Wind Creek Casino Bethlehem and Betfred USA Sports are soft-launching their PA online sports betting site on the afternoon of Dec. 22.
In June, Wind Creek got approval to offer sports betting with a target opening date planned for late November for both retail and online books. The retail Betfred sportsbook debuted then as the 13th land-based operator, but the online rollout was delayed.
Betfred is a well-known bookmaker with over 50 years in business in the UK. The company set up a US division in Las Vegas in 2019.
Wind Creek debuted online casino, followed by sports betting
Wind Creek entered the iGaming market in late July with the debut of its Wind Creek online casino, powered by Pala Interactive. The sportsbook app is launching in partnership with Pala Interactive and Scientific Games.
Assuming all goes well, the sports betting site will go live 24/7 on Dec. 23, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
The Betfred online sportsbook in PA follows Betfred’s online sports betting products launched in Colorado and Iowa ahead of the 2020 NFL season start. Those states also have retail Betfred books, with more states expected to follow.
The launch in PA coincides with the start of NBA betting.
New exclusion tool also coming this week to PA
Also, on Dec. 23, Conscious Gaming and the PGCB have announced they will deploy PlayPause, a self-exclusion tool for internet-based gambling, to modernize and strengthen the gaming industry’s responsible gaming programs.
The new exclusion tool was unveiled earlier this month.
This is the first deployment of PlayPause in the United States. The program is free for operators and regulators thanks to Conscious Gaming, a nonprofit organization established by GeoComply. BetMGM will be the first to incorporate the new tool, but other sites will likely follow.
Elizabeth Lanza, director of the PGCB Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, is happy PA is the first to debut PlayPause. Lanza said:
“By integrating with this solution, the industry and regulators can increase well-being efforts and advance the effectiveness of self-exclusion.”
Exclusion can extend to other jurisdictions
Individuals who sign up for PlayPause in Pennsylvania will have the option to extend self-exclusion to other participating states.
“We are thrilled to see our vision for a national self-exclusion tool come to life with Pennsylvania’s PlayPause launch,” said Anna Sainsbury, a Conscious Gaming trustee and the GeoComply chairwoman and co-founder.
GeoComply provides the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board licensees with a geolocation service. The service blocks internet-based gaming participation when the player is not within PA borders.
A $200K donation to build out the tool
Jan. 15 update: GeoComply this week made a $200,000 donation to Conscious Gaming to help fund the expansion tool’s rollout.
“We have been very fortunate at GeoComply to have a front seat to the growth of the iGaming industry across the United States over the past decade. We recognize [that] with this growth comes challenges, and GeoComply is proud to commit funding to Conscious Gaming to help the industry fulfill its responsibilities and obligations to responsible gaming and a safe environment for players.”
With the donation, Conscious Gaming will ramp up the development, outreach and deployment of PlayPause.
Entain and BetMGM have come aboard as the first operators in the industry to use the PlayPause, while the PGCB was the first state regulator to deploy it.