Three More Sportsbooks and Two Online Casinos Are Approved in PA

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved three more casinos’ plans to open sportsbooks in a meeting held this morning. SugarHouse Casino, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and Harrah’s Philadelphia have all been given the green light to proceed with their sports betting plans.

SugarHouse Casino said it plans to launch sports betting on December 1st pending PGCB approval. Rivers Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia did not specify launch dates, but Rivers did say it plans to launch online sports betting in “early 2019.”

Additionally, Presque Isle Downs and Stadium Casino LLC were both approved to offer online slots and table games. The status of Stadium Casino LLC and its plans to construct Live! Casino in Philadelphia still remains uncertain.

A Preview of Sports Betting and Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

Representatives of all five casinos were present at today’s meeting and most provided presentations detailing their plans for online sports betting and gambling. These presentations have been published on the PGCB website and offer an interesting preview of what’s to come in Pennsylvania from each provider.

You’ll also find preview pictures of what each sportsbook has in mind as far as design and overall look. If you’re curious to see what these sportsbooks will look like in action, just follow the links to the presentations below.

SugarHouse Casino PA Sports Betting

SugarHouse Casino applied for an online gambling license in July and a sports betting license in September. After today’s meeting, SugarHouse is now authorized to offer online sports betting, in-person sports betting, online casino games and online poker.

In its presentation today, SugarHouse Casino explained that it will open a temporary location at the north entrance across from the poker room. The on-site sportsbook will have a betting window along with self-service kiosks. In the meantime, construction will continue on a permanent sportsbook.

The permanent on-site sportsbook, online sportsbook and online casino are all slated to launch in Spring 2019. The permanent sportsbook will be located on the central gaming floor at the current location of Lucky Red Lounge.

At the PGCB meeting today, SugarHouse representatives outlined their plans for the temporary sportsbook:

  • Launch date of December 1st
  • Approximately 1800 square feet
  • Seating for approximately 70 people
  • “Start-of-the-art” 14’x7’ LED video wall
  • 12 flat screen, hi-def monitors
  • Food and beverage options

Additionally, SugarHouse revealed it plans to accept wagers on a wide range of sports including, but not limited to:

NFL College Football MLB NHL
NBA College Basketball CFL Golf
Tennis Boxing UFC Rugby
NASCAR MLG Premier League La Liga
Liga MX Serie A Bundesliga  

Types of bets offered will include the usual range of straight bets, round robins, parlays, money lines, spreads, props, run lines and in-play betting.

Rush Street Interactive, which owns SugarHouse and Rivers, will work alongside Kambi to manage in-person and online sports betting. Rush Street Interactive also operates an online sportsbook in New Jersey.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh Sports Betting

Rivers Casino is also owned by Rush Street Gaming and its presentation at the meeting mirrored that of the plan over at SugarHouse. Rivers Casino is now authorized to operate in-person and online sports betting in Pennsylvania.

After initially applying for licenses to offer online slots, table games and poker, Rivers Casino withdrew its online gambling application to leave sports betting as the only form of online gaming the casino plans to offer.

In its presentation in front of the PGCB, Rivers Casino explained that it plans to launch sports betting at a temporary sportsbook on December 1st while a permanent sportsbook is finished. The temporary sportsbook will be located on the south gaming floor near the high limits area. This temporary location will have teller windows staffed by employees along with self-service kiosks.

The permanent in-person sportsbook is set to be located on the central gaming floor at the current location of Levels Lounge. Rivers also revealed today that both the permanent sportsbook and online betting are planned to launch in early 2019.

Here’s how Rivers Casino described the temporary sportsbook in front of the PGCB today:

  • Launch date of December 1st
  • Approximately 3,000 square feet
  • Seating for approximately 98 people
  • “State-of-the-art” 14’x7’ LED video wall
  • 15 flat screen, hi-def monitors
  • Food and beverage options

The planned list of sports covered and wagers accepted mirrors that of SugarHouse Casino. In short, Rivers Casino will cover all major international sports and accept most types of bets. In-play betting will also be offered. Rush Street Interactive and Kambi will work behind the scenes to power the sports betting operations at Rivers.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Sports Betting

Harrah’s’ Philadelphia applied for online gambling back in July and sports betting last month. After today’s PGCB meeting, the casino is now authorized to offer online sports betting, in-person sports betting, online casino games and online poker.

The Harrah’s presentation today did not provide an estimated launch date, but did detail what it has in mind for its permanent sportsbook and confirmed online sports betting in in the works. The sportsbook at Harrah’s Philadelphia will feature:

  • 4,322 square feet
  • Odds board
  • 40 flat screen TVs
  • Six teller windows
  • Self-service betting kiosks
  • Two horse racing terminals
  • Stadium-style seating
  • Television packages for all major American sports leagues as well as for international and college sports
  • Food and beverage options

Harrah’s also noted that it will be partnered with Scientific Games to run its online and in-person sportsbooks. Harrah’s did not mention who will power its online casino operation in Pennsylvania, but we do know that Harrah’s Casino NJ is powered by 888 software.

Presque Isle Downs Online Gambling in PA

Presque Isle Downs was approved for online table games and online slots today, but is not seeking to offer sports betting or online poker at this time. In addition to laying out its plans in Pennsylvania, Presque Isle Downs also provided some interesting information regarding the future of BetAmerica in its presentation.

Before we get into the details, some context is in order. Presque Isle Downs and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin were acquired by Churchill Downs Inc. earlier this year. Churchill Downs also owns horse racing betting sites BetAmerica.com and TwinSpires.com.

What Churchill Downs revealed today is that the casino plans to offer online casino games in Pennsylvania under the BetAmerica brand rather than under the Presque Isle name. Churchill Downs also hinted at offering sports betting under the BetAmerica brand in Pennsylvania if the company receives a sports wagering license.

That is all in addition to Churchill Downs’ plans to offer online gambling and sports betting in New Jersey in conjunction with the Golden Nugget AC. It is clear that BetAmerica has plans to dramatically shift its focus away from pure online horse racing to become a complete gambling site with casino games, sports betting and even live dealer games.

A pair of screenshots found in the presentation offers a preview of what BetAmerica.com may look like one day when it expands beyond its horse racing roots:

Presque Isle did not provide an estimated launch date for its online casino games at today’s meeting.

Stadium Casino Online Gambling License Approved

Stadium Casino LLC also received licenses for online table games and online slots today despite not having a physical casino location as of yet. Stadium Casino has a permit to construct a casino in Philadelphia’s Stadium District, but there have been rumors of late that the project may be sold off.

During the meeting, Stadium Casino requested the PGCB to amend its application to remove online poker from its application to leave the casino with online table games and slots only. With no physical location or even employees, Stadium Casino offered few details regarding its plans for online gaming in Pennsylvania.

MGM Resorts International Throws Its Hat in the Ring

Pennsylvania gambling law provides for a maximum of 39 online gaming licenses to be issued in total across the state, corresponding to three licenses for each of the state’s 13 casinos to offer online slots, online table games and online poker.

Local brick-and-mortar casinos were given first dibs to apply for licenses, but any left over after the initial licensing period may be claimed by other “qualified gaming entities” (QGEs). The window during which QGEs may apply for leftover licenses opened on October 16th and closes at the end of business today.

Ten such licenses remain unclaimed, and recently Online Poker Report reported that MGM Resorts International has paid a $12 million licensing fee to apply for online slots, table games and poker.

MGM Resorts has been busy expanding its presence in the regulated online gaming market in the United States of late. MGM also operates an online sportsbook and casino in New Jersey, has reached a deal securing its place in California and has signed advertising agreements with three professional sports teams to date.

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