PA online gambling is coming to this summer, but before that, Pennsylvanians will see the launch of online sports betting.
The first PA online sportsbook will be offering sports wagering sometime within the next few weeks, per comments from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
“We expect to begin live testing of the online sports betting app for at least one of the approved casino vendors within the next 2-3 weeks.”
There have already been eight land-based sportsbooks that have launched in Pennsylvania between November of last year to March of this year. At least one other casino, Presque Isle Downs, will be launching its own sportsbook sometime this summer. Mount Airy and Mohegan Sun Pocono also applied for licenses late last month.
PA mobile sportsbetting on deck
While land-based sportsbooks were popping up across the state, online sports wagering — a more complicated matter both logistically and from a regulatory standpoint — took a backseat.
In addition to the focus on land-based operations, an online sportsbetting launch was delayed in Pennsylvania for factors beyond the state’s control.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice revised its opinion on the 1961 Wire Act to be applied for a more broad definition of online gambling. While the opinion was vague and has left more questions than answers, Pennsylvania is apparently becoming increasingly more comfortable with mobile sportsbetting going live in the state.
The launch of mobile sports betting in PA is expected to be tipping point for the state, both in terms of sports bettors ability to make wagers and casinos opportunities to generate revenue. Legal Sports Report estimates that over 80% of legal sports wagering comes from a mobile device in neighboring New Jersey.
For the first six months of PA sports betting, bettors have been required to physically go to a sportsbook in order to place a wager. Once mobile sportsbooks go live in PA, eligible Pennsylvanians will be able to place a wager anywhere in the state using a supported mobile sportsbook app.
With a click of a couple of buttons, bettors will be able to fund their accounts and place wagers in a matter of minutes at any location that receives a cell signal in Pennsylvania. For sportsbettors and PA casinos alike, that is a big deal.