On Wednesday, the first two PA casinos got the green light to offer sports betting. Don’t expect them to flick a switch and turn betting on though.
Both Parx and Hollywood Casino have a lengthy list of conditions to satisfy. One of the biggest ones is getting their operating partners through the vetting process.
Kambi and Parx getting serious
In Parx’s case, the operator is Kambi. The two went public with their partnership when Parx submitted its application. However, in order to move forward, Kambi needs to get approval as a sports betting operator. The application is comprehensive and includes things such as background checks on key employees.
It is certainly possible Kambi already has a lot of this information gathered together from the application process in New Jersey. The company already works with three operators in New Jersey. They already work with DraftKings, 888Sport, and PlaySugarHouse.
Kambi already has a deal with Rush Street Interactive thanks to the NJ SugarHouse partnership. Both Rush Street properties in Pennsylvania have pending sports betting applications as well. Those properties are SugarHouse as well as Rivers Casino. Kambi is on record as the sports betting partner, which they announced in May.
Kambi and GAN only Parx partners, it appears
We know FanDuel plans to come to Pennsylvania via Valley Forge Casino. Judging by the application, it appears no other name brands are part of Parx Sportsbook plans. GAN is providing the sports betting platform, while Kambi will handle the integration process.
Given that Parx is top dog in the state, it may not even want to leverage the DraftKings name. Parx and Sands Bethlehem are the most popular casinos in the state. And, as Wednesday indicated, Sands is already woefully behind on the gambling expansion front. Parx not only has first-mover advantage, but it also dwarfs its competitors when it comes to recognition.
Keep in mind, Parx was not on board with gambling expansion in the first place. Nonetheless, it was first to apply for sports betting and first to apply for interactive gaming. Most of Parx’s opposition to the law seemed to be about maintaining its market standing. Once the law passed though, Parx seemingly decided to go full-force on all gambling expansion options.
It already staffed up for online gaming. When Parx presented on its online gaming plans, there were not any major outside partners beyond GAN either. So, while Parx is getting support from key business-to-business providers, Parx’s approach appears to be to get to market first and to leverage their brand to its Pennsylvania customers.