In October, Delaware’s total sports betting handle dropped almost $2 million, from $16,830,010 in September to $14,738,223, according to the latest report from the Delaware Lottery. But that $14.7 million September handle is the second biggest since the First State became the first state outside Nevada to offer full-fledged, legal sports betting in June.
Previously the state offered parlay wagering on NFL contests only, an offering that was “grandfathered” in under the 1992 federal law ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May. That law had banned full-fledged sports betting outside Nevada.
Delaware Park, located less than an hour from Philadelphia, remained the busiest sportsbook. Bettors placing $10.6 million in wagers there, compared to the $2.2 million handle at Dover Downs and $1.9 million at Harrington Raceway.
Legal, regulated sports wagering in Pennsylvania moved out of the hanger, onto the launch pad achieving blast off Saturday morning at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville. It’s now the first venue to accept legal sports bets in the Keystone State, situated about 100 miles northeast of Philadelphia, near Harrisburg.
William Hill US, a subsidiary of UK-headquartered bookmaker William Hill, is running the casino’s sportsbook operations. As part of its deal with Hollywood Casino’s parent company, Penn National Gaming, the sportsbook conducted what it called “live wagering test day” on Thursday to certify the staff and equipment are in compliance with state regulatory requirements. Additional testing was scheduled Friday from 2 p.m. to midnight, satisfying the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to subsequently authorize the facility to officially open at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Although without fanfare or a ribbon cutting seen at official launches in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi or West Virginia (at least not one visible from afar), the sportsbook indeed went live on Saturday morning. Two William Hill officials confirmed to Sports Handle that the sportsbook at Hollywood Penn opened and is open for business.
The post Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting and Sports: PA Launch Has Arrived appeared first on SportsHandle.
It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).
Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.
12 Billion Reasons There Is So Much Hype Around Pennsylvania Sports Betting; Launch Pad Readies at Hollywood Penn
The Hollywood Casino in Pennsylvania will make history on Saturday when it fully opens the first legal sportsbook in PA to the public. More than a year after legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvanians will finally be able to legally place a bet — and the state will begin to reap expected financial gains from sports betting. They already have, actually, in the form of $10 million application fee apiece from the six properties so far to apply for a sports wagering license.
Of the eight states that have legalized sports betting, Pennsylvania is the only that that has just about two of everything — NFL teams, MLB teams and NHL teams. The only pro sport with only one Pennsylvania franchise is the NBA.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received its sixth application for a sports betting license when the Valley Forge Casino Resort filed paperwork on Wednesday. Owned by Boyd Gaming, the sportsbook will be run by FanDuel, which also partnered with Boyd Gaming for “sports betting and online gaming opportunities across the United States,” in August. FanDuel also runs the sportsbooks at two Boyd Gaming facilities in Mississippi, the IP Casino Resort Spa in Biloxi, and Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall in Tunica.
The PGCB says there is no set timetable for approving the application. The board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is Nov. 28, which likely is too soon for the application to be considered. It’s more likely to be on the agenda for one of the December meeting dates.
Five casinos have already been approved for sports betting licenses in Pennsylvania, and in each of those cases, it took a minimum of 5 1/2 weeks between the date of application and board approval. None of the casinos have opened sportsbooks to date.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved applications for three more sports betting certificates at its Wednesday morning meeting, bringing the total number of casinos licensed for PA sports betting to five. Chester Downs and Marina, LLC (Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack), Holdings Acquisitions Co., LP (Rivers Casino) and SugarHouse HSAP Gaming, LP (SugarHouse Casino) all got board approval. Rivers and Sugarhouse are both owned by Rush Street Gaming.
Wednesday’s meeting went smoothly with all three applicants making detailed presentations. The petitions were approved immediately after the final presentation. Each company reviewed its gaming history, both in Pennsylvania and in other states, shared plans for what their temporary and permanent sportsbooks will look like and briefly touched on the desire to roll out internet and mobile gaming sooner than later. The focus on Wednesday, however, was the brick-and-mortar locations.
Pennsylvania initially made 13 sports betting certificates available — one for each licensed casino — and with Wednesday’s approvals, five have been claimed and approved.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will hear and vote on petitions for three sports wagering certificates at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday. Should all three petitions be approved, the number of properties licensed to operate sportsbooks in Pennsylvania will increase to five.
At its Oct. 3 meeting, the board approved sports betting licenses for Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing, LLC, operator of the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Track, and Greenwood Gaming, operator of the Parx Casino and South Philadelphia Turf Club.
On Wednesday, it will consider applications from Chester Downs and Marina, LLC (Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack), Holdings Acquisitions Co., LP (Rivers Casino) and SugarHouse HSAP Gaming, LP (SugarHouse Casino). Pennsylvania has 13 sports betting certificates available — one for each licensed casino in the state — and to date, five have been claimed or applied for and eight remain. The application fee is $10 million and gross sports betting revenue is subject to a 36 percent tax (34 percent state, 2 percent local).
As states across the country are discussing legal sports betting, there has been much ado about sportsbooks operating on thin margins, which is news to a lot of lawmakers. By most accounts, a sportsbook earns between $1-$2 in net revenue from every $100 bet after all the money is divvied up. So where does the money go?
Much of it goes back to the winning bettors and there are the obvious expenses — paying employees, buying software and equipment, purchasing or renting space. And then there are taxes. The seven states that have legalized sports betting so far* apply wildly different tax rates on gross sports wagering revenue, from 6.75 percent in Nevada to more than 50 percent in Rhode Island.
In states currently seeking to become a legal sports betting states, some lawmakers are looking to earmark tax revenue for specific programs. In Kentucky, legislators hope it will help alleviate the state’s (humongous) pension-fund issue and in Illinois lawmakers are hoping sports betting revenue will put a dent in the state’s budget shortfall, which is $1.2 billion for fiscal year 2019. Others like Washington D.C. are eyeing Arts and Humanities, and early childhood education programs.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board unanimously approved sports betting petitions for Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing (Hollywood Casino) and Greenwood Gaming (Parx Casino and South Philadelphia Turf Club) at its regular meeting Wednesday morning, paving the way for sports betting to go live in the state as early as November.
Greenwood Gaming, which owns the Parx Casino and the South Philadelphia Turf Club, is targeting November to roll out sports betting at its facilities while Mountainview representatives were less specific, and aiming for a rollout later this year.
The PGCB held hearings prior to voting and, in general, things went smoothly. Both companies reviewed their history and experience in sports betting and shared plans for what their sportsbooks will look like (more below). In addition, both groups discussed their desire to roll out mobile and internet sports betting sooner than later, though neither will do so for their initial launch.
The state’s Gaming Control Board said Friday that it received two more applications from casinos for Pennsylvania sports betting licenses, bringing the total number to five. According to the PGCB, Donnelly Law, which represents the Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia and the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, filed petitions for licenses. Earlier this week, the Harrah’s filed a petition for a sports betting license for its facility in suburban Philadelphia.
The PGCB also confirmed that it will hold hearings and consider sports betting petitions for the Parx Casino and the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Oct. 31. Whether or not any of the additional licensing petitions will be on the late October agenda has not been confirmed. The Parx Casino applied for a license for use at two locations — its Bensalem location and the Philadelphia Turf Club.