I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about when PA online sports betting is expected to go live. With the recent opening of sportsbooks at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino, and with the impending opening of physical sportsbooks at Parx and Harrah’s, mobile wagering is not far behind.
This summer, PA regulators said that it could be live sometime in the fall, but that obviously hasn’t happened yet. The most likely scenario, according to people I’ve spoken to, is online betting will start sometime in early 2019.
Who’s first out of the gate? Sugarhouse Sportsbook’s online betting app will likely launch first in PA. Why? Well, they’ve had an online casino through their PlaySugarHouse.com app in New Jersey for several years. When it was time to launch sports betting in New Jersey, they simply added a sportsbook to this app and were second out of the gate— and they are one of the most popular apps other than DraftKings or FanDuel.
What comes next? FanDuel Sportsbook and Parx will likely come sometime in early 2019. FanDuel has partnered with Valley Forge Casino but they have no yet appleid for an online license. Parx, meanwhile, intends to be big players and is working to build their own tech-focused app, understanding that unlike other casinos who rolled out mediocre apps, they have to launch a tech product and focus on their brand recognition in PA.
It’s possible some of these apps are ready in January, in time for the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl, but others believe state regulators will hold them back until several apps are ready all at once. There’s also the issue of the iOS store delaying the launch on iPhones, as was the case in New Jersey.
Either way, online betting is coming soon.