Pennsylvania, one of the nation’s most aggressive gambling states, appears about a week away from becoming the sixth state with sports betting after regulators recently awarded the state’s first sports betting licenses to two casinos.
The casinos, however, have other requirements to meet that could take until November to open a sports book. That timeframe would miss baseball’s World Series, but it could mean capturing the last weeks of fall’s college football and NFL seasons and practically all of the hockey, college basketball and NBA seasons.
The owners of Parx Casino plan to offer sports betting through the suburban Philadelphia casino and horse racing track and at an off-track betting parlor in Philadelphia called the South Philadelphia Turf Club. Both are controlled by London-based businessman Watche Manoukian.
Penn National Gaming, which already operates sports betting at casinos in two other states, applied for the Hollywood Casino and racetrack it owns near Hershey. Penn National officials would say only that it plans to open a sports book in the next “few months.”
Parx Casino could begin offering sports betting in November on banks of TV screens showing a range of different sports.
“People can watch pretty much any game that’s on in the country,” John Dixon, the chief technology officer of Parx Casino, told the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board during a hearing on the application Oct. 3.
Betting online or on mobile devices could take until next year to start up. Users must be 21 and inside Pennsylvania.