The Philadelphia Eagles kicked off the 2019 preseason on Thursday night with a home loss to the Tennessee Titans, by a score of 27-10. The Birds lost straight up, and they lost against the spread.
It was, in some ways, the perfect opening night for the new permanent sportsbook at Parx Casino. (Located about 20 miles north of Lincoln Financial Field in South Philly, the casino presumably took a lot more action on the Eagles than on their opponent.)
Thursday’s grand opening, which began with a ribbon cutting at 3 p.m., a private event for media and invited guests, and then a public opening at 5 p.m., was a long time in the making.
Last October, Parx Senior Vice President of Sports and Interactive Matt Cullen told Penn Bets that he expected the 7,400-square-foot sportsbook to open in April 2019. As with most things related to Pennsylvania sports betting, it didn’t happen on that ambitious schedule. Cullen expected the temporary sportsbook in the 360 Lounge to open last November or December; it came to pass on Jan. 8. He estimated Parx’s online sportsbook would start taking bets in January or February; instead it opened its virtual doors on June 24.
The ribbon on the permanent sportsbook may have been snipped a few months later than Cullen predicted, but the casino was still able to take bets elsewhere on the property throughout March Madness, the 76ers’ playoff run, and the early months of the Phillies’ season, and the main attraction is now ready in time for the Eagles.
Philly is, above all else, a football town. And the Parx Casino Sportsbook is open and positioned to overflow with weekend business.
“It’s going to be a spectacular sportsbook,” Cullen teased in October. “We’re investing close to $10 mm into it. There’s going to be an LED screen that wraps around half of the facility, a really nice bar with video poker, TVs everywhere, kiosks for self-service betting. We’re expecting it to be state of the art.”
Expectations were met, and the plans, it appears, didn’t change over the last 10 months, until Parx was able to open what it calls “the largest and most state-of-the-art new sportsbook in America.”
Among the features on display as Penn Bets toured the facility on Thursday:
- A 156-foot HD media wall that can show up to 36 games at once
- Six live tellers
- 18 electronic betting kiosks
- 200 seats
- Three VIP areas
- A 38’ x 14’ bar with 38 seats
The sportsbook, which Parx says holds up to 422 people, is open 24/7 (with live tellers available 10-16 hours a day, depending on the sports schedule).
It’s located in the back left corner of the casino floor, next to the Liberty Bell Gastropub and adjacent to the Parx Beer Garden.
All the standard sports and bet types are available for wagering, with markets identical to what’s offered on the mobile sportsbook.
Thursday’s opening brought out not only Parx Casino executives such as Chairman Bob Green and CEO Tony Ricci, but also eight local politicians (including Bensalem Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo, who cut the ribbon) and such recognizable members of the Philadelphia sports media community as Garry Cobb, Joe Conklin, and Dick Jerardi.