Parx Investing $10 Million In Sportsbook, But Don’t Expect A November Launch

Written By Bart Shirley on November 2, 2018
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For a time, it seemed as though Parx Casino and Hollywood Casino were racing to be the first sports betting operation in Pennsylvania. Now, it turns out it may not even be a contest. While Hollywood thinks betting is days away, Parx said on Friday that it will launch a temporary sportsbook sometime “in the next few months.”

This is a much different tune than the one the casino sang at the Oct. 3 Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) meeting.

That timeframe came from a recent Greenwood Gaming press release. The temporary Parx Sportsbook will open in the former 360 bar while construction proceeds on the permanent facility.

Parx investing $10 million in permanent sportsbook

Casino management is investing $10 million into the expansion. With such a big investment, the permanent sportsbook should be nice. The book will feature a full roster of betting options, including a selection of in-game betting.

“Parx Casino® is thrilled to announce the launch of legalized sports betting on property and construction of a sleek, state-of-the-art Parx Sportsbook,” said Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming Matthew Cullen, in a press release. “We will build the best sportsbook in the country – and set the industry standard for this fast-growing arena.”

Meanwhile, the temporary sportsbook will be sizeable as well, with a range of nice features as well. Patrons will have 28 high-definition television screens to watch their favorite games and events.

There will also be two 16′ by 9′ display screens, which are divisible into quadrants. In all, the temporary book will have the ability to broadcast 36 different events at once.

There will also be seven teller windows in the temporary book. A total of 45 self-service kiosks will be scattered throughout the sportsbook, the casino floor, and the poker room.

The temporary sportsbook will be open seven days a week, between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. The date for the debut is pending getting the go-ahead from PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole.

Meanwhile, Hollywood is closing on the finish line

The story at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course is quite different than at Parx. As we reported this week, Penn National cleared one of its last major hurdles at the most recent PGCB hearing.

In the hearing, European gaming giant William Hill received its approval to operate as a sports betting provider in the state. William Hill is Penn National’s sports betting partner.  Thus, the approval is a necessary ingredient for the Grantville casino to begin accepting wagers on sporting events.

Elsewhere, Parx’s sports betting partner, Kambi, has an application for an operator license pending with PGCB. Its lack of approval might be the hurdle that has Parx saying soon instead of this month.

For Hollywood Casino, the only remaining barrier is testing out the system. The casino must demonstrate that its software and hardware works to the satisfaction of the PGCB.

However, the combined experience of William Hill and Penn National should make that process go pretty smoothly. In theory, we could have sports betting active in Pennsylvania within two or three weeks.

It just won’t be at Parx.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. A former teacher of high school math and business, Bart writes about online casinos, sports betting and poker for a number of Catena Media's Play-branded sites. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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