The Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Summit Township is the latest gambling operator in Pennsylvania to apply for a sports betting license. The operator plans to offer a sportsbook venue, online wagering, and mobile options.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board was recently petitioned by the Presque Isle Downs and Casino to be allowed to provide a broad range of sports wagering services, covering the NFL and other professional sports along with other options, such as darts.
The casino is the seventh in the state to apply for sports betting. If approved, the change would mark the most significant enhancement to the property since it opened back in early 2007. If the facility is approved, the Presque Isle Downs would have to pay a licensing fee of $10m (£8m), which must be paid within 60 days of the approval or before the venue opens for business.
What the petition entails
The petition by the Presque Isle Downs requests permission to create a physical sports betting option that would be located at the casino. The operator is also seeking to offer internet wagering and mobile capabilities to individuals located within the state. The majority of gamblers want to have access to wagering on their mobile devices, so including this option is becoming a must for operators.
In the filing, the operator outlined what it would like to offer and included provisions based on a merger that has yet to be completed with Churchill Downs. It seems Presque Isle Downs has covered all the bases, so it will be ready to launch as quickly as possible if approved by the Board.
With sports betting services, the casino would create 42 new jobs, but more than half of those positions would be located in the area of Louisville, Kentucky.
There is no timetable as to when the petition will be reviewed and approved or not approved by the board. The communications director for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Doug Harbach, said: “Generally speaking, a casino and any partners in operating a sports book have to be approved by the board.” The board has just received the petition so it could be months still before a decision.
Sports betting in Pennsylvania is slowing taking shape. So far, the board has approved five of the seven submitted sports betting requests in the state. According to VSO News, the first and only sports book in operation is at the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course. The property launched services in mid-November after a two-day testing phase.
A sixth petition will be decided upon this month or possibly by January, so we can expect even more operations to get underway. The process is slow, but Pennsylvania is finally now among a handful of states that offer legalized sports betting. With the launch at the Hollywood Casino, the state joined Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Mississippi in offering sports wagering.