Make room, Northeastern Pennsylvania. A second retail sportsbook is coming your way.
This week the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) conditionally approved Mount Airy Casino to offer sports betting in Pennsylvania.
Powered by The Stars Group, the brick-and-mortar sportsbook is expected to open in time for football season. Mount Airy’s online betting app will feature the Fox Bet brand. Don’t expect it to be ready to go in a similar time period.
Mount Airy now joins nearby Mohegan Sun Pocono in bringing regulated wagering to the upper-left corner of the state.
Mount Airy merging sports betting, poker
Mount Airy teamed with the Stars Group in August. The deal included regulated sports betting as well as bringing the Stars Group PokerStars brand to Pennsylvania.
During Wednesday’s presentation to the PGCB, Mount Airy detailed its plans to build a sportsbook that is integrated with the casino’s poker room.
The property intends to convert its Gypsies Lounge into a 7,000-square-foot area consisting of a 12-table PokerStars-branded poker room as well as a sportsbook.
Some 3,800 square feet in sports betting space will reside on an elevated level that overlooks the poker room. Within the sportsbook, which will be nonsmoking, Mount Airy expects to feature:
- Teller windows
- Flat-screen HD televisions (some also surrounding the poker room)
- Four self-service kiosks
The sportsbook will offer events ranging from the NFL, NBA and MLB to international soccer and the Olympics. Customers will face several betting options, including parlays, round robins and in-play wagering.
The casino will also remove a bank of four slot machines to add four betting kiosks on the main casino floor.
More about Fox Bet
The Stars Group has spent the past nine months as part of the New Jersey sports betting industry. Its BetStars’ brand has helped the Resorts Atlantic City license amass $54.2 million in revenue since launching in September.
However, that brand will not carry over to Pennsylvania. Moreover, it will not remain in New Jersey.
Last month, the Stars Group announced a partnership with Fox Sports with the aim to roll out free-play and real-money betting apps across the US market under the brand name Fox Bet.
The real-money app, Fox Bet CEO Robin Chhabra confirmed at the time, will replace BetStars in New Jersey and will become the Stars Group’s flagship brand in Pennsylvania.
Certainly, the Fox name carries weight. The media powerhouse is well-recognized and boasts a number of networks, including Fox, FS1 and FS2. In addition, Fox Sports features several digital platforms and apps and airs the ever-popular World Series and Super Bowl.
To boot, Fox produces more of televisions 100 most-watched shows each year than any other sports and entertainment brand, according to Mount Airy’s presentation.
Mount Airy, Mohegan bring betting to Northeast
About an hour away from Mount Airy, Mohegan Sun Pocono has started following up on its sports betting plans.
Last month, Mohegan received conditional approval from PGCB for its sportsbook plans. Powered by Kindred Group, and using the Unibet brand, Mohegan turned heads during its presentation, as it did not mention plans for its racetrack.
The Office of Enforcement Counsel ultimately urged the PGCB to address the issue as part of conditional approval.
So now, as Philadelphia remains the de facto hub of Pennsylvania sports betting, Mount Airy and Mohegan will soon bring the industry closer to the Northeastern outskirts of the state.