This is a developing story. We will provide more details as they become available.
After months of waiting, online sports betting is finally becoming available in Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
SugarHouse Casino Sportsbook began live testing of its mobile sports betting app product after receiving approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
Online wagering takes the scenic route in Pennsylvania
The advent of online sports wagering in the state has been months in the making. SugarHouse becomes just the first of many coming dominoes to fall in the state.
All eight of the current sportsbooks in the state are expected to offer mobile betting by this summer. A ninth, Presque Isle Downs in Erie, is targeting June 1 as the kickoff date of its retail sportsbook. Its online offering is expected at some point later in the summer, likely before NFL season kicks off in September.
The fact SugarHouse broke the online sports betting ice in the state isn’t exactly surprising.
The operator, in conjunction with sister property Rivers Casino, were the first sportsbooks to open brick-and-mortar locations in Pennsylvania following Hollywood Casino’s November 2018 debut. SugarHouse and Rivers are both powered by Kambi Group on the sportsbook side, which is also the engine behind DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey.
The sportsbooks expected to eventually serve as competition for SugarHouse in the state’s online sports betting space are the following:
- Hollywood Casino
- Rivers Casino
- Parx Casino
- South Philadelphia Turf Club
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Valley Forge Turf Club
- FanDuel Valley Forge
- Presque Isle Downs
Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook already features a FanDuel-themed physical sportsbook in Upper Merion Township. It will soon be rolling out FanDuel’s online sportsbook, which has already been a rousing success in New Jersey sports betting sites.
Availability of online expected to provide sizable revenue boost
The added dimension of online wagering is expected to take Pennsylvania sports betting revenue to the next level.
As it is, Keystone State bettors at the state’s eight physical sportsbooks placed more than $44.5 million in bets during March alone. That was a figure certainly influenced heavily by March Madness, but an encouraging one nonetheless. The state’s operators are subject to an unwieldy 36 percent tax on sports betting revenue, so the significant boost online gaming is expected to provide will be particularly welcome.
For perspective, New Jersey’s prolific online sports betting market has laid claim to more than 80 percent of the wagers placed within the state in each of the last three months. And, the Garden State has approximately 3.5 million fewer residents than Pennsylvania’s 12.5 million.
If Pennsylvania’s online market can enjoy similar penetration while expanding the total number of unique customers by a significant margin, coffers on both the casino and state sides will naturally be exponentially healthier.