It is finally here everybody! On Thursday, November 16 the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course became the first Pennsylvanian Casino to offer sports betting in what they are calling a “live wagering test day”. The two days of tests will involve real money wagering which will be facilitated by William Hill USA, a major international bookmaker – it will be operating the Hollywood Casino sportsbook during the test period to ensure that both the equipment and staff comply with the Keystone State’s gaming control board regulatory requirements.
Even though it is still in its testing phase as of today (November 16), the William Hill-powered casino sportsbook is the state’s first-ever legal sports betting establishment and represents a significant leap for Pennsylvania’s statewide gambling expansion plans. Despite the fact that the state still trails behind the like of Mississippi and West Virginia in as far as legal sports wagering is concerned, the dedication of Hollywood Casino’s management which “moved heaven and earth” to finally launch its sportsbook, is certainly a good sign that there are greater things to come in the near future.
Hopefully, the second day of testing will go very well – if it does, the new sportsbook will be operating for 13 hours during weekdays, that is, from 11 am to midnight from Monday through to Friday and 10 am to midnight on weekends. This is a pretty solid start for Pennsylvania which is now the seventh state to launch single-game sports wagering since the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that abolished PASPA and effectively lifted the federal ban on sports betting.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has been very diligent when it comes to steering the state’s gaming industry and therefore it is no surprise that everything seems to have materialized so perfectly – a perfect scenario of slow but steady planning. As it stands, the state is experiencing a raging snowstorm and therefore the earliest time that the sportsbook will see considerable turnout is the weekend. The gaming control board should take this into account when they make the decision on whether to clearance.
Sports Betting Application Still Rolling In
As Penn National Gaming readies to finally breathe some life into the state’s long-awaited sports betting industry, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board continues to receive sports betting license applications. The most recent applicant is Valley Forge Casino Resort which officially filed relevant application paperwork on Wednesday, November 14. It is now the sixth applicant for the PGCB’s sports wagering licenses.
Valley Forge was recently acquired Boyd Gaming Group, a Nevada-based gaming company that owns 29 gaming facilities across 10 states. This makes the application not much of a surprise since Boyd has been in partnership with FanDuel for a sports betting operation for some time now. Unfortunately, owing to the gaming control board’s requirement that operators have a 90-day waiting period between the filing of the license application and the launch of their operations, Pennsylvanians should not expect to place sports bets until, at the earliest, mid-February.