Pennsylvania is launching iLottery,online casino,sports betting

Ugly Sweaters Can Make For Pretty Prizes At PA Casinos This Month

ugly green Christmas sweater

From free play for wearing an ugly sweater to a guaranteed payout of $120,000 to a host of New Year’s parties and giveaways, December shapes up as a wonderful time of the year for Pennsylvania casino fans.

Vehicles, televisions, lottery tickets, and good ole cash are up for grabs as casinos offer alternatives to shopping and other holiday activities.

Each of the state’s 12 casinos will have New Year’s Eve celebrations as well. Don’t forget that legal sports betting is now available in the Keystone State too. Hollywood, outside Harrisburg, started in mid-November, while Rivers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia’s SugarHouse, Parx, and Harrah’s are expected to launch it soon.

Here’s a look at some of the best casino promotions and attractions for December:

East

Harrah’s Philadelphia

777 Harrah’s Blvd.
Chester, PA 19013
(800) 480-8020

Big Red Sled giveaway

Players can start earning entries on Dec. 1 for drawings that will award several prizes, including a 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4.  Total Rewards members can get one free entry every day from 6 a.m. to 5:59 p.m. through Dec. 29 by swiping their card at a promotional kiosk. Additional entries are based on play, with 5X earned entries each Wednesday and 100 bonus entries to “Play by TR” app users each Monday.

There will be Hourly drawings from 4 to 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 29. Harrah’s will award various gifts, with the Jeep drawing at 10 p.m.

New Year’s Eve

Harrah’s promises music, special guests, and other attractions as the entire casino floor becomes a party area. A no-cover-fee celebration will start at 9 p.m. with the GoodManFiske Band performing in the Winner’s Circle. The party culminates with a champagne toast at midnight.

Mohegan Sun Pocono

1280 Highway 315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
(888) 946-4672

Free lottery tickets

Momentum Club members can pick up a free Pennsylvania Lottery ticket from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 23. Ticket values vary by club level:

  • Core: $2 ticket
  • Ignite: $3 ticket
  • Leap: $5 ticket
  • Ascend: $10 ticket
  • Soar: $20 ticket

Soar and Ascend members get their tickets at the promotions booth. Other players get their tickets at the Sky Bridge. Limit of one ticket per member while supplies last.

Winning ugly

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without a nod to ugly sweaters. Starting at 9 a.m. Dec. 2, the first 1,000 Momentum Club members showing up at Sky Bridge will receive a free T-shirt with a design honoring ugly sweaters.

Then, on Dec. 29, players wearing the free shirt will receive $20 in slot free play, while those wearing an ugly holiday sweater will receive $10 in free play. Players can claim their free play at the club booth.

Triple status points

From 6 a.m. Dec. 30 to 3 a.m. Dec. 31, Momentum Club members using their cards get triple status points for slot or table game play. Ratings must be closed by 3 a.m. Dec. 31.

Wisecrackers New Year’s Eve

The Mohegan Sun Pocono comedy club will open at 9 p.m. for a party that includes hats, noisemakers, and a champagne toast at midnight. Showtime will be at 10 p.m., with comedians Chris Monty and Joey Callahan. Cost is $25 per ticket.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

312 Woodland Rd
Mount Pocono, PA 18344
(877) 682-4791

‘Survivor’ casting call

Those convinced they can outwit, outplay and outlast their competitors can make their case in an open casting call for “Survivor” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 13 at Mount Airy.

The CBS reality show is looking for contestants willing to endure tribulations in a remote location in return for a shot at a $1 million prize. Organizers say applicants need to bring only an ID and a good attitude. Applicants will be recorded giving a one-minute audition that creatively explains why they should be selected.

New Year’s Eve

Mount Airy will host a “Big Apple” party from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at its West nightclub. Tickets are $40 each.

Parx

2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
(888) 588-7279

Cheech & Chong

The original stoner comedy duo of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong will perform at 8 p.m. Dec. 8 at the Xcite Center. The two, who met in Canada during the 1960s, blossomed by poking fun at the emerging counter-culture espousing free love and pot-smoking. They eventually released nine comedy albums and eight movies. Doors to the 21-and-over show open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 to $75.

New Year’s Eve sweepstakes

Parx will celebrate New Year’s Eve by handing out 400 prizes of $200 in slot free play plus 10 prizes of $2,000 in free play. XClub members earn entries based on play from Dec. 17 to 31.

Hourly drawings starting at 4 p.m. Dec. 31 will give away 10 prizes of $200 in free play, and the hourly winner with the most entries will win $2,000 in free play. Slot players earn one entry for every $20 played through slots during the earning period; video poker player get one entry for every $60 played.

