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The wait is (almost) over: PA sports betting will go mobile within three weeks.
A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed Wednesday to Legal Sports Report that at least one Pennsylvania sports betting operator will turn on its app shortly.
“We expect to begin live testing of the online sports betting app for at least one of the approved casino vendors within the next two-three weeks,” said Doug Harbach, PGCB communications director.
The identity of that vendor is not yet clear, but here are the potential candidates:
|Hollywood||William Hill||November 16, 2018|
|SugarHouse||Kambi||December 13, 2018|
|Rivers||Kambi||December 13, 2018|
|Parx||Kambi||January 10, 2019|
|South Philadelphia Turf Club||Kambi||January 16, 2019|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Scientific Games||January 24, 2019|
|Valley Forge||FanDuel||March 12, 2019|
|Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook||Kambi||March 13, 2019|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Unibet||TBA|
|Presque Isle Downs||CDI||TBA|
Accounting for the more than 12 million people in the Keystone State, though, that handle pales in comparison to what NJ sports betting is producing. The Garden State approached $400 million in handle in March in a state with more than 3.5 million fewer people.
The difference is obvious: mobile sports betting. For three consecutive months, more than 80% of legal sports betting in New Jersey came via a mobile device.
Adding mobile to the mix in Pennsylvania should drive similar growth in the coming months. It could affect the New Jersey market as well.
Pennsylvania legislators approved a sports betting bill in 2017 in preparation for a potential repeal of PASPA. When that happened last May, Pennsylvania began preparing for a launch of retail and online sportsbooks, both of which are legal.
The first Pennsylvania sports betting shop opened in November 2018 when Hollywood Casino launched its sportsbook. Seven others followed since, but the PGCB continued a slow testing phase and rollout plan for mobile PA sports betting.
In part, that attributes to the new Wire Act opinion from the federal Department of Justice and its murkiness about the legality of online gaming. But Pennsylvania also tends to move cautiously, leading to the wait for mobile that is just about over.