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Online gambling company GAN announced on Monday morning that it would be providing the underlying sports betting platform for Pennsylvania’s Parx Casino.
To date, there are no known applicants for a PA sports betting license. But the new deal appears to confirm that Parx is the first of the state’s 12 existing casinos to reveal its plans for sports wagering. Parx is the largest casino in the state in terms of revenue.
The deal covers both online sports wagering and services for the Philadelphia-area casino’s land-based sportsbook.
Parx was already partnering with GAN to provide its online casino platform in the state, so the sports betting announcement is a logical extension of that deal.
GAN — a business-to-business online gambling company based in London — was the one to make the deal known with a press release.
According to GAN, launch will come before the end of the year. Pennsylvania is still in the process of accepting sports betting petitions from the state’s casinos and officials are still writing regulations for the new industry.
GAN is also getting into the retail sports betting business, providing the technology behind Parx’s planned physical sportsbook. That means GAN is moving toward becoming an omni-channel sports betting solution, perhaps giving it a leg up on some of its competitors in other states as sports betting becomes more widely legal.
GAN will also “participate in the incremental Sports betting revenues generated both in the Retail channel,” according to the release.
The deal also means that gamblers in PA will be able to use a shared wallet across Parx’ online casino and online sports betting offerings. That should make it easier for Parx to acquire and cross-sell customers from one type of gaming to the other.
“Following the execution of this extension and amendment, GAN now offers clients a platform equipped with multiple options for integrated Sports betting to be launched seamlessly alongside GAN’s market-leading Internet casino product,” said Jeff Berman, Chief Commercial Officer of GAN. “We welcome the opportunity to deliver sports betting in the retail channel, as well as online, through GAN’s unique platform containing patented technology.”
GAN is not providing the actual sports betting logistics for Parx; that will be handled by a third party and integrated into GAN’s platform. Gaming companies such as IGT, SBTech and Kambi have been the biggest first-movers in the nascent US sports betting business in providing third-party sports betting services for US gaming interests.
“GAN has ably demonstrated its abilities with both its overall Platform and its integration capability for existing major clients,” said John Dixon, chief technical officer of Parx parent company Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment. “By leveraging GAN’s Platform, Parx Casino will have the opportunity to launch retail and online Regulated Sports betting together with online Gaming in Pennsylvania later this year, subject to the regulatory approval of the PGCB.”
That’s still a mystery, and even Parx’ sports betting petition to the PA Gaming Control Board is not official. Boyd Gaming recently said it plans to bring sports betting to Valley Forge Resort Casino in vague terms.
There has been some skepticism about how many casinos and sports betting operators would be getting into the PA sports betting business, given the high bar to entry — a $10 million licensing fee and an effective tax rate of 36 percent on revenue — for sports betting.
But using sports betting as a customer acquisition tool, and giving potential gamblers a suite of options — online slot machines, table games, poker and sports gambling — could override the micro-level concerns about offering sports betting.
Parx is now the first casino to confirm its intention to offer sports betting in the state, and now it seems likely more will follow.