Rush Street Gaming LLC-operated SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh recently became the fourth and fifth applicants for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s sports betting licenses. The two casinos will be joining Parx Casino in Bensalem, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack and Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Dauphin County in the state’s yet-to-be-launched sports betting industry.
SugarHouse Casino’s officials said that the company intends to offer a full range of bets on both American and international sports. It will also be constructing its permanent sports book on the existing gaming floor, a move that the officials believe will have no impact whatsoever on operating slot machines and casino tables.
The casino is already operating both sports wagering and online bases gaming in New Jersey and this is probably one of the main reasons it has entered into the Keystone State’s sports betting market so easily. It is also worth noting that it is also one of the casinos that petition for the state’s interactive gaming licenses which it got approved for recently.
The State of Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
Sports betting in Pennsylvania did not kick off as smoothly as expected due to some friction between the state gambling regulators and the 13 licensed casinos operating in the state. To begin with, the application process for the sports betting licenses has been met with a lot of criticism particularly because of the rather high $10 million cost that each license was going for.
In addition to this, there is also the issue of the extremely high 36 percent tax rate that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has proposed for online gambling which will also include sports betting. For this reason, most of the state’s licenses casino operator have been reluctant to apply for the sports betting licenses.
The PGCB to Approve First Sports Betting License on Wednesday
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board plans to hold its next meetings on October 2 and October 3 and if all goes well during the meetings, the first sports betting licenses applicants – Penn National and Parx Casino – will be approved to offer sports betting in the state.
Even though the gaming control board will be considering the application for its two competitors on October 3, SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino will not have their sports betting license application evaluated. The earliest time that the two casinos may have their license hearing will the PGCB meeting that has been scheduled for October 31 – if they do succeed, each will have to part with the $10 million in licensing fees and agree to the 36 percent tax rate.