Sands

77 Sands Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
(877) 726-3777

2019 BMW sweepstakes

Sands Bethlehem is giving away a 2019 BMW 530xi and four prizes of $1,000 in slot free play in a drawing at 7 p.m. Dec. 30. The first entry is free, with additional entries based on rated slot play from Nov. 26 through 6:45 p.m. Dec. 30, with bonus entries available:

  • 50X entries for play Dec. 19 through 25
  • 25X entries for Dec. 4, 11, 14, 15, 18, and 29
  • 10X entries for every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Dec. 16

Second-chance drawing at 9 p.m. Dec. 30 will award five prizes of $1,000 in free play.

New Year’s Eve

DJ Code Red will lead the party at Vision Nightclub. Doors open at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 each; must be at least 21 to attend.

SugarHouse

1001 N. Delaware Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(877) 477-3715

12 days of free play

Active players at a randomly selected bank of SugarHouse slot machines will share awards of free play in drawings during the first three weeks of December.

Drawings will be every half-hour from 2 to 3 p.m., from 5 to 6 p.m., and from 8 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 3 through 6, Dec. 10 through 13, and Dec. 17 through 20.

Each drawing will award $250 worth of free play to be divided equally among the active Rush Rewards members on the selected bank of machines. A player using more than one machine will receive only one share of the free play.

New Year’s Eve

SugarHouse’s Event Center will become Party Central, with music by The Rockets, a high-energy seven-piece band. The party will include an open bar, appetizer stations, hats, horns, noisemakers, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Tickets are $100 for general admission or $150 for VIP seating, which includes a separate entrance, private food and bar, and exclusive balcony access for a midnight fireworks display over the Delaware River.

Valley Forge Resort Casino

1160 First Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
(610) 354-8118

Cash drawings

Valley Forge will award seven prizes of $2,500 cash on Dec. 22. Then, there will be another set on Dec. 29 will give away five prizes of $5,000 cash.

Hourly drawings on Dec. 22 are open to all Valley Club members. To be eligible, print a free entry from any kiosk starting at 6 a.m. Dec. 22 and put it into the drawing drum at Center Bar at least 15 minutes before the drawings.

Drawings will be each hour from 5 to 10 p.m. Winners have 30 minutes to claim their prizes.

Hourly drawings will be from 7 to 11 p.m. on Dec. 29. The first entry is free, while additional entries are based on slot or table game play from Dec. 1 through 29, with 10X entries on Wednesdays.

Valley Club members may activate their free entry at any kiosk, while earned and bonus entries from slot play may be activated at any slot machine. Entries earned at any table game must be activated at a kiosk.  

$5,000 Big Bet Bonus

One table-game player will win $5,000 cash in a drawing at 9 p.m. Dec. 28. Entries are awarded for every natural blackjack or natural 9 with a banker bet at Baccarat during play at high-limit tables from Dec. 1 through 28. Winner must claim the prize within two minutes of drawing.

New Year’s Eve

  • Dinner at Revolution Chop House: Three-course meal with choice of appetizer and entrée will be served from 4 to 11 p.m., at $100 per person plus tax and tip.
  • Dueling Pianos: The popular musical duo will perform at The Vault, and the celebration will include appetizers and an open bar. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with the bar open from 8 to midnight and the food buffet, from 8 to 10. Table-and-room packages start at $349 per couple and include a room at the Radisson; premium booth seating is $600 per booth, for up to six people; party-and-room packages start at $319 per couple and include a room at the Radisson. General admission tickets are $72 each and available for a limited time. Seating is not guaranteed with general admission tickets or party-and-room packages.
  • 1950s Bash at the Event Center: Even though 2019 is coming, the 1950s will live again with dinner, drinks, and dancing to the band Prime Time. Hours are 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Dinner party and room package reservation start at $525 per couple and include a room at the Radisson.
  • Karaoke at Valley Tavern: Participants can provide their own vocals from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

West/Central

Hollywood at Penn National

777 Hollywood Blvd.
Grantville, PA 17028
(717) 469-2211

$120,00 cash jackpot

One person will walk away with $120,000 cash in a jackpot promotion that’s grown throughout the year. Players get one entry for every 20 points earned for rated slot machine or table-game play. From 4 to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27, five entrants will be chosen every 30 minutes to win $200 in slot free play and be entered in the final drawing at 9 p.m. At 9 p.m., each of the 50 finalists will select an envelope, with one winning $120,000.

Santa’s gadget giveaway

Every 20 minutes from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 9, five people will be selected to win electronic prizes:

  • 55-inch television
  • Amazon Echo Spot
  • Nintendo Switch
  • PlayStation 4 Pro
  • iPad

Each winner also will get $100 in slot free play. All Marquee Rewards members playing a slot with their card inserted or having an open table-game rating are eligible for the drawings.

