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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

High Stakes For PA Lottery As It Waits Anxiously On Wire Act Court Case

The Pennsylvania Lottery is just one of many interested parties watching the federal court case on the Wire Act and if it’s applicable to things like Powerball.

Some of gambling’s biggest action this past week took place in a New Hampshire courtroom.

Last Thursday, US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro presided over the opening arguments in the New Hampshire Lottery’s lawsuit against the US Department of Justice and its new interpretation of the federal Wire Act. Barbadoro’s final decision will impact the future of state lotteries and online gaming in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Wire Act ruling puts billions in jeopardy

The case in New Hampshire originated with the Federal Wire Act. The DOJ issued a new interpretation of the Wire Act in January, opining that the law applied to all forms of interstate gaming, potentially criminalizing all forms of online gambling.

Since Pennsylvania and many other states require interstate support for their lottery games, lotteries across the country are in jeopardy until the legal process plays out. Those include Powerball and MegaMillions.

In short, those popular gaming options — and the billions in revenue they produce — are in a holding pattern until the Wire Act issue is resolved.

Recent developments are good for PA lottery

Before the court arguments in New Hampshire even began, US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sent a letter last week to DOJ employees. Rosenstein’s letter advised his employees not to apply the latest Wire Act ruling to state lotteries when the June 14 deadline for enforcement arrives.

This was the first win for the lotteries. Others may follow.

Pennsylvania is closely tied to NH lawsuit

Pennsylvania attempted to be a co-plaintiff in the New Hampshire case, but was limited to an amicus brief, along with New Jersey and Michigan. Eleven other states and the District of Columbia co-signed Michigan’s brief.

According to the article on Play Pennsylvania, Barbadoro seemed to sense the need for a broad resolution.

“If [I] just declare that the New Hampshire Lottery Commission is not in violation of the Wire Act, they don’t get accorded complete relief,” Barbadoro said. “Because they’re not able to conduct the lawful activity with their partners.”

The court date ended with no decision and no clear resolution, but the states and their lottery officials remain optimistic.

After the opening arguments, Barbadoro ruled that the Department of Justice must submit a filing responding within a week.

The New Hampshire lottery will have a week to respond. Sometime after that, the US District Court will issue its judgment.

Sports betting remains unaffected

While state lotteries are locked in a waiting game, sports bettors can continue to play with confidence. Pennsylvania sports betting regulations were established in line with the Wire Act, so sports gambling should continue as normal.

Furthermore, the Department of Justice’s earliest possible enforcement date is June 14, so Pennsylvanians who participate in any form of gaming will be free from interruptions until at least then.

Beyond that, the courts will decide. But it seems the early indicators favor the gaming industry over the government. Even with Rosenstein’s memo, the Department of Justice appears to be on defense.

“I have a very difficult time seeing how the Rosenstein letter would deprive the plaintiffs of the standing they would otherwise have,” Barbadoro said in the article.

The Supreme Court may be involved before it’s over

Barbadoro’s final ruling should arrive sometime next month. But that may not be the last word.

Many people expect that the Wire Act interpretation  – and the challenges that have followed it – will ultimately end up in Washington D.C.

“I have a strong feeling,” Barbadoro said in the article. “That however I resolve the case, or however the First Circuit resolves the case, it is likely going to be resolved by the US Supreme Court either way.”

PA’s Sports Betting Tax Revenue May Be Low, But Budget Will Be Just Fine

The AP pointed out PA sports betting tax revenue is coming up short, but big licensing fees means wagering will bring in enough to meet budget projections.

A few months into the endeavor, Pennsylvania is faring better than some other states in the early stages of sports betting.

A recent Associated Press article noted that four of the six states had fallen short of the tax revenue projections generated from sports betting. Rhode Island, the only state in New England with legalized sports gambling, was especially behind.

Rhode Island produced an average of $50,000 a month in tax revenues from sports gambling, although projections called for up to a million a month.

