Breaking Down Pennsylvania’s Casinos And Their Sports Betting Operations

Breaking Down Pennsylvania’s Casinos And Their Sports Betting Operations

Pennsylvanians can now legally bet on sports. Here’s why:

Recent legal actions have paved the way for legal sports betting in the state of Pennsylvania.

In October of 2017, the PA legislature passed laws legalizing online versions of peer-to-peer games (poker) and Vegas-style gaming like slots and table games. In addition, they legalized casinos in the state to offer sports betting, as well as providing regulations for daily fantasy sports (DFS). These laws were passed in anticipation of the US Supreme Court clearing federal obstacles to state licensure of gambling, which they did in May of 2018 with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

What did the new law do?

The 2017 legislation authorized the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to offer each of the states thirteen casinos the right to apply for a sports betting license. The license costs $10 million and authorizes the casino to take sports bets in physical locations as well as online.

In addition to the hefty $10 million price tag for the license, sports betting revenues will also be taxed at 36%, a disproportionately high tax rate on a low-margin endeavor such as traditional sports book making.

Despite these large fees and taxes, many Pennsylvania casino operators will be stepping up, paying up, and testing this new market.

Who are the players?

Each of Pennsylvania’s thirteen casinos are eligible to apply for the new sports betting license. Currently, only nine of these have applied and seven have been approved. Here’s the breakdown of the eligible operators and their status:

Standing on the sidelines (so far) are:

Who are the partners of the players?

Most of these casino operators will need (or want) help running their new sports betting operations, either with the details of book making itself, the technical details of operating in an online environment, or both. Here’s a few of the entities that may end up partnering with Pennsylvania casinos to help offer sports betting:

  • William Hill – A widely known and respected world-wide brand in sports betting based in the UK. William Hill has partnered with Penn National (Hollywood Casino). Currently operating in the US in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, and Mississippi.
  • BetStars – A popular sports betting division of the well respected international gaming company The Stars Group (of PokerStars fame among other well known brandings. Currently operating in the US in New Jersey.
  • FanDuel – A daily fantasy sports company recently bought by UK sports betting giant Paddy Power Betfair. FanDuel has partnered with Valley Forge to operate in PA pending the casino’s licensure. Currently operating in the US in New Jersey.
  • DraftKings – A daily fantasy sports company that also runs a popular sports book. Currently operating in the US in New Jersey.
  • Kambi – An international player in the gaming and sports betting market. Partnered with 888 Holdings gaming company. Partnering with Parx Casino as well as the two Rush Street Gaming properties, Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino.
  • BetAmerica – A well-known player in the horse-betting world that has now turned its sights on sports betting. Already operating in the NJ area.
  • IGT – A very well known gaming technology company. They have recently partnered with Penn National and Valley Forge to run online gaming operations. They also have a relationship with FanDuel and could be involved with providing online sports betting.
  • Scientific Games (NYX) – A Las Vegas based provider of online lottery and gambling services. They have a relationship with Mohegan Sun (through Resorts AC) for New Jersey online gaming. They also run Mohegan Sun Pocano’s and Lady Luck’s social casino. It is also rumored that they will be the eventual partner of Meadows (for both online gaming and online poker). They also have a relationship with Hollywood Penn National.
  • Rush Street Gaming – These casino operators have their own online gaming division (Rush Street Interactive) and will probably use that platform for their Rivers and Sugarhouse properties.
  • GAN – A big international provider of online casino gaming, they signed a deal with Parx Casino to run their future online operation and are currently running Parx’s online social casino. Also a leading contender to get a deal to run Valley Forge and Stadium Casino’s online gaming.
  • SBTech – A player in the international online sports betting market and possibly the top pick of Lady Luck Casino and Presque Isle to run their online casinos.
  • GeoComply – A well known geolocation verification company.
  • Aristotle – A well known player age and identity verification company.

 

Summary

Ok, that’s a lot of information. Here’s a table that summarizes what we know, what we can guess, and what information we are still waiting on:

CasinoApplied for sports betting license?Approved for sports betting license?Anticipated sports betting technical partnerPhysical sports book location(s)Offering online sports betting?
Harrah's PhiladelphiaYesYesKambiHarrah's Philadelphia
Not yet
Hollywood Penn NationalYesYesWilliam Hill
Hollywood Casino
Not yet
Lady LuckNoNoScientific Games (NYX)No
Mohegan Sun PocanoYesNoKambiNot yet
Mount AiryYesNoBetStarsNot yet
Parx
YesYesKambiParx Casino; Philly Turf Club; Valley Forge Turf ClubYes (launched June 2019)
Presque IsleYesYesSBTech; BetAmericaNot yet
RiversYesYesKambiRivers Casino
Yes (launched June 2019)
Sands BethlehemNoNoUnknownNo
StadiumYesNoGANNot yet
SugarhouseYesYesKambiSugarHouse Casino
Yes (launched May 2019)
The MeadowsYesNoDraftKingsNot yet
Valley Forge
YesYesFanDuelValley Forge CasinoYes (launched July 2019)