Penn National to Be a Big Part of the Pennsylvania Sports Betting Scene
Sports fans across the United States are watching eagerly as the business of sports betting unfolds. Since the US Supreme Court struck down the law that prohibited individual states from taking bets, the landscape of betting across the country has been under constant change.
Delaware and New Jersey were the first pair of states to open their doors to legal sports gambling. There have since been at least five additional states to come on board. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been an advocate of different types of legal online gambling for over a decade.
Soon, Pennsylvania will be launching an array of opportunities to wager on sports games as well. One of the early players preparing to establish a legal online sportsbook in the state is Penn National. Here is some history about how gambling began in Pennsylvania, plus a discussion of Penn National’s place in this push towards legal online sports betting statewide.
The History of Online Betting in Pennsylvania
Many may not realize that Pennsylvania ranks second behind the State of Nevada in how much casino revenue the state generates. Pennsylvania was one of the early states to establish a statewide lottery. Act 91 was passed in 1971. About a decade later, state officials saw how a limited form of gambling could help generate much-needed revenue. While it took nearly two full decades to erase the negative stigma attached to gambling, The Pocono Mountain Resort became the first actual casino in PA.
During this same period in the early 1990s, there was a push for riverboat gambling on the state’s many waterways. This initiative seemed to battle the current of discontent in an upstream effort. Then governor Tom Ridge laid the decision at the feet of the Pennsylvania voters. It seemed to be an orchestrated effort on the part of his administration to distance themselves from any decision. As a result, the efforts to legalize riverboat gambling drowned as a result of a lack of public support.
The Outlook for Online Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
The process of getting casinos, then various types of online betting legalized in Pennsylvania was a difficult job. No one involved in the current push to open the doors for sports bettors in the Quaker State thinks it will hard this time. Late last October, Governor Tom Wolf signed Pennsylvania law HB 271. Within 12 months, the push for both online sports betting and brick and mortar locations has exploded. Some still believe that the tax rate on gambling operations and the fee to register are still too high.
Pennsylvania taxes casinos and gambling venues at the rate of 36%. There is also a $10 million fee to apply for a license. There are many who feel these fees may be reduced because they actually leave the door for illegal operations open, if only slightly.
Pennsylvania Online Sports Betting and Penn National’s Sportsbook
Penn National seems to be one of the strongest horses in the race to become a leading sportsbook in Pennsylvania. They were the first to post the $10 million state required fee to obtain an official sports betting license. Even as noble a gesture as this might be, it still proves Penn National’s sincere interest.
Penn National brings an excellent resume to the table as well. They have one of the strongest reputations in the online gaming industry. A recent merger with Pinnacle Entertainment reinforced Penn National’s stability even more. A motivating factor behind the handing over of 10 million dollars to a state still working out the kinks of an online gambling setup are the modest estimates of earnings for Penn National.
In spite of an estimated $100 million estimate of costs necessary to activate the online operations, plus a number of small land-based casinos, the potential profitability from such operations is gigantic. This in and of itself is probably the biggest motivating factor prodding lawmakers make legal online sports betting a reality. Those who are on the fence must truthfully acknowledge that the wealth of benefits to the Commonwealth will be equally as enormous.
There will automatically be the revenue generated by fees collected from every entity that operates a sportsbook in the state, including Penn National. In addition, there will be a multitude of intrinsic benefits.
Fees will be taken in that aren’t directly tied to the state-earned fees that come from each wager. There will be building fees for new construction, including a plethora of associated business interests that will be necessary to augment the sports betting industry. Revenues are essential to run any operation. When a state’s profit margin can balloon, like the estimates from the capital earned from sports betting ventures predicts, look for a softening of any animosity towards sports gambling.
Hollywood Casino Taking Bets at Penn National Race Course
Penn National has already jumped out with an open sportsbook, less than 15 minutes from the Pennsylvania state capitol. Inside the Hollywood Casino, Penn National is offering game lines operated by Las Vegas bookmaker William Hill. It seems likely that when Pennsylvania’s online betting platforms are launched Penn National’s sportsbook will mirror online gaming options already available through the Hollywood Casino.
Hollywood Casino Bonus Codes and Promotions
Logically, Hollywood Casino will post different types of alluring promotional offers. These will target sports bettors as the Penn National sportsbook expands operations. Many of the same incentives that sports bettors are seeing in New Jersey will transfer to Pennsylvania. Look for things such as promo codes, matching deposit bonuses and matching first bet promotions to be essentially identical. New accounts will be tabbed for helping build repeat business. There will be attractive rewards similar to points programs and crowns awarded by New Jersey operated by FanDuel and DraftKings.
To remain as appealing as competitors, these same types of promotional rewards programs will be necessary. Since Penn National is one of the country’s leading gambling operations, look for some unique promotional offers as well. Ironically, sports bets have been placed on games since the first competition. For more than a century, these wagers had to be transferred under the table, so to speak. Sort of like a little kid trying to get away with passing notes in class.
The attitude towards gambling in general has changed dramatically from previous generations. Online casinos are growing more widely accepted. This reduction in the negative stigma attached to gambling is opening the door for legal sports betting. As the number of states who swing open their doors to sports bettors grows, look for the big players in the industry to lead the way. As Pennsylvania pushes forward in their own efforts to establish an efficient and profitable online betting operation, Penn National has positioned itself to be a primary player.