On May 15, 2019, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PCGB) unanimously voted to renew Parx Casino’s horse racing license. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, including horse race wagering offered currently at six PA locations.
The process of licensure and renewal
In order to continue operations, casinos have to renew their licenses periodically. The last time that Parx renewed its horse racing license was in November of 2014. As a part of the renewal process, the PCGB held that the owner of the Parx, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., fulfilled their duties from the requirements of the previous license.
As part of the process of granting Parx Casino’s renewal, the PGCB held a public hearing on February 28, 2019. Community input was sought as the board wished to hear about the impact of the establishment to the community. Additionally, spokespeople from the Parx provided information about how its horse racing is run. A recording of the hearing can be found here under the Board Meetings section. The Gaming Control Board’s Office of Enforcement Counsel, Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement, Office of Compulsive and Problem Gaming, and the Bureau of Casino Compliance also spoke at the hearing, completing the input process.
Parx Casino in brief
Parx Casino is located in the north-east of Philadelphia. It is the largest casino gaming complex in Pennsylvania. It is located in Bensalem Township in Bucks County. It boasts a 260,000 square foot casino and the Parx East,home to Parx Racing with an additional 280,000 square feet. The live racing season runs from February through December with races Saturday through Tuesday.
Parx Casino features 24 hour gaming with a whopping 3330 slot machines, 180 live table games, an enormous poker room with 48 tables, sports betting, and of course live racing and simulcast action.
Horse Racing history at Parx Racing
Over the years, many famous horses have raced at Parx Racing. Notable horses such as Shuvee, My Juliet, Spectacular Bid, Revidere, Summer Squall and Broad Brush have won at this track. The track became famous for being the home to Smarty Jones, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and came in second in the Belmont Stakes, just missing the Triple Crown.
The six casinos in Pennsylvania that have horse wagering are:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester (Harness)
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville (Thoroughbred)
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington (Harness)
- Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem (Thoroughbred)
- Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre (Harness)
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie (Thoroughbred)
Horse Wagering Online and Through Apps
Pennsylvania permits residents to wager on the ponies online once you’ve gone through a verification process. These sites (and apps) include, but are not limited to:
- TVG – The number one horse betting site.
- NYRA Bets – The online site of the New York Racing Association
- Bet America –Kentucky-based online site
- TwinSpires – The official home of betting on the Kentucky Derby from Churchill Downs
- DRFBets – The Daily Racing Form’s site