

Warriors point guard Steph Curry is the current favorite for NBA Finals MVP at -143 on a futures bet. Here is a look at some other top contenders and their odds:

  • Kawhi Leonard: +250
  • Kevin Durant: +900
  • Draymond Green:+900
  • Klay Thompson: +2,000
  • Kyle Lowry: +2,500
  • Pascal Siakim: +4,000
  • Serge Ibaka: +10,000

Demarcus Cousins is the longest shot for the Warriors at +20,000.

Sportsbook series odds favor Warriors in six games

The current series odds for the NBA Finals suggest a Warriors victory in six games. The series correct score bet carries the following odds:

  • Golden State 4-2 (+250)
  • Golden State 3-1 (+450)
  • Golden State 4-0 (+450)
  • Golden State 4-3 (+550).

A Raptors upset would bring a much larger return. Toronto’s current series odds are as follows:

  • Toronto 4-3 (+550)
  • Toronto 4-2 (+1,100)
  • Toronto 4-1 (+1,200)
  • Toronto 4-0 (+5,000)

Retail sportsbooks remain the only option for NBA Finals bets

Although Pennsylvania sportsbooks and many industry insiders expected to have online sports betting by now, the retail operations remain the only avenue for NBA Finals action. According to Play Pennsylvania, the delay in online betting appears to be partially due to Apple’s app store policies.

It’s not entirely clear when those issues will be resolved either.

So for now, a trip to one of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks is the best pathway to NBA gaming besides driving over to New Jersey and betting on an app there.

Get there before the series tips off on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.

Parx Gave Rivers A Run For Its Sports Betting Money In April

More middling numbers for PA sportsbooks in April, but Parx is happy to lead the pack when it comes to revenue, beating previous leader, Rivers.

Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino is in once again sitting pretty in Pennsylvania’s sports betting landscape.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released April sports betting numbers last week. Rivers Sportsbook led the eight current PA sportsbooks in total handle with $8,159,827. In March, Rivers was the leader in both handle and revenue.

This month, however, Parx Casino was slightly ahead in total revenue $907,298 to Rivers’ $871,753, despite trailing by over a million in total handle.

Total April revenues drop following March Madness

As expected, April’s total statewide handle of $36.7 million declined from March’s $44.5 million, which receives a tremendous boost from the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament betting.

FanDuel’s Valley Forge Casino makes gains

FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort showed significant growth in its first full month of operation. After opening just before March Madness, the sportsbook climbed from #7 to #5 in total handle, climbing past Harrah’s Philadelphia and South Philly Turf Club.

Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook, now known as The Oaks finished last in total handle with $1,541,891. The close competition from the FanDuel-branded sportsbook across town is certainly hurting its overall numbers.

SugarHouse Casino also performed well

SugarHouse Casino also had a strong April, finishing second in handle ($9,223,827) and third in revenue ($781,163). SugarHouse Sportsbook was second in both categories last month.

Tax revenue continues to trickle in

Overall, the state’s eight sportsbooks created $1,519,734 in tax revenue for the month of April. That total will hopefully grow exponentially when PA launches online sports betting.

Reports indicated sports betting would go online in May. Now, some books, like Parx, claim launch will come in June. However, no property has offered a concrete launch date yet.

PA will be fourth state to offer online betting

When mobile betting arrives, it will likely shake up the state’s handle and revenue numbers. The first casinos to offer betting apps should see a substantial bump in both areas. The expectation is Rivers and SugarHouse will be first to launch. When is still a big question mark.

Currently, New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware are the only states to offer online betting. However, consumers preference for online betting is apparent. In New Jersey, online sports wagering has consistently accounted for roughly 80% of the overall handle.

Online sports betting – better late than never?

Last month, PGCB Communications Director Doug Harbach said he expected mobile sports betting to arrive within three weeks.

“We expect to begin live testing of the online sports betting app for at least one of the approved casino vendors within the next two-three weeks,” Harbach said in mid-April, via Legal Sports Report.

A month later, online betting has yet to arrive. And the rumors circulating suggest that everyone may have to wait a few more weeks.

But the bottom line is this – PA online sports betting is coming soon.

