Pennsylvania’s sports gambling market is beginning to take shape. Several venues are already operational and Presque Isle Downs & Casino, which announced last month that it was closing in on a launch date, is finally ready to join the space. The Churchill Downs-owned casino is about to start its mandatory two-day testing period, per Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) rules, and, if it goes well, live sports gambling will follow immediately after.
According to a company press release, the testing begins this Wednesday, July 24, at 4 p.m. and will run until midnight the same day. On day two, July 25, testing will start at 2 p.m. and conclude at midnight, as well. The PGCB signs off on the activity, Presque Downs will welcome sports gamblers beginning July 26, Friday, at noon. A full launch party will be held on August 8, which marks the beginning of the NFL’s preseason games.
The PGCB approved Presque Isle’s sports gambling license this past February, but the property wanted to make sure that its operations would stand out from the crowd and management took more time than other venues in getting the facilities ready. The sportsbook will be operated as a BetAmerica-branded property as part of an agreement between the operator and Churchill Downs, which uses the platform at some of its other properties. It will also incorporate technology offered by SBTech.
The sportsbook will be accompanied by 50 betting kiosks located around the casino. Around half of these will be inside the sportsbook and the remainder will be scattered around the gaming floor. Eventually, online and mobile wagers will be added, but there is no set timeframe for these to be rolled out.
The sportsbook is a non-smoking facility; however, other areas on the property, including a few of its bars, allow smoking. Notably, both Bar 90 and Center Bar allow smoking and will have sports gambling kiosks set up either inside or near them.
Pennsylvania is ready to tackle the gambling industry from all angles. In addition to its casinos and its new sportsbooks, the state has also now authorized online casinos, as well. However, as open as the state has become, it still needs more work — online poker is still not ready to be introduced as the PGCB feels the subject is currently “too complicated.”