This is a developing story and will be updated
Parx Casino in Bensalem entered the PA online sports betting market Monday when its three-day live testing period opens.
Right behind Parx comes Bet Rivers Sportsbook, which will commence its testing period Tuesday. The launches now give PA sports bettors three options in the Keystone State.
The Kambi-powered Parx book began taking bets through its Pennsylvania retail operations in January. Parx Sportsbook and Rivers join SugarHouse Sportsbook in Philadelphia as the only casinos offering PA sports betting online.
From the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:
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.
The online sportsbook and (eventually casino) are on a platform provided by GAN.
Rivers’ testing period likely will be shorter because its sister property SugarHouse already cleared its review.
Online sports betting just starting
Although state legislators made provisions for it in the 2017 law that created PA sports betting, regulators moved slowly in approving online and mobile wagering. SugarHouse Sportsbook became the first to launch four weeks ago.
SugarHouse began with only a desktop site and an Android-based app for legal sports betting. There still is no iOS app for sports betting in PA, as Apple tightens restrictions on real-money gaming applications via its App Store.
The lack of an iPhone-ready app certainly limits the potential for SugarHouse, Parx, Rivers and other entrants in PA sports betting. Similar apps exist in the NJ sports betting market, where mobile wagerings accounts for 80% of bets placed in 2019.
Sports betting in PA in need of mobile
The first few months of regulated Pennsylvania sports betting produced steady if unspectacular results. With only retail sportsbooks available at launch, revenue potential remained limited until the start of mobile.
The first four days of SugarHouse Sportsbook generated more than $570,000 in mobile handle. That total shows the massive growth opportunity as a state of 12 million people gains greater access to sports betting apps.
Overall in May, Pennsylvania sports betting generated nearly $36 million in handle and $2.9 million in revenue. With the state’s national-high 36% effective tax rate, those figures amounted to more than $1 million in tax revenue for Pennsylvania.
Rivers and SugarHouse both neared $8 million in handle to lead the PA pack. Parx ranked a close third with $6.8 million in wagers taken.