And when it arrives, casino handles will rise substantially. Tax revenues will climb too.

The entire landscape will change.

New Fox Sports Partnership Will Bring Fox Bet to PA

A massive new deal between The Stars Group and Fox Sports will bring a new brand, Fox Bet, to states with sports betting, including Pennsylvania.

A historic sports media and betting partnership will soon establish its presence in Pennsylvania.

Last week, Fox Sports and The Stars Group Inc. announced their plans to launch Fox Bet. It is a sports wagering partnership that will bring a wide variety of gaming branded under the Fox Sports name.

According to Legal Sports Report, the Fox corporation will pay $236 million for a stake of just less than 5% in The Stars Group.

The Fox Bet partnership will launch this fall

The Fox Bet partnership between Fox Sports and The Stars Group is the first significant venture in America to utilize the reach of a major media outlet alongside a real-money gaming enterprise.

According to the news release, contests will launch this fall and feature both free-play games and traditional sports betting.

The free contests will award prizes for predicting the winners of sports games. The Fox Bet product will feature a wide variety of betting options in states with legalized sports gambling.

Mount Airy Casino will feature Fox Bet branding

In Pennsylvania, the Fox Bet brand will be used with  Mount Airy Casino’s sportsbook. According to Play Pennsylvania, Robin Chhabra, CEO of Fox Bet, said the free-play games should launch at the beginning of the 2019 NFL season. Fox Bet will also offer a real-money betting app in states with regulated online betting.

In New Jersey, the Fox Bet brand will replace the BetStars brand before football season starts. It will be interesting to see if the change in branding affects future earnings.

The FanDuel and DraftKings branded betting apps have often been the leaders in online betting revenue in New Jersey.

Pennsylvania online betting launch is imminent. However, Mount Airy is only just beginning the sports betting application process. With that in mind, getting Fox Bet PA up and launched by football seems like a longshot.

Play At Chumba Casino Now with $2 Sweeps Cash Free

Fox Bet will likely expand to other states

Per Legal Sports Report, the FOX Bet brand will likely expand to include many other states as well. Last November, The Stars Group announced a 20-year agreement with Eldorado Resorts that could provide betting access to 13 states pending the legalization of sports betting in all those states.

In West Virginia, where sports betting is already legal, the Eldorado group owns the Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland.

FOX Bet represents a victory for the acceptance of sports betting

As legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country, the FOX Bet announcement signals a major victory for the public perception of wagering.

One of the biggest entities in sports media is jumping headfirst into the gaming industry. It’s possible that others could follow. Legal Sports Report mentioned that NBC Sports, CBS Sports and Comcast have each taken exploratory steps to get involved in the industry.

Betting could be featured on TV broadcasts

From a big picture standpoint, the synergy of betting lines and wagering combined with media coverage and televised sports should continue to advance the public’s acceptance of sports gambling.

And all that excitement will make its way to Pennsylvania soon.

“Fox Sports is already synonymous with the best live sports events in the country,” Fox Sports CEO and Executive Producer Eric Shanks said in the press release.

“Now we are expanding the way we immerse fans in the sports culture they love. Digital sports wagering represents a growing market opportunity that allows us to diversify our revenue streams, connect directly with consumers and expand the reach of the FOX Sports brand.”

NCAA Waves The White Flag On Championship Game Locations

The NCAA recently voted to permanently rescind its ban on states with sports betting hosting college athletic championships.

The expansion of sports gambling gained more momentum last week.

The NCAA announced Thursday that it had rescinded its ban on holding championship games in states that allow single-game sports betting.

According to an article on ESPN, the NCAA Board of Governors temporarily suspended the championship game policy last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law that limited state-sponsored sports betting largely to Nevada. This past week, the NCAA’s board voted to fully rescind the policy, opening up sports-betting states to college championship games.

Sports betting continues to expand in PA and beyond

While the NCAA remains opposed to betting on amateur athletics, its recent decision makes sense considering the growth of sports gambling. Since the Supreme Court ended Nevada’s monopoly on sports betting last May, seven other states have opened legal sportsbooks.

There are now eight Pennsylvania sportsbooks, with a ninth opening in June. The launch of PA online betting will take place sometime this month as well.