Pennsylvania, however, remains on pace to reach its projections, which includes money generated from both licensing fees and tax revenues. The AP report is correct that sports betting tax revenue is behind schedule. However, with licensing fees, the Commonwealth’s sports betting money is right in line with expectations.

According to a report from a closed-door budget meeting last year, the state hoped to take in $100 million from PA sports betting and online gambling for the fiscal year.

Sports betting licensing fees lead the way

Sportsbook licensing fees have provided the biggest benefit to Pennsylvania’s budget. Each sports betting license costs $10 million. To date, nine casinos have applied for that license. Only four casino licensees have not pursued a license yet.

Furthermore, full online casino licenses, which allow casinos to offer online poker, slots, and table games, also cost $10 million. (A license for one of those three games could be purchased for $4 million).

The PA online casino licensing process generated $94 million in licensing fees. However, it is unclear if any of that money went to cover the budget’s previous gambling revenue shortfall that resulted from delays in the process.

Online sports betting should be a boon for the budget

Sports betting has generated $2.5 million in tax revenue for Pennsylvania from November launch through February this year. But much bigger numbers should begin arriving in July.

PA sports betting apps should arrive this summer and that will almost certainly outpace the revenues generated from brick and mortar casinos.

According to Legal Sports Report, New Jersey took in more than $385 million in wagers this past January. Eighty percent of those wagers were made online. That led to $18.8 million in total revenue.

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States besides PA eye online betting

Many other states may follow Pennsylvania into digital betting. According to an article on Harrisburg’s WITF, mobile sports betting is being considered in at least 14 states.

In Indiana, state Senator Jon Ford recognized mobile sports betting as simply one more sign of progress.

“Everybody’s using mobile to do all kinds of things we weren’t 10 years ago. It’s the future. It’s inevitable.”

Gambling revenues are best viewed in the long term

As most bettors can attest, sports gambling results can fluctuate wildly. The same holds true for sportsbooks. Therefore, it’s best to take a long-range view of the revenues they produce.

A single game can prove costly to a sportsbook, but in the long term, the books are typically profitable. For example, in Rhode Island, the state’s sportsbooks lost $2.35 million on the Super Bowl alone when the Patriots covered the spread. Even with that disastrous result, the sportsbooks have been profitable this year, albeit short of projections.

In Pennsylvania, March should provide the biggest revenues yet for the PA sportsbooks. According to betting analyst Dustin Gouker, Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks were expected to generate between $7 – $10 million in wagers solely on March Madness.

That sort of activity could produce record numbers for the state. It can also help tide them over until online betting launches.

West Virginia Passed Online Gambling; Should Pennsylvania Worry?

Pennsylvania casinos, namely the ones near Pittsburgh, will soon have to contend with competition for online casino players from neighboring West Virginia.

Pennsylvania’s neighbor will soon join the Keystone State in the world of online casino gaming.

Last Wednesday, West Virginia legalized online casino gambling when House Bill 2934 became law. Gov. Jim Justice failed to act on the bill, just as he did with West Virginia’s sports betting last year. Even though he did not act, the bill become law after 15 days of inaction per WV law.

“There are a lot of different things out there that I guess people do (in online casino gaming),” West Virginia Lottery Director John Myers said in an article on MetroNews. “I think there are even some video lottery games like we have in the casinos to a smaller degree that you could even play.”

WV online gaming takes cues from other states

West Virginia is now the fifth state to legalize at least some form of online poker and online casino gambling, joining Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. PA passed its online gaming law in October 2017.

The West Virginia law is similar to those passed by other states. Anyone 21 and older, and who is within West Virginia’s state lines will be able to play online casino games with a computer or mobile device. Each of the state’s five casinos are eligible to purchase a permit to host online gaming:

  • Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
  • Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort
  • The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
  • Mardi Gras Casino & Resort
  • Wheeling Island Hotel

Currently, the most popular online casino games are poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and slots.

WV online casinos shouldn’t greatly affect PA’s gaming

While the Mountaineer Casino in New Cumberland and Wheeling Island are only about an hour away from the Pittsburgh area, it’s unlikely West Virginia’s new law will steal substantial business from its neighbor. That is good news for the city’s two casinos, Rivers and The Meadows.

