Pennsylvania football sharpies can win thousands of dollars in cash and slot free play from casinos starting this month, even though the state’s legal sports-betting network isn’t in place yet.
With the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles hosting the National Football League’s first game of the season and the Pittsburgh Steelers looking for their seventh championship ring, casinos across the state are indulging fans’ football fervor.
Although the state’s 2017 gambling expansion law included provisions for legalized sports betting, the regulations aren’t finalized yet. Besides, the $10 million licensing fee, the state plans to take 36 percent of the sports-betting revenue; that’s the highest tax rate in the country by far.
While the timing of legal sports books is up in the air, several casinos are offering contests and promotions tied to the NFL season. That’s in addition to a car giveaway, thousands of dollars in slot free play and cash awards, and events including the Pennsylvania Derby, a celebration of food trucks, and top entertainment.
Here’s a look at some of the best casino promotions and attractions for September:
Mohegan Sun Pocono
1280 Highway 315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Countdown to kickoff
Football prognosticators can win weekly prizes of up to $1,000 in free slot play and a grand prize of $10,000 cash by picking the winning teams throughout the NFL season, starting Sept. 4.
Participants may make their choices at casino kiosks between 10 a.m. each Monday and the following Sunday morning. Cutoff time will be 11 a.m. most Sundays. On Oct. 14, 21 and 28, when games are played in London’s Wembley Stadium, picks must be in by 9 a.m. Participants are responsible for verifying their weekly picks. Prizes of free slot play will be credited automatically to winners’ Momentum cards and will be valid for seven days. Limit of one prize per person per week.
Million Dollar Madness
Players can win a top prize of $1 million in this two-month promotion. Players receive one entry for every status point earned at slots or table games, with 10X entries on Tuesdays. Drawings will be every 30 minutes between noon and 9:30 p.m. on Saturdays in September and October, starting Sept. 8. Two entrants will be chosen in each drawing to spin a wheel and win slot free play or cash. Mohegan Sun will award the million-dollar prize on Sept. 29 and Oct. 27. The top prize on the other Saturdays will be $10,000 cash. Free play is valid for seven days. Limit of one prize per winner per day.
Suit Yourself sweepstakes
Blackjack and Spanish 21 players who are dealt a suited natural will receive an entry for drawings that will award a top prize of $5,000 cash. Players earn entries from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31, with the prizes awarded in a series of drawings on Nov. 18. From noon to 6 p.m. that day, the casino will draw two entrants every 15 minutes to receive $500 cash. At 6 p.m., one person will win $5,000 cash. Players may win only one $500 prize, but all entrants will be eligible for the $5,000 award. Incomplete entry forms are invalid. Unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.
Mt. Airy Casino Resort
312 Woodland Rd.
Mount Pocono, PA 18344
Lucky Number drawing
From 2 to 9 p.m. Sept. 14, one person will be chosen every hour to win $250 in slot free play. In addition, each winner gets to spin a wheel to designate a lucky number. Anyone whose Mount Airy Player’s Club card ends with that number will win $10 in slot free play. Players get one drawing entry for every 777 points earned.
- Starting Sept. 24, players must be using a Player’s Club card to be eligible for free alcoholic drinks on the casino floor.
- Starting Oct. 1, players will receive $1 in free slot play for every $2 in instant rewards converted at a machine.
2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
Parxtown board game
A top prize of $50,000 cash is up for grabs in this Monopoly-like game. My Xclub members use a Parxtown game board that was mailed to them, or they can get one at the Xclub booth. From Sept. 3 through 21, club members who earn 40 entries in a day qualify for a game card at the Xclub booth. Players may receive up to three game cards per day, with the maximum raised to six on Sept. 21.
The first Xclub member to collect all 20 unique game cards on the Parxtown board wins $50,000 cash. Any subsequent player who completes the board will receive $5,000 in slot free play. Players also win free play by collecting colored Parxtown sets and by instant-win cards. Those who collect three of the same game cards, other than instant winners, receive $15 in slot free slot play.
Country and bluegrass singer Alison Krauss will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Xcite Center. Krauss began singing professionally at age 12 and recorded her debut album with Union Station at age 16. She has released 14 albums, won 27 Grammy awards, nine Country Music Association awards, 14 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, and two Gospel Music Association awards. Tickets are $45 to $95.
