Pennsylvania is one of the first states to take advantage of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling, which put the legality of sports betting back into the hands of states.
Following that May 2018 decision, sports betting is now legal in PA, and the state’s largest casino — the Parx Casino — is opening two sports betting locations as well as an online sportsbook.
The retail sportsbook will launched on Jan. 8. South Philadelphia Turf Club will launch on Jan. 17. The OTB parlor is located in Stadium Park near the Phillies and Eagles stadiums. Additionally, a second turf club, Valley Forge, will start accepting bets in the coming weeks.
A $10 million price tag for a PA sports betting license and a total tax rate of nearly 41 percent, there were concerns that no one would open a sportsbook.
What’s more, with a new partnership with European sportsbook operator Kambi, mobile sports betting is just around the corner.
New Parx player bonuses
While it’s unclear what exactly Parx Sportsbook will offer, Kambi’s partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey gives us an idea of what to expect.
In NJ, DraftKings matches a new customer’s first bet up to $200 dollar for dollar. The only requirement for the bonus is that customers must place the bet within 30 days of registering for a new account.
Parx customers can expect a rotation of new sign-up incentives that will feature similar first-bet matches. There could possibly be first-deposit matches up to a set amount too.
Online betting on Parx Sportsbook
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the partnership is Kambi’s experience in the online sportsbook world.
In New Jersey, 50 percent of sports betting action is online. Expect a similar split in Pennsylvania. Parx and Kambi will offer mobile access in PA. Additionally, they will use Parx’s new mobile app to drive the majority of the growth.
Using Kambi’s most recent mobile app creation, the DraftKings app in New Jersey, we can get a sense of what to expect for Parx.
A clean home screen features the top games of the day and shortcuts to place wagers. There are also several links connecting players to sports in play that day. All the links to all current promotions are easy to find.
The app also comes with tabs for in-game wagering and a summary page. That page contains a player’s past, current and future bets.
Geolocation technology will ensure each player is within the state of Pennsylvania, as the law requires. The app will also come with a direct link to customer service in the unlikely event the app misidentifies a player’s location.
Signing up for a new Parx account
We can also look to what Kambi has created both in NJ and around the world to get an idea of how easy it will be to register for a new Parx account.
On the current DraftKings app, all a player needs to register for a new account is the player’s name, date of birth, email address, physical address, phone number the last four digits of their Social Security Number for identification purposes.
Once the app verifies the information, new users must pick a unique username and password.
There is an option for a secondary level of security, which sends a pin to a player’s phone each time a login is attempted. Also, many of today’s phones are equipped with fingerprint access, allowing players to go a step further in securing their new accounts.
In Pennsylvania, you must be at least 21 years old to register for a gaming account and place wagers.
Potential rewards programs
While existing Kambi-run sportsbooks don’t tell us much about what loyalty and rewards programs might be offered, the Parx Casino does.
It is the largest-grossing casino in Pennsylvania. It offers customers a program called Xclub. The casino and sportsbook may incorporate the same program to keep all customers’ gaming dollars in one place.
The current Xclub program offers a free $10 slot play for new registrations. Xclub features a series of tiers based on the amount a player wagers over time. Everyone starts at Player Level. The higher levels are Premium and Elite.
Wagers placed throughout six months turn into points. Then the point total determines the tier a player will enjoy for an additional six months. Depending on a player’s tier, they can earn free plays, invites to special events, and complimentary high-end food and drinks.
Supposedly Parx hopes to make its sportsbook on a par with what someone might find in Las Vegas. We expect them to roll out a robust rewards program to attract experienced sports betting customers, most likely similar to the Xclub program.
Other potential promotional offers
Along with enticing new customers to place bets, sportsbook operators are always looking for ways to keep those customers continually engaged. A great way to do that is with promotions that focus on the current sports season or local teams.
In New Jersey, the Kambi-run sportsbooks feature the NFL’s New York Giants and rookie running back Saquon Barkley with specific odds boosters.
Parx customers can expect to see similar promotions involving the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers during football season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers during hockey season, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Phillies during baseball season.
New Jersey residents also have access to sportsbook pools that allow players to win up to $100,000 on a football “pick ’em” for as little as a $20 bet.
There are also simple promotional bonuses available, including $50 for referring a friend.
With Parx’s status in the state and Kambi’s experience in creating player incentives, a full line of Pennsylvania-centered promotions is all but guaranteed.
Parx Sportsbook’s available wagers
If a player can envision a type of sports bet, they’ll probably be able to place it at Parx.
Naturally, the sportsbook is expected to offer point spread and moneyline bets where players select the winner.
Over/under bets (wagers on the combined point total for both teams) should also be on the menu.
Furthermore, Parx gamers can look forward to placing prop bets (individual outcomes within a selected event), teasers (a wager that moves the point spread to a more favorable total), and parlays (a bet combining two or more other outcomes into a single bet).
Players should also be able to wager on the outcome of future events, like the winner of the Stanley Cup or Super Bowl, or smaller events like tennis and golf tournaments.
If players spent time in a sportsbook recently, they likely witnessed in-play wagering. Because of its popularity, and because Kambi knows how to offer customers what they want, bettors should be able to play this type of action with Parx.
For those not in the know, in-play wagering involves placing bets after an event begins. The odds and point spreads as the event plays out. It’s a far more interactive way to play compared to placing a bet and watching a game for a single outcome.
Parx’s withdrawal options
What we can glean from Kambi’s previous ventures and what is available in Pennsylvania is that Parx customers can expect several easy-to-use deposit methods.
Credit and debit cards will most likely be an option. Expect Parx to offer prepaid cards as well.
PayPal is another easy option that should be available. Through its online service, users can connect a deposit with a credit card or bank account.
Players will also most likely have the option to use a direct bank account transfer or any of the hundreds of PayNearMe locations in Pennsylvania.
Parx should also take personal checks (with a delay). Or you could deposit cash at the Parx Casino’s cage.
Parx’s deposit options
If a deposit method also makes for an easy withdrawal, like a bank transfer or credit card payment, the same payment option will likely be used to withdraw. Prepaid cards from Parx should also work that way.
If the deposit is made through PayNearMe, check, cash or another method, then a bank transfer or electronic check will likely be arranged. These types of withdrawals may incur a slight delay, just like withdrawals for large amounts.