First of all, Pennsylvania’s online casinos are expected to launch much earlier than West Virginia’s. Most estimates expect PA’s online gaming to arrive in June or July. West Virginia will likely be more than a year behind that.

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PA online gaming will feature numerous options

Furthermore, Pennsylvania is on track to provide online gamblers with a wealth of options. The PA Gaming and Control Board has already provided conditional approval for 10 of the state’s 13 casinos to offer online poker, slots, and table games.

Presque Isle Downs, Mohegan Sun Pocono, and the upcoming Stadium Casino project will just offer online table games and slots.

Furthermore, qualified gaming entities (QGE) from outside of Pennsylvania were allowed to apply for the remaining online gaming licenses. Both MGM Resorts and Golden Nugget Atlantic City have filed paperwork. Each group is expected to offer some form of online gaming in Pennsylvania upon launch, pending PGCB approval.

West Virginia’s online gaming is more likely to target other states

Pennsylvania’s early action on online gaming will likely keep most of its online players within the confines of the Keystone State.

However, the new law in West Virginia is aimed beyond its borders. The online gaming legislation is hoping to attract gamblers from neighboring states such as Ohio, Virginia, and Maryland. Those states have not yet legalized online gaming.

And that’s the biggest reason the bill drew bipartisan support in the WV state legislature.

“iGaming has the potential to bring millions of dollars in revenue to our state,” West Virginia legislator Jason Barrett said in the PlayWV article.

Put simply; the new online gaming bill is a boon for West Virginia. But not a major threat to its neighbor in Pennsylvania.

March Madness: Three New PA Lottery Millionaires So Far This Month

Three PA Lottery players have collectively won more than $7.5 million from lotto games including Powerball and Cash 5 so far this March.

March Madness has hit the PA Lottery.

This past week, Pennsylvania’s state lottery delivered three jackpots worth a combined $7.5 million. The biggest victory was a $4.15 million Match 6 ticket sold in Doylestown, Bucks County.

That ticket matched all six winning numbers (20-21-28-35-36-45) to win the massive jackpot.

The winner will remain unknown until the prize is claimed and the ticket is verified.

PA Lottery presents record-breaking Cash 5 check

In contrast, the big winner in Berwick stepped into the spotlight this week. Columbia County resident Luther Coleman Jr. received a commemorative check worth almost $2.5 million.

A Sheetz in Coleman’s hometown sold the record-breaking ticket worth $2,488,733. The jackpot was the highest in the nearly 27-year history of the game. Cash 5 is the Pennsylvania Lottery’s longest-running jackpot game.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to congratulate the winner of this historic jackpot,” Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said in the state lottery’s press release.

Coleman, who has worked at a nuclear power plant in Berwick for more than 31 years, said that he’s a frequent player of lottery games.

Lottery jackpot arrives on a whim

According to the release, on the day of the record Cash 5 contest, Coleman said he made his usual stop at Sheetz. He purchased items inside the store that left him with $1 and change.

Even though he had previously bought some tickets for the Cash 5 drawing that night, he decided to use that remaining dollar to buy another one at a machine outside the store.

Some players encountered problems with lottery machines on the day of the Cash 5 contest, but Coleman had no such trouble. He bought a $1 Quick Pick ticket that turned into the Cash 5 jackpot winner.

“When someone hears a story that I went out and bought the ticket with a $1 Quick Pick, you have to say that it can happen,” Coleman said. “My joke was that I was hoping to get my retirement package out of the machine. Lo and behold, it happened.”

Cash 5 adds to impressive total for Sheetz

The Cash 5 win was also a highlight for Sheetz, which earns a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

“This is one of the largest tickets ever sold from a Sheetz store location and continues a streak of good luck for our customers, who won over $124 million in lottery cash prizes in 2018,” said Sheetz AVP of Brand Strategies Ryan Sheetz.

