So far, the state of Pennsylvania is the big winner from sports betting.
With Stadium Casino LLC’s application for a sports wagering certificate from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, the state now has reached $110 mm in revenue just off of licensing casino operators for sports wagering. Stadium Casino, which plans to open a casino in Philadelphia in late 2020, last month filed for a $10 mm permit, bringing the total number of applicants or licensees to 11.
That means $110 mm for the state. Pennsylvania also charges a 36% effective tax rate on sports betting revenues.
Stadium, a subsidiary of the Cordish Companies, revealed in May that it was interested in a sportsbook at the upcoming Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, a $700 mm casino project.
At a PGCB hearing in July, Stadium gave regulators a more concrete answer about its interest in the sports betting amenity. Prior to applying for sports betting, Stadium sought regulatory approval to conduct real-money online casino gambling. Stadium told regulators in July that it’s still in the process of finding potential partners for interactive wagering.
Stadium has plans for online sports gambling
Stadium’s sports betting plans for the Keystone State aren’t without a sense of irony. The company’s application indicates it wants to offer real-money online/mobile betting within PA borders, despite the casino’s parent company opposing online/mobile sports betting legalization in the state of Maryland, which is expected to consider legislation next year.
While the parent company is trying to guide the formation of the law in Maryland to its benefit in opposition to its competitors Caesars and MGM, there’s no point in forgoing online/mobile betting in PA. That train has already left the station.
Stadium is also planning a mini-casino near Pittsburgh. The company wants that property to have sports betting, but it’s requesting that the state not charge it an extra $10 mm for a book in western Pennsylvania. The mini-casinos, under PA law, aren’t allowed as many slots or table games as a full-fledged casino.
In its application to the PGCB, Stadium said its sports betting operation would create jobs, but the number of employment positions expected was for some reason redacted from public view.
Increasingly crowded market
The first Pennsylvania retail sports book opened in November, and as of early August there were eight facilities in the state with sports betting, including four with online/mobile wagering options.
From November through June, the PA books generated $21.73 mm in revenue from sports wagering. Pennsylvania and local communities kept nearly $8 mm of that in taxes.
Stadium will face stiff competition in the Keystone State, especially with the likes of FanDuel in the market now and DraftKings expected to have an avenue of entry thanks to a recent deal with Penn National Gaming. Stadium’s retail book would be the seventh of its kind in the crowded Philly market, but it is banking on benefiting from close proximity to the city’s professional sports venues. However, there is already a sportsbook at the South Philadelphia Turf Club, located within walking distance of the upcoming Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia.
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