Sports betting is now on its way to the city of Chester. However, the exact date is still not set in stone.
Recently, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved a $10 million license application from Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino at a Harrisburg hearing.
Senior Vice President of Harrah’s Philadelphia and General manager Chris Albrecht said in a statement, “we thank the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and look forward to working them to bring best-in-class sports betting offering to the market.” Albrecht also stated that he knows the natives of Pennsylvania are passionate sports fans, and that Harrah’s is “working hard” to prepare for the debut of a sports book at the Philadelphia location. The facility will also have a mobile product once all the details are ironed out.
Harrah’s Philadelphia filed its recent application largely because of the company’s success with slot and table games at the racetrack and casino in Chester. The casino also provided additional information about the new Harrah’s during a presentation to the board. The report indicates that Harrah’s plans on building a sportsbook facility that will be 4,322 square feet. There will also be a wider variety of foods and beverages at the new casino. A copy of the presentation is available on the PGCB website.
The sportsbook Harrah’s proposed will be adjacent to the facility’s table games. The sportsbook will also include 40 flat-screen TVs with college and international sports packages, as well as packages for every major sports league. This appealing area of the casino will also feature six teller windows, an odds board, two terminals for horse racing and self-betting kiosks. The presentation also indicated that stadium-style seating would be included in the sportsbook.
Harrah’s will use Caesars Entertainment Corp., its parent company, as inspiration for its new Philadelphia location. Caesars already runs sports betting operations in New Jersey, Mississippi and Nevada.
At the end of May 2018, casino operators in Pennsylvania were permitted to apply for gaming licenses. This came after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which made sports betting legal in all 50 states.
Harrah’s is the fifth of the 13 casinos in Pennsylvania to receive the license after applying. Recently, Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh received approval for sports betting. On October 1, Dauphin County’s Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino, located in Bensalem also became approved. Parx has plans to include sports betting in its gaming services later in November. Rivers will likely follow suit by December 1.
When Will Harrah’s Begin Sports Betting?
Harrah’s hasn’t provided a definite date to start its sports betting operations. However, spokesperson Aimee Cicero asserted that sports betting would be available within the next few months.
Vice president of corporate communications for Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Seth Palansky, confirmed Cicero’s statement. “This was just another sort of step in the process here, but we don’t have a ‘go-live’ date,” Palansky stated. Palansky shared that the company needs to get the right software and receive online approval. It’s not certain that Harrah’s will be ready for the upcoming football season, since this part of the process could take time. Palansky shared that opening the new Harrah’s is “a…process” and that it could take up to six months to meet all the gaming control requirements.
Doug Harbach, a PGCB spokesperson, also stated that “there might be some additional applications for any partners they [Harrah’s] have for licensing.” Harbach said that it would take some time to make sure that all the gaming equipment is working. The PGCB spokesperson also confirmed that Harrah’s would do a few test runs before opening its doors to the public.
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