Three-sy does it as Harrah’s bids to join Pennsylvania sports betting scene


Chester Downs and Marina LLC, which conducts business as Harrah’s Philadelphia, has become the state of Pennsylvania’s third casino applicant for a sports betting licence, reveals regulator the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Set to review all applicants at its next meeting on October 3, a date set in stone prior to the commencement of the National Football League season, approval would see the facility pay a $10m licence fee, in addition to complying with a hefty 36 per cent sports wagering tax rate, substantially higher than other states, when it becomes operational.

The initial fee is to be paid 60 days after receiving approval, and before the casino starts accepting wagers, with critics voicing their displeasure at the high levels of fees and taxes within the Keystone State.

Making its case to the PGCB, it was stressed that: “Harrah’s Philadelphia clearly has the business ability and experience to operate and maintain a successful sports wagering operation. Harrah’s Philadelphia’s slot operation has exceeded expectations, and Harrah’s Philadelphia has an excellent reputation for meeting or exceeding regulatory expectations.

“Additionally, Harrah’s Philadelphia’s principals and affiliates currently conduct sports wagering operations in Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey, and such affiliates are an available resource to Harrah’s Philadelphia as Harrah’s Philadelphia moves to establish its sports wagering operation.”

Whilst outlining its proposed operations, Harrah’s Philadelphia highlighted in its petition to the board that “general manager, Christopher Albrecht, and Harrah’s Philadelphia’s other current management staff will oversee gaming operations at the facility, including sports wagering”.

Regarding the wider operation of its sports betting facilities, Caesars Interactive Entertainment LLC, a subsidiary of the property’s owner Caesars Entertainment Corporation, will operate the sports betting services.

This is to build upon, and utilising the expertise of, current operations within Nevada and Mississippi, as well as New Jersey at both Harrah’s and Bally’s, with Scientific Games Corporation deepening its relationship with the parent organisation via platform provision.

The PGCB first saw the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course submit its application, followed by the Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc owned, and GAN partnered, Parx Casino in Bensalem.

Expectation is also abound that the Mount Airy Casino Resort is to submit its own application, following a recent deal signed with The Stars Group.