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Pennsylvania Accepts First Legal Sports Bet

Publish: 14.12.2018
On November 15th, Pennsylvania became the seventh US state to process a legal sports bet, after Penn National Gaming tried out its system at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

Another test followed the next day at Skybox Sports bar, while the full implementation of the system is expected to be completed in the coming period.

Pennsylvania could become an extremely lucrative market, as the recent study conducted by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming revealed that around $12 billion could be wagered on a yearly basis in the Keystone State once the marker is fully grown, which is almost three times more than Nevada!

The Keystone State accepts its first legal bet

Preparing the New System

The series of tests will allow Pen National’s staff to get used to the new system, and resolve certain issues that were reported in other states who have launched sports betting since the US Supreme Court repealed PASPA back in May, ending the federal ban on wagering on sports.

Hollywood Casino general manager Dan Ihm said the company was extremely appreciative for the tireless effort and support of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. He stated the PGCB had moved heaven and earth to get them to this point, and added the venue couldn’t be more excited to be Pennsylvania’s first sportsbook.

Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino were given the green light to launch sports betting last month, becoming the first casinos in Pennsylvania to receive the approval of the PGCB. According to available information, Parx was expected to launch sports betting by the end of November.

In the meantime, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, SugarHouse Casino, and Valley Forge have also applied for sports betting licences. The cost of the licenses is $10 million, while the current tax on sports betting is set at 36%.

Enthusiasm on the Rise

The other six states to have already offered sports betting are Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, and West Virginia, while many others are still preparing their legislation.

Commenting on this move, Timothy Wilmott, Chief Executive Officer at Penn National said the company was excited to be the first casino to offer sports wagering in Pennsylvania.

Wilmott added the enthusiasm around sports betting had been growing since the federal ban was lifted back in May, and added Penn National was looking forward to providing its patrons with another great amenity to enjoy at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.

PGCB, the state’s licensing and regulatory agency, has also revealed it was currently processing applications for online gambling licenses.

According to current estimates, a “co-ordinated launch” could happen before the year comes to an end, while those operators that have already applied for the remaining licenses will require a bit of luck if they want a piece of the action, since a draw will determine which applicants will be successful in getting their place in the Pennsylvanian market.

Penn National said earlier it expected the first online bets to be taken in the first quarter of the next year.