Pennsylvanians are excited to be one of the early states to allow legal sports betting. When the US Supreme Court ruled last May to eliminate the federal law that prohibited states from taking bets on games, the door was open. Betting online in the US is essentially legal from a federal perspective. Online betting in Pennsylvania was only a matter of time.
While there are going to be a number of strong competitors for the business of sports fans across the state, Parx will be one of the strongest. Parx's parent company, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, has requested a license to cover two physical locations where they plan to open a Parx Sportsbook.
Parx is one of at least three major casino operations looking to establish themselves with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Each has submitted the $10 million price tag for a license to operate a physical sportsbook location.
However, Parx has loftier aspirations. Industry projections insist that the primary for sportsbooks needs to be towards online operations. Here is some information how Pennsylvania reached this current point. In addition, we'll discuss how much influence Parx will have on the Pennsylvania online sports betting scene.
Gambling's History in Pennsylvania
The first form of gambling offered to residents in Pennsylvania was a simple lottery. State legislators approved the lottery in hopes of generating some much-needed revenue. When the first tickets were sold in 1971, Pennsylvania was one of only a handful of states with such a game of chance.
For the next 20 years, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversaw lottery operations. During most of this time, many felt that the state should expand into gaming venues that might prove even more lucrative.
By the 1990s, there were many who wanted to use the state's waterways to promote riverboat gambling. Even though the first actual casinos were permitted in the 90s, there was still a strong opposition to making gambling legal statewide.
While the progress in growing Pennsylvania's casino industry was slow, the first physical location did open in the early 1990s. As the movement to expand gaming operations tried to gain momentum, legislators who were against it various reasons seemed to work in the shadows.
The governor at the time, Tom Ridge, decided to allow the Pennsylvania voters to determine the fate of casino gambling in the state. Most feel that he and others knew that the majority of Pennsylvania's residents had strong reservations against gambling.
The stigma of how possible criminal activity could be an unwelcome byproduct of gambling was used to help manipulate public opinion. Without public support, attempts to expand the industry fizzled. It would be nearly two more decades before a change in federal law would reignite statewide interest in gambling.
The Outlook for Online Sports Betting in Pennsylvania
The change of federal law in May triggered an impetus to be one of the first states to benefit from the sports betting. It rekindled sense of motivation for Pennsylvania legislators.
Pennsylvania statute HB 271 has been on the books now for nearly two months. In that brief time, no less than three major players in the casino industry have laid down the $10 million licensing fee to operate in the state.
In spite of this healthy fee just to get a place in the game, and a 36% tax rate when the game begins, big gambling businesses like Parx are all-to-eager to get their names at the top of the list.
It seems clear that the number of aggressive steps to be part of the Pennsylvania sports betting industry makes the fees and taxes pale in relation to estimated profits. Some estimates think that any single operation could net upwards of $100 million in online sports betting alone.
Parx Targets Prime Philadelphia Location
Greenwood Gaming has filed two different petitions for two distinct locations. Most feel the primary target is the one filed for The Turf Club Sportsbook. This might be the single-most appealing location statewide for a sportsbook operation.
The Turf Club is located inside Philadelphia's prime sports complex. All three major professional stadiums are part of this massive complex. Parx would have direct access to the fans who attend games for Philadelphia's four professional sports franchises.
This location seems to be the driving force behind why Greenwood Gaming would essentially ignore the otherwise costly licensing fees and equally high tax rate proposed for legal sports betting entities.
The pursuit of this ultimately prime location and the partnership formed with a United Kingdom-based GAN clearly points to Parx eyeing both brick and mortar sportsbook venues and a chunk of the Pennsylvania online sportsbook operations.
How Might Sports Betting Promotions, Bonuses and Rewards Work?
Parx is going to work to attract Pennsylvania's dedicated sports fans, as well as those who want in on the betting game. With the intense focus on being part of the stadium complex in Philadelphia, odds are there will be direct promotions targeted at Philadelphia's fan base. You will see promo codes for new user bonuses, free games, rewards and more.
All four Philadelphia teams are currently playing at high levels. This should only prove beneficial for Parx, as attendance at games has increased in relation to these improved performances. Only the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles have slipped slightly, but they own one of the most dedicated fan bases in all of professional sports.
There will be frequent player rewards programs, and promotions that will mimic many of the standards for the industry. Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment has experience in framing unique promotions to spur player interest. Look for some of their proven techniques to be part of the Parx Online Sportsbook.
Pennsylvania has entered into the sports betting arena like they did with the lottery over four decades ago. Sports enthusiasts are ready to finally bet on sports games legally. Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment has placed Parx in a perfect position to be an industry leader.
The actual benefits to Pennsylvania statewide are still only estimates. However, a strong indicator is the ease of which they are cashing $10 million checks just to register for a gambling license. By all indications, the sky is the limit for the online sportsbook operations in the Quaker State.