Yet another heavy hitter in the casino game announced today that it is joining the blossoming online sportsbook market in Pennsylvania. Caesars Entertainment began taking sports bets at Caesars Online Sportsbook at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, March 10.
The soft launch involves limited hours during a period of testing as mandated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The online sports betting platform, launched in partnership with the PA Caesars property Harrah’s Philadelphia and their iGaming platform partner Scientific Games, is available now on desktop and Android. The iOS app launch will follow “soon.”
Also coming soon – sometime in the spring – are online casino games including slots, table games and video poker. No mentioned was made of online poker, but considering WSOP.com is available in neighboring New Jersey and their license allows for it, poker is a likely follow-up.
“Caesars Entertainment is the leader in legalized and regulated gaming in the US, and this online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania is an exciting expansion given the incredible number of sports fans across the state,” said Executive VP of Gaming and Interactive for Caesars Entertainment Christian Stuart.
Caesars online casino late to the party, but dressed to the nines
It’s been a long time coming for the Caesars online sportsbook in PA. After all, Harrah’s Philadelphia was one of the first three operators in the state to gain PGCB license approval to offer PA online gambling products. That was in August 2018, shortly following the federal repeal of PASPA in May.
The Harrah’s Philadelphia retail sportsbook in Chester, Delaware County opened in January 2019 and many expected an online sportsbook to follow in the fall of 2019.
It originally appeared that a mobile sportsbook launch was imminent in early fall. A press release from Caesars jumped the gun in announcing an expected September launch before removing the timing mention.
There were five online sports betting apps live in the state at that time. Now, Caesars joins eight other PA online betting apps.
“Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack opened our sportsbook, The Book, in January 2019, and since then, have welcomed an incredible number of new and experienced sports bettors into our establishment,” said Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack General Manager Chris Albrecht. “With the addition of mobile sports betting, we look forward to more guests playing with us on property and all-around Pennsylvania.”
Expanding the Caesars brand
Part of the delay of a Caesars online gaming product in PA likely had to do with the pending closing of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado. When Eldorado Resorts, Inc. got the official PGCB approval on Feb. 12 to follow through with their acquisition of Caesars, it seemed the final hurdle to launching iGaming in PA was lifted.
As Caesars shifts to operating under the Eldorado umbrella, the brand name only grows stronger. Their signature Caesars Rewards program continues to be an industry-leading loyalty system. The online PA products will join that growing network.
As noted in the press release, Caesars Entertainment is now operational across 29 locations, including retail and online, in the following US states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa, New York and Nevada.
According to Stuart:
“The online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania achieves another milestone in our strategy to offer Caesars branded mobile gaming products equipped with the latest technology and superior customer service that customers trust, across the most populous states in the U.S. Caesars mobile products are fully integrated into the industry-leading Caesars Rewards loyalty program, allowing customers to earn and then redeem points seamlessly across our network of sports, entertainment, hospitality and gaming assets worldwide.”
The foray into the PA online market is a welcome move for the Caesars portfolio. It’s a journey that Caesars execs are surely happy to begin, at last.
Sports bettors, online casino players, and most likely online poker aficionados should also have much to celebrate as well. Expect new offers to take advantage of, and added competition to keep the market customer-friendly.