Pennsylvania Derby & Cotillion Day
The premiere event on the Parx racing calendar will feature two million-dollar purses and a full day of activities on Sept. 22. The thoroughbred races include the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby and the $1 million Cotillion Stakes, both Grade 1 events, plus the $300,000 Gallant Bob, the $150,000 Pennsylvania Champion Stakes, and the $100,000 Alphabet Soup Stakes. In addition to the races, the day will include picnic grove activities such as pony rides, face-painting, souvenir photos, live music, and a T-shirt toss. A variety of food and beverages will be available. Gates open at 11 a.m., with the first race at 12:25 p.m.
77 Sands Blvd.
Bethlehem, PA 18015
A 2018 Ford Mustang GT coupe and four prizes of $1,000 in slot free play will be awarded in a drawing at 7 p.m. Sept. 30. The first drawing entry is free, with additional entries based on rated slot play from Aug. 27 through 6:45 p.m. Sept. 30. A second-chance drawing at 9 p.m. will award five prizes of $1,000 in slot free play.
Fall into Free Play
Drawings on the first full day of fall, Sept. 23, will award a total of $50,000 worth of free slot play. The drawings, from 1 to 8 p.m., will be open to anyone with a My Sands card inserted in a slot machine at the tie of the drawing. Drawings will be about 15 minutes before the hour from 1 to 8 p.m. From 1 to 7 p.m., five prizes of $1,000 in free play will be awarded every hour; at 8 p.m., three prizes of $5,000 in free play will be given away. Unclaimed prizes will not be awarded.
1001 N. Delaware Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Choose the champs
Football savants can win a share of $10,000 in prizes each week during NFL season, starting at 6 a.m. Sept. 4. Entrants have until 90 minutes before the game kicks off to pick for a week’s games. To enter, participants insert their Rush Rewards Card into a casino kiosk to make their choices in one of three ways:
- Quick pick: Picks will be selected at random
- Home picks: Picks will be all the home teams for the week
- Manual picks: The player selects the winner of each game.
When the picks are locked in, participants will be asked to select a score total for the week’s Monday Night Football game for use as a tiebreaker.
All Rush Rewards Members are guaranteed one pick per week. Players can earn an additional pick per week for every 25 points earned from 6 a.m. Tuesday through 8 a.m. Sunday; the maximum is two additional earned picks per week. Weekly prizes are:
- First place: $3,000 in slot free play
- Second: $1,500 in free play
- Thirds: $1,000 in free play
- Fourth through sixth: $500 in free play
- Seventh through10th: $250 in free play
- 11th through 30th: $100 in free play
Winners do not need to be present to win. A list of winning tickets numbers will be posted on the SugarHouse website by noon every Tuesdays. Winner’s names also will be available at the Rush Rewards club booth.
The five players with the best season-long ranking receive cash:
- $10,000 for first place
- $5,000 for second
- $2,500 for third
- $1,500 for fourth
- $1,000 for fifth
Bird’s Nest sweepstakes
On Saturdays and Sundays in September, players who are dealt a Blackjack in Pit 3 will receive an entry for a chance to win $5,000 cash. Hours for earning entries are noon to midnight, except on Sept. 30, when the earning period ends at 9:55 p.m. The drawing will be at 10 p.m. Sept. 30.
Valley Forge Resort Casino
1160 First Ave.
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Weekly prizes of $1,000 cash and a top season-long prize of $100,000 cash are available for football fans with a knack for picking winners. The top prize will be awarded if one person picks the winner of at least 193 of the NFL’s 233 NFL regular-season games covered by the promotion. That’s a success rate of 82.8 percent.
The contest officially starts on Sept. 4, when entrants can swipe their Valley Club cards at the Gridiron Challenge kiosk to make their picks in the upcoming Sunday and Monday games. Club members receive one free pick each week; picks must be entered at least 30 minutes before the first NFL game each Sunday. Winners will have seven days to claim the prize.
Fall into Fortune slot tournament
All Valley Club members are eligible for a daily slot tournament at Valley Forge from 3 to 7 p.m. The top 10 finishers win cash or slot free play. To enter, players must print a voucher from any kiosk by 6:45 p.m.
