Hollywood Casino Takes First Pennsylvania Sports Bets

Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino last week became the first Pennsylvania casino to take legal sports bets, as the casino opened its sports book on Thursday in a driving snowstorm. Other casinos are quickly expected to follow suit.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course on Thursday became the first Pennsylvania casino to take a legal sports bet. Penn National Gaming’s flagship property opened its sports book for live money wagering at 3 p.m., bringing Pennsylvania into the growing club of legal sports betting operations.

Penn National is one of seven Pennsylvania casinos to file applications for sports betting licenses, forking over a $10 million license fee and agreeing to the state’s onerous 36 percent tax on sports-book revenue in exchange for offering a product that has generated much excitement in states across the U.S. since the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in May.

“Penn National is excited to be the first casino to offer sports wagering in Pennsylvania,” said Tim Wilmott, Penn National’s CEO. “The enthusiasm around sports betting has been growing since the federal ban was repealed in May, and we look forward to providing our patrons with another great amenity to enjoy at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course.”

“We are extremely appreciative for the tireless effort and support of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board,” added Dan Ihm, general manager of Hollywood Casino. “They moved Heaven and Earth to get us to this point, and we couldn’t be more excited to be Pennsylvania’s first sports book.”

Penn National Gaming’s sports books are being managed by William Hill US, the subsidiary of the British bookmaking giant that is now the largest sports book operator in the U.S.