Parx Casino said it planned on launching its sportsbook in January. They are wasting no time heeding that promise. Philly.com reports that Parx Casino plans on opening the Parx Sportsbook on Tuesday, Jan. 8.
That date means there is a chance Philadelphia Eagles fans will not get an opportunity to bet on the reigning Super Bowl champions this season. The Eagles travel to Chicago to take on the Chicago Bears and the NFL’s best defense Sunday. The Bears are six-point favorites. Should the Eagles advance though, Parx would greatly benefit from Eagles fever.
Parx Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming and Sports Matthew Cullen certainly hopes another Philadelphia run is in the cards. But even if it is not, Cullen told Philly.com things will be exciting in Bensalem:
“The market is insane for [the Eagles], as we’ve seen at the SugarHouse and at Rivers [in Pittsburgh] and in New Jersey. But even if they’re out, people are still gonna want to bet [football]. But it would be great if they were playing.”
Parx launching, but South Philly Turf Club will wait
Presumably, Tuesday is the start of two days of testing supervised by Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Barring any mishaps, the book will fully open operations on Thursday.
Parx’s $10 million license also covers a retail sportsbook at the off-track betting parlor South Philadelphia Turf Club. Don’t expect the Turf Club to be taking bets on Tuesday though. PGCB adamantly insisted that Parx launch a sportsbook successfully before any OTB can open its doors.
This is not great news for anyone hoping to take advantage of South Philadelphia Turf Club’s prime location in Stadium Park. With a waiting period of a few weeks before it can go, it seems like the property will not be live in time for the Super Bowl. However, there will be plenty of time for gamblers to wager on the Philadelphia 76ers, which play just down the street at Wells Fargo Center.
Harrah’s Philadelphia up next?
With Parx live, the next PA sportsbook to look out for is another one for the Philadelphia area. Harrah’s Philadelphia received conditional approval months ago, but there are still few clues about when its retail sportsbook will open. The answer is probably a matter of weeks though.
That leaves Valley Forge, which received conditional approval in December, and Presque Isle Downs, which needs to appear before PGCB. Valley Forge’s timeline puts launch sometime in March. Presque Isle will likely not launch until the spring.
And what about online betting apps?
The question on everyone’s mind is when online betting starts. With more casinos up and running than waiting to launch, the chance online launches soon does seem to go up. Rather than give one property a huge head start over the rest, now launches would put everyone on relatively equal footing. It certainly seems on the operator end that the casinos are ready to go. Consider that Kambi is operating the online arm of three of the four sportsbooks, if one is ready to go, they are all arguably ready to go.
Rather than worry too much about online launches, instead celebrate that in less than two months, the state went from zero to four sportsbooks, and the progress will only pick up from here.
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