Pennsylvania residents have been waiting for online sports betting for a year, literally. They’ve been waiting for the launch of online sports betting, poker, and casino games for over a year now since the Supreme Court ruling last May to drop the federal ban on sports betting.
In Pennsylvania, online gaming licenses include sports betting with online poker and online casino games. Every casino that is going to put out a sports betting app can add online poker and casino games as well. But what is taking so long?
Pennsylvania residents have been teased about an online launch date multiple times. Last year it was reported that online would be up and running by the end of 2018. As the end of 2018 approached, that date changed to February 2019. As February neared, the date got pushed back due to the Wire Act reversal.
Now Pennsylvania residents are skeptical when the PGCB says that sports betting will launch in June, as they should be.
Revenue To Be Gained
Pennsylvania’s casino numbers dropped across the board. Sports betting, slot wagering, and table games revenue all decreased from March to April. A big factor was the NCAA basketball tournament in March. The tournament attracted bettors to the casinos. That not only inflated the sports betting numbers but all casino games as bettors spent time gambling between games.
Once mobile goes live in Pennsylvania, those numbers will shoot back up to above and beyond anything the state has ever seen. Pennsylvania has the second biggest gambling market in the country, behind Nevada. Once residents can gamble online, whether sports betting, poker or casino games, the Pennsylvania market will spike, bridging the gap between them and Nevada.
Susan Hensel, Director of Licensing for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, has said that sports betting is “coming very soon,” and to expect online poker by July 15 of this year.
FanDuel Will Have Presence
FanDuel will be a big player in Pennsylvania, as they have a sportsbook through the Valley Forge Casino Resort. They aren’t expected to be one of the first to launch in Pennsylvania. Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino are expected to be the first to launch their mobile sports betting apps. But once they do, Pennsylvania will welcome FanDuel sportsbook with open arms. At this point, residents of Pennsylvania will welcome any online sportsbook with open arms.
The state of Pennsylvania still took in $1.4 million revenue for the month of April. That number will skyrocket once mobile betting is operational. So it is perplexing as to what is holding these casinos back from launching. The longer the wait, the more money the state and casinos are missing out on.
Regardless, online and mobile sports betting is right around the corner for Pennsylvania. The fact that it took this long is criminal, but, it’s better late than never. One thing is for sure; you can’t blame any Pennsylvania residents for being hesitant to accept the fact that mobile is for sure coming soon. Ask any one of them, and they will probably say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”