Parx Casino in Bensalem will test its internet sports wagering systems this month and plans to launch online sports betting in early June, casino officials told state regulators at a hearing Wednesday. The launch is expected to accelerate the growth of sports betting in Pennsylvania.
Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc., which operates Parx, announced the launch dates for sports betting at its relicensing hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in Harrisburg, which is conducted every five years. The board voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve the license renewal. A public hearing on the relicensing was conducted Feb. 28 in Bensalem.
Sports betting at Pennsylvania casinos has generated modest returns since launching in November at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, generating $5.5 million in gross revenue in March on $44.5 million in bets.
By comparison, New Jersey reported six times more revenue from sports betting — $31.7 million in revenue on $372.5 million in sports bets in March. About 80 percent of New Jersey’s sports wagers were placed online.
The gaming board also approved a sports-betting license Wednesday for the Mohegan Sun Pocono, which would become the state’s eighth casino with licensed sports wagering. Parx Casino, in addition to the sportsbook at its flagship operation in Bensalem, also operates sports-betting parlors at its offtrack betting outlets in South Philadelphia and in Valley Forge.
Parx, the state’s largest gambling hall, employs about 2,600 people at its casino and race track. It has generated $2.6 billion in tax revenue since it opened in 2006. More than 90 percent of the tax revenue was generated by slot machines.