Hollywood at Penn National
777 Hollywood Blvd.
Grantville, PA 17028
Free play giveaway
Dozens of prizes of slot free play will be handed out each Wednesday at Hollywood this month in a promotion open to any Marquee Rewards member with an open table rating or a card inserted in a slot machine. From 11 a.m. to 3:50 p.m., four cardholders will be selected every 10 minutes, with each getting $200 in free play. The final drawing, at 4 p.m., will award four prizes of $400 in free play. Limit of one prize per account on each drawing day.
Rock n’ Roll’em
From noon to 8 p.m. Sept. 28, 10 players club members will be selected every 20 minutes to win free play. They will roll a pair of dice to determine how much free play they get. Prizes range from $1,000 in free play for a dice total of two to $50 in free play for a seven. To be eligible for the drawings, players must have an open table rating or have their Marquee Rewards card inserted in a slot machine. Limit of one prize per account.
210 Racetrack Road
Washington, PA 15301
Heartland Poker Tour
The Heartland Poker Tour returns to the Meadows for a mini-series from Sept. 24 to 30. The two-day Main Event has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool, with a $500 buy-in. Four qualifying tournaments, each with a $125 buy-in, offer a seat in the Main Event, with one in five players advancing.
The series opens with $95 single-table tournaments on Sept. 24. Other tournaments include a six-handed event on Sept. 26 with a $200 buy-in. Additionally, there is a seniors (50-plus) event on Sept. 27 with a $200 buy-in and two bounty tournaments, Sept. 29 and 30. Registration for the Main Event starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 25. All events allow re-entry for players eliminated before the end of late registration.
Presque Isle Downs
8199 Perry Highway
Erie, PA 16509
Pick ’Em Pro Challenge
You don’t have to be the best football picker to win a prize in Presque Isle’s promotion. While the entrant with the best record of the week gets $500 in cash, the one with the worst gets $100 in cash. The weekly contest is open to any One Club member who earns 10 tier points between 6 a.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Players must activate their card and make their picks between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 1 p.m. Sunday. In addition to picking the winner of each game, entrants guess the total score of the weekend’s last game; that will be used as a tie-breaker in ranking winners.
Entrants also may play against Presque Isle General Manager Kevin O’Sullivan for a chance at $125 cash every week. One winner will be selected each week. Players must match his correct number of games and the tiebreaker score. In case of multiple qualifiers, the ticket submitted earliest will be the winner.
Thursday games and international games are not included in the contest.
Table games pull-tabs
One Club members who play an entire shoe of Blackjack from 3 to 9 p.m. Sept. 29 will receive a pull-tab that offers prizes of up to $500 cash. Availability is limited, and each player may get only one pull-tab per shoe.
777 Casino Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
Touchdown Showdown drawing
Rivers’ version of the office grid pool will offer a top prize of $10,000 cash and multiple awards of slot free play and smaller cash prizes. Rush Rewards club members get one drawing entry for every 25 points earned for play starting Sept. 1. Preliminary drawings at 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 8, 15, and 22 will each award 15 prizes, ranging from $250 in slot free play to $5,000 cash, plus entry in the block finale drawing on Sept. 29.
On Sept. 29, preliminary drawings at 2 and 8 p.m. will award five prizes of $250 in slot free play and a spot in the block board. Qualifiers must check in at the promotional stage between 5 and 7:05 p.m. Sept. 29. Numbers for each row and column on the 100-space grid will be assigned randomly, and winning blocks will be based on the scores from the Sept. 24 Steelers-Buccaneers game. Winners of the first- and third-quarter final scores earn $2,500 cash each, winner of the halftime score wins $5,000, and the winner of the final score gets $10,000.
Gridiron Giveaway drawings
On Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., five winners will be selected for the chance to win prizes that enhance football-watching. These prizes are a 60-inch TV, a Kegerator draft beer cooler/dispenser, or cash. Players receive entries based on winning side bets and progressive wagers on qualifying table games. Entries are good only for that week’s drawings.
This year’s gathering of food trucks at Rivers will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sept. 15 in the new outdoor event space next to the casino. More than 40 of the area’s top food trucks will be parked and serving, along with performances by magicians, musicians, jugglers and others. Tickets to the rain-or-shine event cost $10 for general admission or $30 for VIP seating and private bar access. Ticket prices do not include food truck purchases or cash bar. Free parking at the casino is available after 1 p.m.