Wind Creek Bethlehem is officially on its way to offering online and retail sports betting in PA. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted Wind Creek’s petition to offer sports betting at Wednesday’s live-broadcasted meeting. Plans include both retail and mobile sports betting in partnership with UK-based bookmaker Betfred.
The retail sportsbook construction should begin around August 18 with a target opening date of around Nov. 21, according to Wind Creek officials. It will be the 14th retail sportsbook in PA.
Wind Creek plans to launch online wagering (web and mobile) prior to offering retail betting, but a target launch date was not announced. The Betfred betting app will be the 10th mobile option in PA.
Wind Creek sports betting, online casino partners
Betfred may be a new name to many in the US, but in the UK it’s a household betting brand with over 50 years experience in the bookmaking business. The family-owned and operated company has US headquarters in Las Vegas.
The PA Betfred book will be the third in the states. Betfred opened their first US retail book at Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood, Iowa (pictured above) on Jan. 27 and will open another in Blackhawk, Colorado on June 17. The company plans to launch online products in both of those states over the summer.
Scientific Games will be the sports betting platform provider for both mobile and retail. That will include self-service kiosks. Betfred will report betting data to U.S. Integrity to ensure integrity monitoring.
Wind Creek Bethlehem’s VP of Compliance and Risk Management, Michael Magazzu, mentioned that Pala Interactive will be the PAM (Player Account Management) provider for interactive sports wagering. Magazzu also mentioned Pala Interactive as their partner for “interactive gaming” or online casino plans. “That is slots and tables for which we’re currently working with Board staff to get underway hopefully later in the summer.”
Winds of change in Bethlehem, Betfred Sportsbook details
The casino in Bethlehem, PA officially changed hands from Las Vegas Sands to Wind Creek Hospitality in 2019 and became Wind Creek Casino. Wind Creek Hospitality is an affiliate of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama.
The casino has 150,709 square feet of gaming space authorized. The new Betfred sportsbook will increase that by 3,420 square feet, and the new area will be non-smoking.
The new retail sportsbook will go in the present space of Buddy V’s Ristorante. There will be a separate sportsbook cage, 13 self-servicing betting kiosks, and approximately 79 monitors.
It will create 13 new jobs consisting of a sportsbook manager, eight cashiers/ticket writers, and four supervisors. Buddy V’s will provide the food and beverage service for the book.
Sports betting approval pending some conditions
Wind Creek still has some legwork to do before they’re in the clear to launch.
The casino is currently in the process of amending their compulsive and problem gambling plan for interactive gaming and sports wagering, Magazzu said. And they will amend land-based responsible gaming plan to include sports wagering elements. As part of the post-shutdown reopening process, they are also retraining all team members on responsible gaming.
Chief counsel Douglas Sherman made clear that the approval for sports betting at Wind Creek would be conditional.
“Sports wagering will begin after staff has reviewed all aspects of the sports wagering operation and determined that the system is ready for deployment in a manner consistent with our standards.”
He also mentioned: “The Board has heard the Office of Enforcement Council and their requested conditions on the casino and the operator which will need to be fulfilled prior to commencing sports wagering operations.”
Assuming Wind Creek meets the conditions, they will soon launch a Betfred betting app. A retail sportsbook should follow in November, and online casino plans are also in motion.