Rivers and SugarHouse Casinos Apply For PA Sports Betting Licenses
Over one-third of all of the active casinos in the state of Pennsylvania have now applied to the state for sports betting licenses, with the latest being Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh and SugarHouse Casino in the Philadelphia area. For a state that seemed on the brink of sports betting catastrophe, it appears that things are turning out the way that state legislators had initially hoped for.
Three Previous Applications
Before now, the Hollywood Casino, the Parx Casino, and Harrah’s Philadelphia have already petitioned the state to offer both retail and online sports betting. This means that five of the state’s 12 casinos are asking to get into the sports gambling arena. There’s even a thirteenth casino, one as-yet unbuilt in Philadelphia, which will be eligible to apply once it’s complete.
On Wednesday, October 3rd, the PA Gaming Control Board granted Hollywood and Parx their sports betting licenses. The goal is for both of these casinos to start offering sports betting by the beginning of November.
SugarHouse and Rivers Casinos’ Petitions
SugarHouse already has New Jersey online sports betting and online casinos, so it’s not a shock that it has applied for legal sports betting in PA. It will also have online casino games once Pennsylvania goes live with that option.
Both SugarHouse and Rivers are owned by Rush Street Gaming, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that Rivers Casino put in its petition for a license shortly after SugarHouse.
SugarHouse is a casino entertainment complex, located in Philadelphia along the Delaware River, and it gets its name from the fact that it’s located on the site of the former Jack Frost Sugar Refinery. It’s one of the five stand-alone casinos that was granted a gaming license on December 20, 2006. The first phase was opened in September 2010 with 3,000 slot machine and table games on its state-of-the-art casino floor. Future phases will likely include an event center, a health spa, hotel, and more retail and dining facilities.
The Rivers Casino is in Pittsburgh along the Ohio River. It opened in August 2009 and was originally supposed to be named the Majestic Star Casino. This location has 3,000 slot machines, table games, a 30-table non-smoking Poker room, five restaurants, four bars, a night club, and an outdoor ampitheater.
Licensing Fee in PA
At first people wondered if any of the state’s casinos would even bother to apply for a sports betting license, since the licensing fee is a hefty $10 million, and after that, a 36 percent effective tax rate. With now five of the state’s casinos having applied for a license, it looks like those concerns have disappeared.
Legal Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
No petitions have been approved so far by the Gaming Control Board, but it looks like brick-and-mortar locations will probably go live some time in November or December. As for online sports betting, that will come after online poker and casinos get rolled out, which isn’t going to happen until later this year at the earliest. So, it’s not likely that online sports betting will be available in PA until some time in 2019.
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