Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment in License Application
Parx Casino owner Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment is seeking sports betting licenses for two locations in Pennsylvania. The company is the second group to petition the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board for a sports betting license. The first was Penn National Gaming which received a nod from the board last week.
Online casino games have sought entry into the state market since the gaming expansion package was introduced last year. The fee for the license is $10 million, coupled with a 36 percent tax rate but the vast untapped sports betting market in the state offsets the high price. Some question whether the fee and taxes would ever make the sportsbook operators profitable or even competitive. Yet, large firms are swarming into the region to explore their opportunities.
The odds are stacked against Greenwood and Penn National, but they seem keen to try anyway. Greenwood will be focusing on two locations to conduct sports betting– the Parx Casino in Bensalem and the South Philadelphia Turf Club, which offers the off-track betting facility. The Turf Club sportsbook license will be covered under the $10 million fee that Greenwood will pay. This might help the company offset additional costs and get more value with one license. However, it will require approvals from the Horse Racing Commission as well.
A Gaming Board spokesperson confirmed that the Parx sportsbook could open and operate even if the Horse Racing Commission is still processing the Turf Club application. This will help in avoiding delays. It appears that Greenwood would like the Turf Club application to be processed as soon as possible.
The location provides a strategic advantage as it is in the middle of the stadium complex. The stadium complex houses the Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center- both home arenas for four major sports team in Philadelphia. The location is a prime real estate for a sportsbook operator, helping the Turf Club become Pennsylvania’s sports betting market leader.
Parx is working on a betting market expansion plan. In July, the casino announced its partnership with GAN, a UK-based gaming firm, to run offline and online sportsbooks. The licenses don’t permit the sportsbook operators to get started immediately. Instead, they will have to wait for the Gaming Control Board that meets on September 12. While preliminary regulations for sportsbooks are in place, it is unlikely that the sportsbooks will open before the NFL season starts.