For months we knew Valley Forge planned on getting in the PA sports betting game. We just did not know when it would happen.
The answer to that question is Nov. 14. Yesterday the casino filed paperwork for the $10 million sports betting license with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). It makes the sixth PA casino to file for the license. It joins the following other properties:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National
- Parx Casino
- Rivers Casino Sportsbook
- SugarHouse Casino Sportsbook
The other five casinos already have conditional approval from the PGCB. Hollywood should be the first to launch. The company hopes to get its land-based sportsbook open before the end of the month.
With Valley Forge comes FanDuel Sportsbook
Back in August we first reported that Valley Forge Casino’s sports betting plans included popular daily fantasy sports site and New Jersey sportsbook FanDuel.
FanDuel’s parent company, PaddyPower Betfair, struck a deal with Valley Forge’s parent company, Boyd Gaming, back in the summer. That deal means the Valley Forge product will feature FanDuel. However, per the PGCB rules about sports betting, the sportsbook needs to prominently feature the Valley Forge name.
FanDuel is already in prime position to start working with the casino on launch. The company submitted its application to be a PA sports betting operator back in September. That application is still pending.
The next PGCB meeting is on Nov. 28. That is the earliest there will be movement on either application. It is worth noting that getting a leg up on the operator application does make up some ground for the company. So far, the only operator approved to work in PA is William Hill, which is Hollywood’s partner.
Both Caesars Interactive and Kambi, who partners with three of the PA casinos, are waiting for operator approvals just like FanDuel. Once Valley Forge’s license gets conditional approval, it will be on nearly equal footing with the other PA sportsbooks.
First comes retail, with the FanDuel app coming later
An important reminder–PGCB wants all the casinos to open up a retail sportsbook on property before launching a mobile app. While that may sound like FanDuel’s involvement is even further off, that is likely not the case.
FanDuel already operates a retail sportsbook in New Jersey in partnership with The Meadowlands Racetrack. It should presumably have a similar role at Valley Forge. Certainly, the company is hoping it doesn’t run into nearly as many hiccups as its bumpy retail launch in the Garden State.
There is no timeline for when Valley Forge’s product hits the market, but given the applications that need processing as well as time for testing, 2019 seems like the most likely answer. As mentioned, the next PGCB meeting should provide a clearer picture of where the company is in the process.