Hollywood Casino near Harrisburg, one of two sites to license sports betting
HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania, one of the most aggressive gambling states in the country, looks weeks away from becoming the sixth state with sports betting after regulators on Wednesday granted the state’s first sports betting licenses to two casinos.
Casinos have other requirements, however, which could take until November to open a sportsbook. That schedule would miss the Baseball World Series, but it could mean capturing the final weeks of the fall varsity football and NFL seasons and virtually every season of college hockey, basketball, and the NBA.
The owners of Parx Casino plan to offer sports betting through the suburban Philadelphia casino and racetrack and at an off-road betting house in Philadelphia called the South Philadelphia Turf Club. Both are controlled by London businessman Watche Manoukian.
Penn National Gaming, which already operates sports betting at casinos in two other states, asked for the Hollywood Casino and the racetrack it owns near Hershey. Penn National officials would only say he plans to open a sports book in the next “few months”.
Parx Casino could start offering sports betting in November on banks of television screens showing a range of different sports.
“People can watch just about any game that is being broadcast in the country,” John Dixon, chief technology officer for Parx Casino, told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in an on-demand hearing Wednesday.
Betting online or on mobile devices could take up to next year to start. Users must be 21 years old and be within Pennsylvania.
Owners of the 12 casinos in Pennsylvania can pay a fee of $ 10 million to operate sports betting. Three more casino owners are seeking sports betting licenses, while several more casinos may open within a year or two.
In May, the United States Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalize sports betting. Since then, sports books have opened in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia, joining grandfathered Nevada, where sports betting had been legal for decades.
It’s unclear how much Pennsylvania can expect from its 34% state sports betting tax. Local governments collect another 2 percent tax.
Mississippi’s 8% state tax was $ 52,000 in August on the $ 645,000 lost by players on $ 7.7 million in wagers. In two and a half months of sports betting in New Jersey, the state’s 8.5% tax grossed $ 1.1 million of the $ 16.5 million lost by players out of $ 153 million in Paris.
Pennsylvania is already on track to become the fourth state to allow online casino gaming, after licensing seven casinos in recent weeks.
Pennsylvania casinos already generate more gross revenue than casinos in any other state except Nevada, according to figures from the American Gaming Association, while Pennsylvania is the # 1 state in revenue. casino industry taxes, with $ 1.4 billion in fiscal year 2016-17.
The Hollywood Casino, north of Harrisburg, was one of two sites to be licensed for sports betting by regulators in Pennsylvania on Wednesday.