New Year’s Eve

  • A free party at H Lounge will feature two regional favorite bands, Honeypump starting at 7 p.m. and Smooth Like Clyde at 10:30.
  • Final Cut Steakhouse will serve a three-course dinner, with choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert, from 4 to 10 p.m. Cost is $75 per person, plus tax and tip, with the option of adding lobster, crab cake or shrimp to the entrée.
  • The Epic Buffet will serve its New Year’s Eve menu from noon to 10 p.m. for $54.99 per person. Offerings will include whole lobster, prime rib, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, salmon with red pepper beurre blanc, turkey breast, and chocolate chip cannoli.

Lady Luck Nemacolin

4067 National Pike
Farmington, PA, 15437
(724) 329-7500
($10 resort purchase required to enter casino)

Night of 119 einners

In honor of the arrival of 2019, Lady Luck Nemacolin will award 119 cash prizes, including a top prize of $19,000 cash. From 4 to 11 p.m., winners of hourly drawings will play for a chance at up to $1,000 in cash.

Ten winners per hour will be chosen from 4 through 7 p.m.; from 8 to 11 p.m., 15 winners per hour will be chosen. At 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 19 guaranteed winners will be chosen, with one of them getting the top award.  

The Junction PA Band will start playing in the Lone Wolf Lounge at 10 p.m.

Meadows

210 Racetrack Road
Washington, PA 15301
724-503-1200

Sweet Greetings Giveaway

Hourly drawings from 7 to 10 p.m. each Saturday in December will select five MyChoice members to play a game with a chance to win $100,000 in cash. Ten prizes of $100 in slot free play or table game match play also will be awarded. Club members get one entry for every 10 tier points earned from Nov. 25 through Dec. 29. Winners must be present to claim their prize.

New Year’s Eve

  • Entertainment: Free party favors, photo booths, and a midnight champagne toast are on tap at Meadows. At the Headliners Club, House of Soul will start its performance at 9 p.m.; Vibe will have DJ AJ Fresh at 9 p.m.
  • Bowling: Meadows Lanes will have a family-friendly party from 6 to 9 p.m. and an adult party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Parties include favors, unlimited Glow Bowling, music videos, shoe rental, and a two-hour buffet and snacks. Reservations are required, with at least four people per lane. For the family party, cost is $55 per adult and $35 for age 12 and under; for the adult party, cost is $65 per person. Taxes and tips are additional.
  • Dining: The Carvery will serve a New Year’s Buffet for $59.95 per person; seating is first-come, first served. Bistecca Steakhouse will open at 4 p.m. with a limited and prix-fixe menu. Devlin’s will be open till midnight for race-goers, and the Band Wagon will be open until 1 a.m.
  • Racing: For the first time, Meadows will have night harness racing on New Year’s Eve, with first post at 5:30 p.m.

Presque Isle Downs

8199 Perry Highway
Erie, PA 16509
(866) 374-3386

New Year’s Eve

  • Brew Brothers three-course dinner: Two seating times, at 4:30 p.m. for $80 per person and at 7:30 p.m. for $95 per person; both include tickets to the Brew Brothers party at 10 p.m. Tickets available in person at Mutuels inside the casino
  • LBV Steak and Pasta four-course dinner: Two seating times, 4 p.m. and 9 p.m., for $135 per person. Both times include tickets to Brew Brothers Party.
  • Brew Brothers Party: 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., featuring Afterthought & the NuSoul Band at 10, champagne toast at midnight, and live feed to Times Square in New York City. Standing-room only tickets to the party are $20 each.
  • Luau Style Dance Party (free admission): 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Mutuels, featuring DJ Butch Knight. Ice luges sponsored by Jose Cuervo, Bacardi, and Jim Beam. Minimum age 21.

Rivers

777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
(877) 558-0777

Table Games Cash Drawings

Weekend drawings at Rivers will award up to $750 cash to table-game players. Starting Dec. 7, drawings at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday will award five prizes. Players earn entries from 8:51 Dec. 1 through 8:50 p.m. Dec. 29 for winning side bets or progressives on qualifying table games. The drawing drum will be emptied after each week’s drawings.

Range Rover drawing

A 2019 Range Rover will be given away on Dec. 30. Entries are based on play since July 1, with every 25 points earning one entry. Preliminary drawings at 1, 4, and 7 p.m. Dec. 30 will each choose 10 entrants to win $250 in slot free play each and advance to the grand-prize drawing. The grand-prize drawing will follow the last preliminary drawing.

New Year’s Eve

Party favors, dancing, and appetizers are among the items on the menu for a party in Rivers’ banquet space from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets cost $50 each and include a drink voucher and $10 in slot free play or table game match play. Dance music by VDJ Rambo. Reception menu includes house-made chips, cheeseburger sliders, miniature chili dogs, and grilled mushroom Cuban sandwiches.

Mark Gruetze

About

Mark Gruetze of suburban Pittsburgh, a skilled recreational gambler for more than 35 years, covers casinos and gaming from a player’s perspective. He is a retired journalist and wrote the Player's Advantage gambling column for seven years.