Why Retail Sportsbooks Won’t Come To Pennsylvania NFL Stadiums

Written By Corey Sharp on April 13, 2023
Sportsbooks at NFL stadiums will remain open during games this year.

Fans attending NFL games may have the opportunity to place in-person wagers. NFL owners recently voted to allow sportsbooks to remain open during games.

The news only applies to a few teams as of now, however, more franchises are expected to capitalize.

Placing sportsbooks inside stadiums could change the landscape of NFL betting. Could we see sportsbooks at Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers games in the future?

NFL teams with sportsbooks at the stadium

When NFL owners voted to keep sportsbooks open during game days, the new rule directly applied to four teams:

  • Washington Commanders
  • Arizona Cardinals
  • New York Jets
  • New York Giants

The Commanders are the only team with a sportsbook inside the stadium. The Cardinals, Jets and Giants have retail sportsbooks just outside their respective venues.

Fanatics Sportsbook opened inside FedExField on Jan. 20, one day before the start of the NFL Divisional playoff round. With the Commanders not reaching the playoffs, Fanatics’ gameday debut must wait until August. Shortly after opening in Washington, PlayPennsylvania reported Fanatics was interested in acquiring betPARX Sportsbook to enter the Pennsylvania market.

The Cardinals have a BetMGM Sportsbook steps outside of State Farm Stadium. The venue is a 17,000-square-foot, two-story building with 38 TVs and more than 25 betting kiosks. Since the venue is located outside of the stadium, BetMGM previously remained open on game days.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack resides in the same complex as MetLife Stadium, home of the Jets and Giants. The sportsbook is 0.6 miles away from the stadium.

Could a PA sportsbook come to Acrisure Stadium or Lincoln Financial Field?

A sportsbook won’t be coming to the Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field or the Steelers’ Acrisure Stadium anytime soon.

Section 13C21 of the PA Gaming Act titled “authorized locations of operation” states that retail sportsbooks can only be located at PA casinos or off-track betting facilities:

“A sports wagering certificate holder may only be permitted to conduct sports wagering at a licensed facility, or an area authorized under subsection (c) (which is a location that can conduct pari-mutuel wagering at a non-primary location), or through an Internet-based system.”

The Eagles and Steelers would be missing out on a potential $20 million. In the ruling to allow sportsbooks in NFL stadiums, teams would not have to share revenue up to that threshold.

Though the Eagles and Steelers cannot add a sportsbook in their respective stadiums right now, they still have plenty of ways to provide the environment of a sportsbook through partnerships and lounges. Doug Harbach, Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), provided comment to PlayPennsylvania:

“What is occurring in sporting venues is the development of sports lounges which have much of the amenities of a sportsbook, but wagering can only be conducted by a patron using their online account.”

FanDuel is the corporate sponsor of the Eagles as Lincoln Financial Field is home to the FanDuel Lounge and Unibet Landing.

As of November 2022, the Steelers are partners with DraftKings Sportsbook, Unibet and BetMGM.

Fanatics serving as model for other sportsbooks to open in NFL stadiums

There are no reported teams that have plans to open a sportsbook at a stadium for the 2023 NFL season. Perhaps teams want to see how Fanatics Sportsbook does at FedExField.

Fanatics has been open since January. The sportsbook is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to midnight ET. The bar and grill area of the sportsbook is also open seven days a week:

  • Monday-Friday: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The sportsbook offers extended hours during special events such as March Madness, MLB Opening Day and select postseason games.

Fanatics Sportsbook is 5,000 square feet overall, with eight betting windows and 21 self-serving betting kiosks.

Photo by Don Wright / AP
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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