College football season starts in a little more than a month, so the rollout of new retail and online sportsbooks in PA is about to pick up some steam.
The first to open their doors? Presque Isle Downs.
According to YourErie.com, the Erie casino will soft-launch its BetAmerica-branded sportsbook on July 24 from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. and again on July 25 from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. Once the property clears those two-days of testing supervised by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), Presque Isle is set to fully launch on July 26.
Soft launch features 50 BetAmerica kiosks
Recall that the initial plan was to launch the Presque Isle sportsbook on June 1. The casino ended up delaying that date because the kiosk provider still needed PGCB approval.
The company gained that approval at the June 10 PGCB meeting, clearing the way for Presque Isle’s launch. The BetAmerica Sportsbook at Presque Isle Downs will feature 50 different kiosks, both within the sportsbook and throughout the casino.
Some of the areas where customers can find kiosks include:
- The Hub Center
- Bar 90
- The high-limit area
- The non-smoking area of the sportsbook
Full rollout of BetAmerica Sportsbook planned for Aug. 8
PA bettors can take advantage of the new sportsbook starting July 26, but Presque Isle is saving the big celebration for Aug. 8. If you’re wondering what is so special about that day, the answer is it is the first full week of NFL preseason action.
That day, both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles will be in action. The games kick off at 7:30 p.m. local time. The Steelers are hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. The Eagles also have home-field advantage. They are hosting the Tennessee Titans.
The big launch party will give western PA an opportunity to start polishing their NFL betting chops. Presque Isle is only the second retail sportsbook for the western part of the state. Currently, Rivers Casino Sports Book in Pittsburgh has a monopoly on the region. Of course, the two are a good two hours away from one another, so there is arguably room for another sportsbook in the area no problem.
And BetAmerica online betting?
This rollout is only a retail sportsbook launch, but it is an important step for Presque Isle when it comes to an online sportsbook too. PGCB has yet to allow a sportsbook to launch an online product without a retail operation up and running. Once Presque Isle Downs checks this item off its to-do list, it is one step closer to launching a BetAmerica online betting operation.