Spoke Too Soon: DraftKings And Caesars Deal Doesn’t Include PA

Written By Jessica Welman on February 26, 2019 - Last Updated on December 11, 2023
DraftKings Caesars no PA

Yesterday, DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment announced a massive partnership that affords DraftKings entree into a number of sports betting and online gambling markets.

While the deal opens the door to a number of states, it turns out Pennsylvania is not one of them.

A Caesars’ representative confirmed to Gambling Compliance (paywall) that Caesars Entertainment’s Harrah’s Philadelphia will move forward with its current sports betting plan.


Single skin rule in PA likely played a part

The original press release did not explicitly state that Pennsylvania was not part of the deal. However, some of the language did indicate that in markets where access is limited, Caesars will operate without the help of DraftKings:

“Caesars can also continue to offer their own branded sports betting and online casino apps in each of these jurisdictions – and will maintain their own primary access in all states according to regulation under the agreement.”

Because sportsbook operators in Pennsylvania can only have a single skin, DraftKings is still on the outside looking in.

Meanwhile, Harrah’s Philadelphia opened its retail sportsbook in January. The online betting app powered by Scientific Games should launch sometime this spring.

Where does this leave DraftKings?

The good news for DraftKings is that another partnership still opens the door into Pennsylvania for the company.

In December, Penn National and DraftKings announced a partnership in West Virginia. There is potential for that deal to expand into Pennsylvania as well.

Hollywood Casino already has a sportsbook partner in William Hill. However, the company’s other property, The Meadows, has stayed out of the online gambling and sports betting game.

The Meadows cannot apply for online casino licenses, as the window to apply closed last year. The PA sports betting license has a rolling enrollment period though. So, if DraftKings and Penn want to expand their partnership beyond West Virginia, there is the capacity to do so.

Are there any other options for DraftKings?

Besides The Meadows, pickings are rather slim for sports betting partners in the state. Only Lady Luck Nemacolin and Sands Bethlehem are completely without a tech partner.

The downside of Sands Bethlehem that it cannot move forward until its sale to the Poarch Creek Band of Indians is complete.

Lady Luck, meanwhile, is managed by Churchill Downs and owned by Eldorado Resorts. Eldorado has a partnership with William Hill, while Churchill Downs operates the BetAmerica sports betting brand.

In summary, DraftKings still has options, but it is looking more and more like The Meadows is the most viable one.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has been a key voice in the legal betting industry since the repeal of PASPA in 2018. She contributed to and formerly managed several Catena Play-branded sites including PlayPennsylvania, PlayTenn and PlayIndiana. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com.

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