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Parx and SugarHouse get green light to launch sports betting soon

State regulators approved licenses of bookmakers at Parx, Sugarhouse, clearing the path for sports betting to launch.

Parx Casino
Parx CasinoRead moreAPRIL SAUL / Staff Photographer

Pennsylvania gaming regulators on Wednesday cleared a path for Parx Casino in Bensalem and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia to launch sports wagering soon.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board approved licenses for the bookmakers that will take sports wagers at the two casinos, which had hoped to launch their sportsbooks around Dec. 1.

"We expect that both of those casinos will be in a position to hold two-day test runs with Gaming Control Board staff sometime in the next several weeks," Douglas Harbach, a gaming board spokesman, said in an e-mail Wednesday.

SugarHouse was noncommittal about a specific launch date.

"We are now working to certify equipment, train team members and complete our sportsbook space for the upcoming launch," Jack Horner, a casino spokesman, said in an email Wednesday. "We expect to announce a launch date soon."

The board approved licenses for Sports Information Services Ltd., which Parx has chosen as the operator of its sportsbook, and for Rush Street Interactive PA LLC, which will operate sports betting at SugarHouse and at Rivers Casino Pittsburgh. Rush Street Gaming owns both casinos.

Sports betting launched with little fanfare in Pennsylvania on Nov. 15 when the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course started taking wagers. After a two-day test with regulators, Hollywood Casino officially began taking bets on Nov. 17.

Parx Casino plans to convert its 360 Lounge into a temporary sportsbook, featuring 12 self-service kiosks and seven betting windows. Parx is also spending $1 million to renovate its South Philadelphia Turf Club offtrack betting outlet as a satellite sportsbook.

The SugarHouse temporary sportsbook will occupy 1,800 square feet near the casino's north entrance next to the poker room and will contain seating for about 70 people. The permanent location, which will open next year, will be built on the central gaming floor in an area now occupied by the Lucky Red Lounge.

The opening of the physical sports-betting locations at the casinos will be followed in several months by the launch of online sports-wagering, allowing patrons almost anywhere in the state to wager on electronic devices, including smart phones.

Since the Supreme Court in May lifted the federal ban on sports betting outside Nevada, wagering has been launched in three neighboring states: New Jersey, Delaware, and West Virginia. New Jersey sportsbooks also offer online sports betting for patrons inside the state.