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A Sportsbook Is In The Plans For South Philly’s Stadium Casino

This sportsbook (and the entire casino) will hopefully be arriving sometime in or around December, 2020.

Stadium Casino is still approximately 18 months away from taking its first bet, but the casino’s developers have impressive goals. Last week, Stadium Casino officials announced to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) that those goals will also include a retail sportsbook in their facility.

A lot of heavy lifting required before opening day

Right now, Stadium Casino is just a bold concept. There aren’t even foundations yet laid for the casino that will live the “stadium district” of South Philadelphia. This area is home to Lincoln Financial FieldCitizens Bank Park, and Wells Fargo Center, homes to the Eagles (NFL), the Pirates (MLB), and the 76ers (NBA)/Flyers (NHL), respectively.

The site of the future Stadium Casino (900 Packer Avenue) formerly housed a Holiday Inn. If all goes according to plans, in 18 months it will be home to a $600 million full Vegas-style casino and entertainment complex.

When Stadium Casino finally goes “Live!” quite a few plans (and gaming licenses) will be actualized. Stadium Casino will be a traditional American-style 24/7 casino offering the normal fare – slots, video poker, and table (pit) games. Additionally, Stadium Casino operators have acquired some other gaming licenses. Their sports betting license will cost $10 million and although they haven’t yet applied for it, that will soon change.

Stadium Casino already has in hand licenses to operate online slots and online casino games. These privileges came with a price tag of $4 million each. Even pricier, Stadium Casino paid $40 million for a license allowing them to operate an independent “mini-casino” to be located in Westmoreland County’s Derry Township. Despite being 18 months away from completion, Stadium Casino clearly has big plans for its gaming operation(s) in Pennsylvania.

One of the few (perhaps only?) gaming licenses Stadium Casino didn’t pursue is the one allowing online poker. That probably was intentional rather than an oversight. With eight casino operators already holding licenses, the online poker market in PA is expected to be congested. Especially considering that PA online poker will (at least initially) be limited in-state players only.

Philly sportsbooks doing well in competitive environment

At present, Pennsylvania has authorized eight casinos to take sports bets in the state. A ninth (Mount Airy Casino) has applied and awaits approval. Stadium Casino (if and when the apply and are approved) will make ten.

The bulk of PA’s casino sportsbooks are bunched up in the Philadelphia area. As of now, four casinos are operating six brick & mortar sportsbooks (Parx Casino (operates three) in the greater Philly metropolitan region. The others are Harrah’s PhiladelphiaSugarHouseand Valley Forge Casino.

Although it’s early, these sportsbooks are generating a nice handle, a decent income, and some revenue for the state. In the handful of months sports betting has been licensed and regulated in the state (Hollywood Casino was the first, opening Nov 2018), Philadelphia’s sportsbooks have accepted over $70 million in total bets and made over $7 million in revenue from sports betting.

When Stadium Casino’s sportsbook arrives, it will enter this competitive space and will have to differentiate itself to attract customers. Being located close to Philladelphia’s sports complexes will probably help quite a bit (though Parx has a retail location in the same area). On the other hand, when mobile sports betting is finally authorized by the PGCB (in just a few weeks), perhaps retail locations won’t be as large a factor.

Time will tell.

What will the sportsbook (and the rest of Stadium Casino) be like?

With another 18 months until expected opening day and not even a concrete foundation yet laid, it’s difficult to know. Despite this, we can guess.

As a simple starter, Stadium Casino officials have revealed that their “sports betting parlor” will be connected to a sports bar and that Stadium Casino itself “will become a premier sports, entertainment, and gaming hospitality destination in the US.”

Considering that Stadium Casino’s development partners are the Cordish Company (owners of Xfinity Live! and Maryland Live!) and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Group (owners of Parx Casino), one should expect that this means the casino (and sportsbook) will be upscale and expansive. Based on what these operators have created in the past, expect Stadium Casino to be impressive.

After all, we know Stadium Casino (at $600 million projected cost) is expected to be large and lavish. They are projected to have a 200,000 square foot gaming facility and a 220 room hotel along with 2,000 slot machines, 125 table games, and 33 poker tables.

 

 

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