Sheetz has 274 locations across Pennsylvania, each of which offers customers lottery-based terminal games and a number of instant lottery options as well.

Philly’s million-dollar Powerball ticket

Another big lottery win arrived near Philadelphia, at the ShopRite in Roxborough.

The ticket correctly matched all five white balls drawn in the March 16 contest (30-34-39-53-67). However, the ticket missed the red Powerball 11. That was still good enough to net $1 million less applicable withholding.

The winner, who is still unknown, will have one year from the drawing date to claim the prize. Lottery players are reminded to check every ticket, every time.

One easy way to chek your draw games tickets is to down the PA online lottery mobile app. One of its many features is a ticket scanner.

Jackpot wins provide bright spot for PA Lottery

The trio of jackpots provides some positive public relations for a PA Lottery system facing a great deal of pressure.

The state lottery, which funnels all of its proceeds to programs that support the state’s older residents, is navigating a new ruling by the US Justice Department. Said ruling redefines the scope of the federal Wire Act. That ruling has raised concerns about the lottery’s interstate backup system in Georgia.

The lottery’s revenue projections were also a point of contention at a recent meeting for the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee. Some members of the committee worried the lottery’s expectations were overly optimistic, which could create budget shortfalls in the future.

Those issues will certainly be addressed at a later date. For now, the lottery – and its players – can soak up the sunshine provided by these big wins.

For PA Fantasy Operators, Baseball Season Can’t Come Soon Enough

With only the Super Bowl on the schedule in February, PA fantasy sports numbers predictably decline with the end of football season.

Just like the average fan, Pennsylvania’s fantasy sports revenues seemed to be missing football in February.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released the February Fantasy Contests Revenue Report on Friday. That report revealed a total adjusted revenue decline of nearly $500,000 compared to January. Total revenue dipped from $2,116,499 to $1,629,178.

The drop in revenue can be traced in part to the end of football season. February featured just one football game — the Super Bowl — which limited daily fantasy platforms to single-game contests in the sport.

Overall, Pennsylvania will still receive $244,376.75 from the daily fantasy providers, which are assessed a 15 percent tax on their adjusted gross revenue. That money is then deposited into the Pennsylvania Commonwealth General Fund.

Here’s a look at the total revenue breakdown for February:

Fantasy operatorAdjusted monthly revenuePA tax due
DraftKings$906,451.16$135,967.67
FanDuel$622,815.68$93,422.35
Fantasy Football Players Championship$47,744.12$7,161.62
DRAFT$23,948.17$3,592.23
Yahoo Fantasy Sports$9,726.89$1,459.05
Sportshub Technologies$6,536.89$980.53
Fantasy Draft$5,818.57$872.79
Full Time Fantasy Sports$3,985.25$597.79
Boom Fantasy$2,151.45$322.72

DraftKings remains ahead of FanDuel

DraftKings once again led all of the fantasy providers, including its close competitor FanDuel. DraftKings had a total of $906,451.16 in adjusted revenue for its fantasy contests in February. FanDuel was second with $622,815.68. Pennsylvania’s remaining seven daily fantasy sports (DFS) outlets all generated total revenues of under $50,000.

According to Legal Sports Report, FanDuel was actually ahead of DraftKings when Pennsylvania DFS revenues were first reported in June 2018. More recently, DraftKings has been the leader. FanDuel is looking to close that gap and could receive a boost from its branding deal with FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino Resort, which opened last week.

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Baseball’s return will enhance March revenues

Major League Baseball’s regular season starts on March 28. The first few days of the season and some showcase DFS contests should boost this month’s earnings. However, it’s hard to predict if those increased revenues will be enough to push March’s total past February.

How will PA sportsbooks affect DFS?

The other development to monitor is how the spread of Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks will affect daily fantasy contests. Total daily fantasy revenue has dropped from more than $2.86 million in December to about $1.63 million in February. Many people believe sports betting and daily fantasy games can coexist. And the FanDuel-branded casino is uniquely suited to provide some opportunities for that.

