Pennsylvania passed a series of comprehensive gambling expansion laws in October 2017. That law included the authorization of:
- Online poker
- Online casino games
- Online lottery sales
There was also daily fantasy sports regulation. Additionally, there is a plan to issue as many as 10 new satellite casino licenses. The laws also allow Pennsylvania to offer legal sports betting should the federal government ultimately repeal its ban on the activity.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) bans single-game wagering outside of Nevada. That law would need to be struck down before Pennsylvania’s plan to offer legal sports betting would take effect.
However, New Jersey is currently challenging PASPA in the US Supreme Court. The court should rule on the case in the spring of 2018. Should SCOTUS declare PASPA unconstitutional, sports betting in PA could move forward immediately.
Several members of Congress spoke out about repealing or amending PASPA with or without a SCOTUS decision. That means sports betting could soon move forward in PA regardless of where SCOTUS lands on the issue.
If and when the state ultimately gets legal and regulated sports betting, it’s a good bet existing casino license holders in the state will be the ones offering it to the public. In fact, almost every other gambling expansion measure in the state, outside of the online lottery, truck stop video gaming terminals, and tablet gaming at airports is running through the state’s existing casino license holders.
Should the law come into effect, PA casinos will likely build state-of-the-art sports betting parlors. At the very least, they’ll turn their sports bars into sports books, then start taking bets. Sports betting is a billion-dollar industry. PA casinos will surely want in.
But which casinos will be the best places to place bets? Here’s a list of our predictions of where the five best places to bet on sports in PA will be:
5. Parx Casino and Racing
Parx Casino and Racing is the state’s top-grossing casino. It sits just 20 minutes north of Philadelphia and combines a thoroughbred horse betting track with racing simulcasts and the largest casino gaming complex in Pennsylvania.
There are more than 3,500 slot machines and 130 table games. Plus, Parx is home to the state’s most successful poker room. In fact, Parx Poker Room just moved to a new location inside the main building as part of a property-wide expansion. The 48-table poker room features a number of high-end finishes. These touches help solidify Parx’ position as the place to play poker in PA.
Parx represents the best in Pennsylvania gambling. As such, there’s no reason to think it won’t jump right in the legal sports betting market. It’s already a great place to play slots, table games, poker, and bet on live and simulcast races. It’s a solid bet it will also be among the best places in the state to bet on sports once it’s legal.
4. SugarHouse Casino
Philadelphia is a hotbed for both college and professional sports. However, SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood is currently the only casino operating within city limits.
Owner and operator Rush Street Gaming will want to take immediate advantage of that by opening up a sportsbook on site designed to appeal to the city’s many sports enthusiasts.
The casino itself currently hosts more than 1,600 slot machines and 50 table games. Plus, it’s home to the 28-table Poker Night in America Poker Room. There are plenty of action 24 hours a day at SugarHouse. There is no reason sports betting wouldn’t bring even more business to the casino.
Since it opened alongside the Delaware River in 2010, SugarHouse has remained committed to expanding and improving the player experience. All signs point to sports betting being just another part of that. And, of course, SugarHouse quickly becoming one of the best places to bet on sports in the Keystone State.
3. Valley Forge Casino Resort
Valley Forge Casino Resort, in King of Prussia just outside of Philadelphia, is currently one of the state’s smallest casinos.
That’s because its casino resort license limits the number of slots and table games it can host to 600 and 50 respectively. Of course, that license also allows Valley Forge to be one of the only casinos in the state with a hotel attached.
More than just a casino, Valley Forge Casino Resort is a destination. A destination that would be one of the best places to bet on sports in Pennsylvania should it open a sportsbook on the property.
The property is continually rated as having the second-loosest slots in the state behind Parx. It recently paid the state to waive membership and amenity fees. As a result, access to the casino is now available to everyone for free. Plus, with two three-star hotels, a state-of-the-art conference center, and seven great dining establishments, there are plenty of places for players to enjoy their time as they sweat their bets.
Add in the fact it’s within two miles of King of Prussia Mall, the largest in the country, and gamblers also have plenty of places to spend their winnings, and its no wonder Valley Forge is on the list of best places to bet on sports in the state.
2. Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh
Rivers Casino is in Pittsburgh, the second-largest city in the state and home to three of America’s greatest professional sports franchises.
In fact, Rivers is just a one-minute walk from Heinz Field, the place one of those franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers, plays its home games.
Imagine being able to lay down a bet on the Steelers inside Rivers, then walking across the parking lot to catch the game you bet on live. Rivers Casino patrons are already dreaming about it.
Walk just a few minutes along the North Shore of the Allegheny River and you’ll find PNC Park. That’s where the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team plays. The casino is also just a 15-minute drive away from PPG Paints Arena. That’s where NHL superstar Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup-contending Pittsburgh Penguins play.30-table poker room
There’s no doubt this makes Rivers one of the best places in the country to plan a trip around gambling and sports all year long.
In addition to its proximity to the arena and stadiums, Rivers is home to almost 3,000 slots and 100 table games. Plus there’s a and a host of great amenities and food and beverage options.
The only thing missing seems to be the sportsbook.
1. Stadium Casino
Stadium Casino, originally branded Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia, is a planned $600 million casino, hotel, and entertainment complex. It is expected to open in South Philadelphia’s Stadium District in the year 2020. Of course, most pundits expect sports betting to be legalized in Pennsylvania by that time.
If it is, and Stadium Casino opens a sportsbook, it will likely be the best places in Pennsylvania to bet on sports.
Stadium Casino will be the first comprehensive gaming, resort, entertainment, and sports destination in the United States. In fact, it is being built a stone’s throw from where all the city’s pro sports teams play.
The site is in close proximity to Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles. Wells Fargo Center, home of the Philadelphia Flyers and Philadelphia 76ers, is also close by. Plus, Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies, is also right there.
The world-class hotel and casino complex is being built to complement these existing stadium district venues. In fact, Stadium Casino is all about the intersection of sports and gambling.
There will be 2,000 slot machines, 150 table games, and a 33-table poker room. Additional amenities will include a 220-room boutique hotel and six locally and nationally-recognized restaurants. Plus, multiple nightclubs and a 10,000-square-foot music and entertainment venue with a rooftop party deck.
And, if things line up, a state-of-the-art sportsbook that should be the best place to bet on sports in Pennsylvania.
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