First sports licences issued in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has taken a step closer to launching legalised sports betting after the state’s regulator awarded licences to two casinos.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and Parx Casino (pictured) have both been cleared to launch sports wagering services by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
With more than 12 million people, Pennsylvania will be by far the biggest US state to offer sports betting when the market launches. However, legalised sports betting is not imminent in Pennsylvania, with neither casino having immediate plans to launch such services,
According to the Associated Press, Penn – which has submitted a licence for its Hollywood Casino property - hopes to launch sports betting at the facility within the next “few months”, while Parx told the PGCB that it could go live from next month.
In August, Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, the owner of Parx, put forward its licence application on behalf of the property. Greenwood is also seeking permission to offer betting at its South Philadelphia Turf Club off-track betting facility.
Punters may have to wait a little longer to place online and mobile wagers. Parx has partnered with GAN for such services, but is not expected to launch these until early next year.
Casinos that wish to offer sports betting in Pennsylvania face an initial licence fee of $10m (£7.7m/€8.7m), as well as a high state tax rate of 36%.
Meanwhile, away from sports betting and the PGCB has this week awarded two more online gaming licences to the Sands Bethlehem Casino and the Boyd-owned Valley Forge Casinos Resort.
Last month, the PGCB revealed that the remaining licences will be awarded via a lottery-style draw. Only five licences now remain from an available 39.