PA online gambling preview: Parx

Let The Big Dog Play: Parx Ready For Pennsylvania Online Gambling

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The addition of online gambling and sports betting has Pennsylvania casinos ready to play ball in the Commonwealth. But which are best-positioned to take advantage of the chance?

In this series, we explore the prospects for the PA online gambling industry and what to expect from each of its participants. Previously: Mohegan Sun and SugarHouse.

This time: Parx.

Parx is the big dog in the PA casino market, the largest in both size and revenue. The Philadelphia property is going to be a key player in online gambling too, but it’s not a foregone conclusion that it will replicate its land-based successes in the digital arena.

A brief history of Parx

Parx Casino and Racing is one of Pennsylvania’s six racinos, which combine live racing and casino gambling.

The facility is located in the Bucks County township of Bensalemwhere it began its life as Keystone Racetrack way back in 1974. The current owners, Greenwood Racing, bought the property (then known as Philadelphia Park) in 1990.

Following the casino expansion law passed in 2004, Greenwood received a slots license. Slot machines were added to the floor at Philadelphia Park in December 21, 2006.

With its expanded offerings, the track took on its current name in July 2009.

Gaming options at Parx

Whether it’s slots, table games, poker, or racing, Parx is one of the largest operators in the Pennsylvania market.

The property boasts Pennsylvania’s largest poker room, the most slots, and the second most house-banked table games, plus live and simulcast racing and a retail sportsbook.

  • Slot machines: 3,200
  • Table games: 150
  • Poker tables: 48
  • Live thoroughbred racing and simulcast racing
  • Sports betting

There are also a number of off-site gambling venues associated with Parx.

Parx has three affiliated OTB parlors: Northeast Turf ClubSouth Philadelphia Turf Club, and Oaks Race and Sportsbook. Each of the latter two offers sports betting along with simulcast racing.

Parx also holds a mini-casino license thanks to a winning auction bid of $8,111,000 in February. The forthcoming Parx satellite property will be located in Shippensburg in Cumberland County.

Online gambling at Parx

Greenwood, via Parx, is already licensed to conduct PA online gambling.

Parx’s permits allow it to offer online games across all three verticals: poker, slots, and tables. The casino also possesses a PA sports betting license allowing both land-based and online sports betting. Parx is partnered with GAN on both fronts.

GAN is an active participant in the New Jersey market, where it powers online casino platforms for Betfair and Ocean Resort. Some have intimated that a Parx-branded NJ online casino could be in the works, but that has yet to materialize.

GAN will supply Parx with the full complement of online gambling products in Pennsylvania:

  • Slot machines
  • Table games
  • Sports betting

The one question mark is PA online poker.

The Parx permits cover all three online casino verticals, and it cannot sit on them according to law. GAN, however, doesn’t yet have a competitive online poker platform. While Parx will have an online poker product, it may or may not be through GAN.

Online casino games at Parx

Until it’s launched, the specifics of Parx online casino will remain something of a secret. NJ online casinos operating on the GAN platform, however, provide a partial glimpse into the catalogue of games, functions, and features to expect.

Sports betting at Parx

Parx’s land-based sportsbook is already live at its flagship casino, as are sportsbooks at the two OTB locations. Its online sportsbook could go live at any moment.

Peering into the crystal ball

There’s no reason Parx shouldn’t succeed in the Pennsylvania online casino market. It is:

  • A well-known local brand
  • The largest land-based casino in PA
  • The top revenue-generating casino
  • Ideally located near Philadelphia and New York

Well, there is one notable reason: Parx.

Not wanting to provide its competitors with a way to overcome Parx’s current advantages, the company had to be dragged into online gambling kicking and screaming. And once online gambling was inevitable, it’s done everything in its power to stunt the viability and potential impact of the PA online casino market.

- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.
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