Pennsylvania has finally launched its sports betting operations after 13 months since passing pre-emptive legislation for expanded gambling.
Pennsylvania was the first US state to introduce a comprehensive gambling expansion bill which included sports wagering long before PASPA’s removal. After PA Governor Tom Wolf approved of legislation in October of 2017, many assumed sports betting would not come to the state until 2019 due to the state’s issue with licensing.
However, the Keystone State has now become the seventh state to offer legal wagering right after New Mexico, who’s tribal casinos may only offer sports wagering.
Pennsylvania more than likely was pressured to launch before the end of 2018 due to being bordered by three states actively offering legal sports wagering in order to retain state dollars. The Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is the first PA sportsbook venue to open after revamping their second-floor simulcast racing lounge into a full floor dedicated to sports betting.
Five other facilities have applied to launch their sports betting operations in a few weeks, these venues include Harrah’s Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, Valley Forge, and more.
This state is the most populated US state and has a strong relationship with sports. In fact, the state is the first state to legalize sports wagering with franchises in all four major sports leagues. Pennsylvania will also be one of the few states which allow collegiate sports wagering.
Sports betting will be overseen and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board who intent to monitor cash handling, internal controls, surveillance, security systems, and ensure revenue is calculated properly in the casino’s finance department. In Pennsylvania, casino sports betting revenue will be taxed at 36% with most of the taxed revenue allocated to the state’s General Fund.
The Hollywood Casino’s sportsbook is managed by William Hill, a renowned global sportsbook operator. This venue is only accepting on-site wagers for now but hopes to offer online sports betting by early 2019.
Pennsylvania bettors will be able to bet on numerous sports like hockey, football, basketball, golf, and more. They will also be given long-term betting (futures) and short-term betting options.