The first sports betting venues in Philadelphia opened for business this week, as the spread of sports betting across the US continues.
One of the new facilities, based at Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino staged an opening ceremony on Saturday, attended by casino executives, local politicians and sports betting fans. The casino originally gained approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board at the end of October, and underwent two days of live testing before it was opened to the public.
There are considerable expectations for the sports betting facility at SugarHouse, which has enjoyed success as a casino since opening in the Fishtown neighbourhood a few years ago. At the same time, the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh also opened for business, making them the first two sports betting venues to open in major US cities outside of Las Vegas.
Although Pennsylvania has beaten by Delaware and New Jersey – both of which have been operating regulated sports betting industries since June – it is well-placed to catch up. The SugarHouse venue has already been operating an online sportsbook in New Jersey since the middle of August, which has enabled the company to build up considerable expertise, while gaming company Kambi has been helping the casino set up the physical side of the business.
And there was an early indication of the potential popularity of the venue. Many of the customers who attended on the opening day had previously done their sports betting in Delaware, but the central position of the SugarHouse on Delaware Avenue is ideal and should help it to attract plenty of business over the coming months, during which time other sports betting venues are likely to launch.
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