• Pennsylvania will auction off its remaining five satellite casino licenses, bringing the total to 10 such venues.
  • Sports betting can be hosted at PA satellite locations.
  • Internet casino gaming is also launching in the state.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – In addition to legalizing sports betting, Pennsylvania’s HB 271 (Act No. 42) set the bidding process for the rollout of “satellite casinos” in the state.

These venues are effectively mini-casinos that major gaming operators can set up to extend their reach in their respective geographical zones.

Each Pennsylvania satellite casino can feature 300-750 slot machines and host 30 table games, with the option to add 10 more of the latter after the first year of operation. These venues are effectively to casinos what OTBs (off-track betting sites) are to racetracks.

In January 2018, the first round of satellite casino bidding kicked off, with the state handing out a total of 5 licenses. These licenses were won and awarded as follows:

January 10 – Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, York, $51,100,000
January 21 – Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia, Greensburg, $40,100,005
February 8 – Mount Airy Casino Resort, Big Beaver, $21,888,888.88
February 22 – Parx Casino, Shippensburg, $8,111,000
April 4 – Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Morgantown, $7,500,003

Per a July 10 press release, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will hold a second round of auctions for the remaining five satellite casino licenses allowed for by law.

Bidding begins on September 4 at 10 a.m., and the PGCB will live-stream the auction via its web site.

Will Sports Betting Be Available At Pennsylvania Satellite Casinos?

According to officials, legal sports betting will be on the menu at Pennsylvania satellite casinos, provided their operators hold valid sportsbook licenses and elect to offer the service.

Whether all of these venues choose to install sport betting lounges or simple self-serve wagering kiosks (or both) remains to be seen. To date, three satellite venues have confirmed that they will offer sports betting options: the Hollywood Casino Morgantown, the Hollywood Casino York, and the Parx Casino satellite venue.

Mobile Betting In Pennsylvania

With mobile sports betting already up and running both in-state and offshore, those living in the more remote areas served by these future mini-casinos will already have plenty of wagering options at their disposal.

That said, full-fledged online casino gaming launched Monday in Pennsylvania, making it the fourth state to offer licensed, regulated online gambling.

This shouldn’t cannibalize business at the future satellite casinos, however.

While Internet-based casino gaming is popular, the primary draw for slots and table games remains the social experience. Players will travel far and wide to experience real casino action.

Sportsbooks are typically less likely to attract that sort of on-site traffic, provided betting is conveniently available online.

In nearby New Jersey, for example, several large casinos offer both on-site and online casino gaming as well as on-site and online sports betting. More than 80% of sports betting action for these brands comes from their online components.

Regardless of what exactly Pennsylvania’s revenue breakdown will be once these expansions hit their stride, it’s clear that the nation’s number-two gaming market is growing at an unprecedented rate.

It’s a good time to be a gambler in Pennsylvania.

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