PA budget continues to benefit from gaming

All in all, Pennsylvania’s state budget will continue to benefit from all forms of gaming. Based on their 2018 earnings, daily fantasy providers will pay nearly $2.3 million in state taxes. Furthermore, the expansion of sports betting — which should include mobile betting in July and at least nine sportsbooks by the start of football season — will provide a boon several times that number.

So, as the wagers and daily fantasy contests continue, the tax revenue will pour in too.

FanDuel Beats Turf Club To Launch In Valley Forge Battle

It’s a busy couple of days for PA sports betting. Valley Forge Turf Club began testing on Tuesday. FanDuel at Valley Forge Casino starts testing Monday.

Two new sportsbooks are arriving in Pennsylvania just in time for March Madness.

Both Valley Forge Turf Club and FanDuel Sportsbook at Valley Forge Casino began testing this week. Now area bettors have two new options for gaming before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off on March 21.

FanDuel Sportsbook started testing on Monday. Valley Forge Turf Club followed suit on Tuesday. The Valley Forge Casino book launches officially on Wednesday. Turf Club’s full launch is set for Thursday.

“The goal the whole time was to be open for March Madness,” Jeff Lowich, senior director of retail for FanDuel, told Philly.com. “It’s hard to understand it until you’ve either been through it or seen it. Once you go through that, you don’t want to sit at home and watch a fight or a game on your couch. Whether you’re with friends or even strangers, when you’re in a sportsbook, it’s just fun.”

Former Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek is scheduled to attend the sportsbook’s grand opening. He will place the ceremonial first bet.

FanDuel looking to build on NJ success

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming purchased Valley Forge Casino last September. Since then, it added more than $40 million in upgrades to the property.

The casino’s sportsbook aims to continue the success of the FanDuel brand, which launched its first sportsbook last summer at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. According to Legal Sports Report, FanDuel’s Meadowlands property led all New Jersey sportsbooks in combined digital and retail revenues from December to January, taking in over $16 million.

Now, the brand will branch across the region with its first sportsbook in Pennsylvania, a rapidly growing sports betting market. The Keystone State should have at least nine sportsbooks open before football season.

“People are already familiar with FanDuel,” Boyd Gaming spokesperson David Strow said in January. “It’s a reason for people to come to Valley Forge Casino Resort and give our product a try.”

Valley Forge Turf Club is Parx’s third book

Valley Forge Turf Club in Oaks, PA, started taking bets on Tuesday. The sportsbook recently completed a $500,000 renovation to prepare for the opening. The improvements include several high-definition televisions and improved surveillance equipment.

Last month, Greenwood Gaming, which also owns Parx Casino in Bensalem, opened a sportsbook at South Philadelphia Turf Club. With the arrival of the Valley Forge property, Greenwood will become a clear leader in Pennsylvania’s sports betting industry with three of the eight PA sportsbooks.

In court filings for its bid to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the company highlighted the strengths of Valley Forge Turf Club.

“Situated near Philadelphia’s ‘Main Line,’ the facility is ideally suited for a sports wagering operation as it is easily accessible to sports fans and travelers,” Greenwood’s court filings read, according to Philadelphia Business Journal.

PA closing the gap on NJ sports betting

With the arrival of two more sportsbooks this month, Pennsylvania is moving closer to challenging its neighbor New Jersey on the sports betting front. New Jersey is home to more sportsbooks. More importantly, the Garden State’s big edge is digital wagers. Online betting accounts for roughly 80 percent of all wagers in New Jersey. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania isn’t expected to launch online betting until July.

This month’s wagers might provide an interesting glimpse into what the future holds. With Pennsylvania claiming about 3.8 million more people than New Jersey, PA could soon overtake its neighbor in gambling revenue once mobile betting arrives. For now, the state’s casinos can simply expect record revenues in February for its relatively new betting industry. Hopefully, the Super Bowl gave the industry a big boost compared to January.

As for March, PA has two new properties are entering the fray and the immensely popular NCAA Tournament, which should make for another good month.