Penn National Wagers Big on Sports Gambling for Pennsylvania

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Philly based gambling conglomerate Penn National has just paid a $10 million dollar licensing fee for sports betting. Penn is one of four major gambling houses plunging into the world of live sports betting. Penn not only plans to offer this feature in Hollywood Casino but also plans to go digital as well.

The company met with the state gaming control board yesterday to renew their five-year gaming certificate. During that meeting Penn National revealed its sports-betting plans, stating that the physical sportsbook will be operation in a few months. Its digital endeavors will include both mobile apps and desktop browsers once they get underway. At this point it looks like online access will experience a long delay.

This revelation came on the heels of an August announcement, that Penn would be partnering with William Hill to extend sports wagering to West Virginia as well as Pennsylvania. Needless to say the conglomerates has some big plans for the future. Plans it is willing to pony up money for.

Penn National Gaming, Inc. is based out of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. The conglomerate operates casinos and racetracks across the U.S and Canada. It has 25 properties based stateside with an additional four in Canada. Most of these facilities function under the Hollywood Casino brand. At present it is the midst of acquiring Pinnacle Entertainment. Once the deal is done its gaming properties will increase to 40.

Penn employs around 18,000 individuals, although that number is going to go up. One of the beneficial parts of Penn’s sports initiative is the creation of new jobs. Penn enjoys around $3 billion in revenue every year. Its current acquisition of Pinnacle will increase that number to around $5 billion. This makes the $10 million licensing fee look like chump change, but it is still the largest investment any company has made. At present it is the only publicly traded company in Pennsylvania.

The location of Penn National’s physical sportsbook will be located in its PA Hollywood Casino. It will occupy a station near their race wagering. The idea is to entice gamblers who bet on the ponies, as they may be more inclined to bet on sports. The area will include six betting windows, a gigantic flat screen TV measuring at 110″, and around 50 additional T.V.s as well. The creation of this new gambling space will require 20 additional employees to staff it. The total renovation will cost around $450,000.

Regulators continue to meet over the approval of the sports wagering application. The app was submitted by four other stateside gambling companies besides Penn National. Penn has already planned ahead for this approval, but so have the other companies as well. The goal for all of them is to complete their construction mid-way through the current NFL season. This way the sportsbook will go operation just in time to catch some football action.

The other companies applying for a sports license in the Keystone State are; South Philadelphia Turf Club, SugarHouse Casino, Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, and Rivers Casino. The South Philadelphia Turf Club is part of the Parx Casino family. At present Penn National is the only one to actually pay the fee, but eventually all the others will follow suit.