On Friday, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment — owners of Parx Casino — became the second PA casino owner to apply to offer sports betting in Pennsylvania. In the filing, Greenwood indicated initial plans to operate sportsbooks in two locations in Pennsylvania as well as online.
The move comes approximately a week after Penn National Gaming applied to offer sports betting at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, located near Harrisburg.
Scope of license application
The Parx Casino will be home to the company’s primary sportsbook. With 3,300 slot machines and 180 live table games, the Bensalem-based casino is the largest and most profitable casino in Pennsylvania.
In addition to their application to accept bets from the Parx Casino, Greenwood also intends to accept wagers near Philadelphia stadiums at the South Philadelphia Turf Club located on Packer Avenue. The Turf Club offers over 27,000 square feet of space and popular for racing fans for its off-track betting. Fortunately, Greenwood Gaming is only required to $10 million for the two locations given the Turf Club’s “non-primary” status.
Citizens Bank Park, Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center are all nearby and would allow wagering within walking distance of Philadelphia’s stadiums.
Parx’s application came nearly a month since the casino announced a sports betting partnership with GAN to operate a brick and mortar sportsbook as well as an online sportsbook. GAN is also working with Parx on online gambling and online poker software.
Parx aggressive with expansion
Parx Casino has been busy of late, having applied — and already approved — to offer online poker, table games and slots. They were authorized to offer online gambling in mid-August although the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board must still decide on the final go-ahead to go live.
Earlier this year, Parx was the fourth recipient of a mini-casino location when they bid $8.1 million to put a mini-casino near South Newton in Cumberland County. In July, Greenwood received an extension to decide on a final location. Mini casino locations must have between 300 and 750 slot machines with no more than 40 table games.
After concerns about the state’s high cost to offer sports betting in the state, at least two Pennsylvania entities have now decided that the upside justifies the cost. Sportsbetting license holders are required to pay a $10 million license fee as well as pay a 36% tax on income. This compares to a 13% rate on sports betting in New Jersey. While the cost of entry will undoubtedly keep out some Pennsylvania casinos, it appears that additional PA casinos will follow.
Up to 13 sports betting licenses can be awarded in Pennsylvania — equal to the number of casinos in the state — but unlike the application process for online gambling, there is currently no deadline. The PCGB has also not established a date to review sportsbetting applications as they come in.