Minutes before its temporary sportsbook opened Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles were the hot topic of the Parx Casino Sportsbook conversation.
Yes, they’re playing the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, with the winner moving on to the NFC Championship Game. Now, thanks to this new space located in the former 360 Lounge, fans can add some sports betting action to the fun. Yes, money on the Eagles seemed to be the theme of the day, but there was plenty of other excitement too.
After all, the bigger news of the day was that Parx successfully completed the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB)two-day testing period. As of Thursday afternoon, the Parx Sportsbook is fully operational.
From Matthew Cullen, senior vice president of interactive gaming and sports at Parx Casino:
“We are super excited about finally opening. It’s been a lot of work to get to this point. The test period was nearly flawless, that’s why we are open right now.”
Parx Sportsbook layout
The current Parx Sportsbook layout is a teaser for something much bigger and more expensive to come. The $10 million, 10,000-square- foot permanent space is set for a summer opening. For now, here is what the Parx Sportsbook has to offer:
- 20 HD television screens of various sizes
- Two 16-by-9-foot screens that can be split into four
- Up to 28 games shown at once
- Seven live teller windows
- 45 self-service sports betting kiosks
- Full-service bar
- Comfortable seating
- Monday: 1 p.m.-12 a.m.
- Tuesday-Friday: 1 p.m.-1 a.m.
- Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
- Sunday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Parx + Kambi
Parx is the latest casino to make use of the sports betting technology software from European-based Kambi. SugarHouse Casino, in Philadelphia, and Rivers Casino, in Pittsburgh, are doing the same. The industry-leading DraftKings Sportsbook, at Resorts Atlantic City, does the same.
One of the significant differences with Parx is Betslip Builder. This sports betting app enables players to fill out their bet slip when on the move and streamlines the betting process via a QR code. It is accessible on desktop computers as well.
But the temporary sportsbook and the bet slip app are just part of the initial phase of the Parx-Kambi plan.
More sports betting plans
The focus now shifts to launching Kambi-powered sportsbooks at the South Philadelphia Turf Club and Valley Forge Turf Club. Like Parx, both are owned by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment. The former, located footsteps away from where the Philadelphia Eagles, Sixers, Flyers and Phillies play their home games, could go through regulatory testing as soon as next week.
A Parx-branded online sportsbook is coming, too. The exact date for Pennsylvania online gambling is to be determined.
Max Meltzer, Kambi chief commercial officer for Kambi, offered his thoughts:
“We’re very excited to have launched our on-property sportsbook at Parx Casino, a brand which shares our commitment to providing unique and exciting wagering experiences to players.
“Today’s unveiling marks Kambi’s fourth brick-and-mortar sportsbook launch in less than three months and cements our position as the leading online and on-property sportsbook supplier in the burgeoning US market.”
Setting the sports betting lines
The Rivers and SugarHouse sportsbooks, along with the SugarHouse sports betting app in New Jersey, share the same betting lines. Parx and Kambi are working together on setting the odds at Pennsylvania’s fourth sportsbook: Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse.
Cullen says it’s a coordinated effort between the two companies.
“My team here upstairs, they work very closely with Kambi to set those lines and to adjust things based on what’s happening in the games themselves, as well as prior to the game starting.”
Eagles are the talk of sports betting
Being that Bensalem is located just outside of Philadelphia, there was no doubt about the first official bet. There were actually two: $50 straight up on the Eagles to beat the Saints, and $50 on the Eagles with the points.
If the Eagles win and head to the NFC Championship Game, the Parx Sportsbook is guaranteed another weekend of substantial business.
Of course, there is always a but:
“It could adversely affect business as well if they cover the spread because there is going to be a lot of money on the Eagles, for sure,” Cullen said.