Pennsylvania awards first two sports betting licenses

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved the state’s first two sports betting licenses.

Park Casino in Bensalem and Hollywood Casino in Dauphin County are the first two casinos to be awarded sports betting licenses by the state’s regulator.

The PGCB has seen five applications so far, despite a $10m license fee and a 36% tax rate (34% of which will go to the state, with a further 2% going to local governments), a rate more than four times higher than New Jersey’s 8.5% tax for sports wagering in casinos.

The three other applications are likely to be considered at the PGCB’s meeting on 31 October, comprising of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Chester, SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown, and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh.

News of licenses being approved suggests the launch of regulated sports betting is not far away in Pennsylvania, with Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi and West Virginia already legalising regulated sports wagering following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May.