Delaware, New Jersey,  Mississippi, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and West Virginia have sportsbooks in operation as well. Montana just legalized sports betting this week.

Indiana may be next to approve sports gambling

Indiana, which is home to the NCAA’s headquarters in Indianapolis, could be next. A bill that would allow sports betting in Indiana passed through its state legislature last week and is awaiting a governor’s signature. If it goes unsigned by May 8, it will become law nonetheless.

Iowa and Tennessee have similar laws into their governors as well. New York and Arkansas have sports betting laws in place. Others will certainly follow.

NCAA’s decision was the pragmatic one

As sports gambling continues to stretch across the country, the NCAA could have been boxed out of many states if it took a hard-line stance. For example, the 2021 NCAA Final Four will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, which could have sports betting within weeks. Rather than face the possibility of relocating some major events, the NCAA took a pragmatic approach.

All states are now open to NCAA Championships. And when the organization finally hosts a title game in a sports betting state, the sportsbooks will certainly benefit, producing record traffic and revenues.

Play At Chumba Casino Now with $2 Sweeps Cash Free

Philadelphia to Host 2026 MLB All-Star Game

In other event news this week, Major League Baseball announced that it will hold the 2026 All-Star Game in Philadelphia, in honor of the 250th anniversary of our nation’s independence.

Major League Baseball made the announcement last week at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall with commissioner Rob Manfred and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf in attendance.

“As the birthplace of our country, bringing the MLB All-Star Game back to Philadelphia is the perfect way to celebrate the 250th anniversary of American independence,” Wolf said in an article on Philadelphia’s CBS3 website.

“Hosting massive sporting events like Baseball’s Midsummer Classic or the 2017 NFL Draft brings even more excitement to the city and generates a huge economic impact for workers and businesses.”

Philly also has a strong presence in sports gaming

It’s hard to predict how the sports gambling landscape will look in 2026, but the Philadelphia area has a strong sports betting footprint. There are six legal sportsbooks currently operating within a short drive of Philadelphia:

Certainly, they will all be busy during the All-Star Game’s festivities.

With the All-Star Game arriving in 2026, the only question that remains is this – will the NCAA host a championship game in sports-betting Pennsylvania before then?

After last week’s decision, it very well might.

PA Sportsbooks Offering Futures, Super Bowl And Lookahead Lines For 2019

The football season is still four months away, but you can already bet on next season college football and NFL games at sportsbooks like Parx and Rivers.

Last week’s NFL Draft brought football back to the forefront. And thanks to Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks, gamblers can get into the action now.

Many PA sportsbooks have posted betting lines for big games in the upcoming NFL season, as well as Super Bowl odds and some over/unders on season win totals.

Play At Chumba Casino Now with $2 Sweeps Cash Free

Steelers are underdogs in Week 1

At the Rivers Casino Sportsbook in Pittsburgh, the Steelers are +6.5 in their Week 1 showdown with the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. In their home opener, the Steelers are 3-point favorites against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. In futures bets, Pittsburgh is +2000 to win next year’s Super Bowl and +1000 to win the AFC.

The Steelers season win total has been set at nine.

Eagles are favorites in season opener

At the Parx Casino Sportsbook across the state, the hometown Philadelphia Eagles are +1600 to win the Super Bowl and +700 to capture the NFC. Philadelphia is an 8.5-point favorite in its Week 1 home opener against the Washington Redskins. The Eagles are 1.5-point underdogs a week later in their first road game in Atlanta.

Philadelphia’s season win total has been set at 9.5.

NFL regular season starts in September

The 2019 NFL regular season kicks off on Sept. 5 with the Chicago Bears hosting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The Bears have opened as a 3.5-point favorite.

The defending champion New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win the Super Bowl. Both teams have opened as +750 to win Super Bowl LIV.

The Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints follow at +900. The Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts are next at +1400. The Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals are viewed as the league’s weakest teams with odds of +12,500.

PA betting action available on many top games

USA Today selected its picks for the top 10 games of 2019 and some of them have lines posted at PA sportsbooks. Thus, betting action is available far beyond the Steelers and Eagles.

