It started during a snowstorm. Not of money into state coffers but actual snow falling from the sky in November in Pennsylvania.
Until the past few weeks, the timeline to launch for the Pennsylvania sports betting market looked like early 2019. Maybe, at best, before the end of the holidays.
Then, just like the snow that hit in mid November, Hollywood Casino opened the betting windows for testing on a Thursday.
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Hollywood, near Harrisburg, is the first PA casino to book a legal wager, and Pennsylvania the seventh state to join the market. The official launch is Saturday. And as usual, William Hill is operating the first live sportsbook in yet another state. It also runs the show for Penn National in two others, with more to come.
Launch follows a year after state lawmakers passed an omnibus gambling package and six months post-PASPA. Four other PA casinos are also approved and approaching their own rollouts, and another (Valley Forge) just applied.
Welcome to the party, Pennsylvania. You now join New Jersey on the East Coast.