Online sports betting kicked off in the Keystone State just a little less than a month ago and already the state’s residents are getting even more options in that regard. SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia was the first online and mobile sports betting platform to go live in Pennsylvania and on Thursday, June 27, Parx Casino in the Philadelphia suburb of Bensalem could be the next casino to get the go-ahead to full-time online sports betting operations.
Parx Casino officially started taking online bets at 4:05 p.m. local time on Monday and this marked the beginning of a soft-launch period that will run for three days. During this soft-launch phase, the online casino will be open for limited hours and will take deposits as well as real money bets under the watchful eye of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The gaming control board will be monitoring the process to ensure that everything is working and that all the safeguards that have been put in place to prevent underage or out-of-state players from accessing the services are working correctly.
“We are beginning three test periods with Parx today through Wednesday. They will run to midnight each day, with today’s beginning at 4:00 pm, Tuesday at 2:00 pm, and Wednesday at noon. If all is good, we would sign off for it to operate 24/7. Beginning at 4:00 today, anyone within the borders of PA can set up an account and participate in live wagering,” reads the Monday statement from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
Fortunately, during the three-day test period, players have been able to enjoy placing bets on all the same sporting activities, with all of the same options that they have had since the operator’s physical sportsbook went live in December 2018. Retail sports betting in the sportsbook has been bringing in about $9 million every month and with online and mobile sports betting now in the mix that figure is set to be even higher.
As it turns out, both Parx Casino and SugarHouse, which will soon be rebranding as Rivers Philadelphia have online sports betting offerings that are powered by software from Kambi. As such, both the online or mobile sports betting services offers pretty much the same betting markets as well as the same spreads. The only variation that players will notice will be in the pricing since each operator is allowed to individualize that particular aspect. Obviously, Parx Casino will need to make its pricing more appealing if it hopes to compete well with the Rivers Philadelphia sportsbook which already has a few weeks head start.
In addition to all that, there are other considerations for both online/mobile sports betting operators. While the platforms are good to go on laptop, desktops and Android-powered devices, Apple recently released a new App Store policy requiring all gambling apps to be native to the platform. With the deadline for this change looping, online/mobile sports betting operators will definitely need to adjust appropriately to avoid losing that segment of the market.