PA online sports betting will also arrive before the NFL season, giving fans another avenue to their football wagers.

Mobile betting will begin testing in May and will launch for the 10 casinos with licenses in July. That development should lead the PA sportsbooks to record profits once the season kicks off.

Parx also offering college football odds

If NFL action isn’t enough, the Parx Casino Sportsbook has also posted some early numbers for college football. Alabama and Clemson, who played in last year’s championship game, are the favorites to win the national title. Both teams carry +200 odds. Ohio State follows at +700.

In other futures, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (+225), Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (+250), and Ohio State transfer quarterback Justin Fields (+900) are the favorites for the Heisman Trophy award.

Football action returns in four months

The college football season and the NFL opener are still a few months away. But for those interested in wagering on them, the odds are already live.

And here in Pennsylvania, the betting windows are open and the online betting apps will be live.

Sands Bethlehem’s Underage Gambling Fines Now Eclipse $500,000

Once again, Sands Bethlehem is in hot water for another dozen or so underage gambling violations. The PA casino has paid over $500K in underage fines.

Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem took a hit to its bank account last week thanks to $230,000 in fines.

The Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Council met and announced two separate fines. The fines were in response to both underage gaming violations ($120,000) and improper use of free slot play ($110,000).

The Meadows in Washington County also received a $12,500 fine for an underage gaming violation. In that instance, an 18-year-old male accessed the gaming floor, wagered at table games, and was served alcohol.

Sands Casino has frequent underage violations

Sands broke underage gambling laws 11 times in this most recent complaint.

The Allentown Morning Call reported that a patron used his older brother’s identification to enter the casino twice in one week. Both times he gambled at table games and consumed alcoholic beverages.

The Sands Casino has a lengthy history of underage fines. PGCB fined the venue $150,000 in July 2017 for 11 other underage violations. Since opening, the casino has racked up 10 separate penalties and more than $500,000 in fines for underage violations.

Significant measures taken to address underage gaming

While the violations and corresponding fines are alarming, Sands Vice President and General Counsel Michael Magazzu highlighted the casino’s numerous efforts to combat underage gaming.

According to the Morning Call, the casino implemented a state of the art identification system in 2017. It also utilizes a two-strike policy with its security staff.

Security personnel can’t accrue two strikes in a single year. As a result of the recent underage violations, some staff members received their second strike. As such, Sands terminated them for failing to enforce proper protocols.

Furthermore, Magazzu noted that Sands Casino had 8.6 million customers in 2018. Security asked for identification 831,000 times. Of those, 4,510 people were not allowed to enter. Furthermore, 69 false identifications (legitimate IDs belonging to someone else) were confiscated, as well as 29 fakes.

Thus, the protocols seem to work much more often than they fail.

PGCB officials also noted that the Sands Casino likely accrues more underage violations because it is attached to shopping outlets that attract minors.

Play At Chumba Casino Now with $2 Sweeps Cash Free

Second fine levied for slot play infractions

Sands Bethworks Gaming had to pay an additional $110,000 fine for improper use of free slot play. That fine resulted from employees issuing free slot play without proper authorization and also awarding free slot play amounts above the authorized levels.

According to the PGCB’s release “Free slot play is used to build and reward patron loyalty, and drive repeat visits from valuable customers who might otherwise patronize another facility.”

Last summer, PGCB fined Valley Forge Casino Resort  $50,000 fine for its own slot play violations.

PGCB requires casinos to impose limits on the amount of free slot play a venue can give away. Casinos are also required to limit the number of employees who can give away free slot play as well.

Sale of Sands Casino could prompt security review

Last March, the Las Vegas-based Sands Corp. announced its plans to sell the Bethlehem casino to Wind Creek Hospitality, an affiliate of the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians, for $1.3 billion.

The Wind Creek group filed a change of ownership petition with the PGCB this February.

Once the sale becomes final, Wind Creek Hospitality plans a massive $190 million expansion. That expansion will include 300 new rooms and perhaps even an indoor water park. The casino will also be renamed Wind Creek Casino Resort.

Wind Creek might do a thorough security audit in an attempt to curb the problem with the ownership change.

Certainly, they would be happy to save some money in fines.