A sports betting license in Pennsylvania doesn’t come cheap.
It costs $10 million, and the total tax bill due each year is upwards of 41 percent on an already small profit margin. With the biggest casino in the state, Parx Casino, Parx Sportsbook offers sports betting, and it’s no surprise that it is going all-in.
The main casino at Bensalem is getting a $10 million facelift that will host a state-of-the-art sportsbook with windows, kiosks and wall-to-wall televisions.
In the meantime, the property launched its temporary sportsbook facility on Jan. 8 for the first of two days of testing. The grand opening occurred on Jan. 10.
Parx’s off-track betting facility, South Philadelphia Turf Club in Philadelphia, will also offer a full-scale sportsbook.The launch for that property is set for Jan. 17. Parx has teamed with international sportsbook operator, Kambi, to run both facilities and power a new online sportsbook with mobile access.
Mobile sports betting
Based on Kambi’s recent experience running DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey, they will undoubtedly use the new Parx Sportsbook app as a primary driver of its growth. So far in New Jersey, online sportsbook account for 50 percent of the total wagers placed.
Kambi’s existing app features a home screen that comes with a series of shortcuts to each sport offered. There are also quick links to the day’s biggest game, like Monday Night Football. Along the top of the screen is a rotating banner of all currently available promotions.
Within the app, there is a tab on the home screen takes players to a complete summary of all of their actions. That screen includes past wagers, pending wagers, and futures wagers.
The “In-play Wagering” page is also directly accessible from the home screen.
As required by law, Parx will use geolocation technology to confirm a player’s location. Customer service should also be reachable through the app.
Signing up for a new Parx account
Based on what Kambi has done with its ventures around the world, we can expect Parx account registration to be quick and easy.
All you should need to open a new account is the player’s name, date of birth, email address, phone number, physical address, and the last four digits of their Social Security Number.
Once that information is verified, new sign-ups will likely be asked to create a username and password. After that, they will choose their level of security. We expect the sportsbook to offer what is called “strong authentication.” That means that each log-in attempt sends a pin to the mobile number on file that must then be entered for access.
A player must be at least 21 years of age to place a sports wager in Pennsylvania.
While this is a new venture for the Parx Casino, it’s old hat for Kambi. What Kambi is doing for DK in New Jersey can give us some ideas of what to expect from Parx in Pennsylvania.
In New Jersey, new customers are given a dollar-for-dollar match on their initial wager of up to $200. To activate the bonus, customers need to place a bet within 30 days of registration. The bonus then kicks in automatically.
We can’t be sure that Parx will offer the same bonus play, but it stands to reason that Kambi will create something similar.
Parx Sportsbook wager types
Sports wagers come in all shapes and sizes. At the Parx Sportsbook, players should be able to place almost any type of wager they can imagine.
Parlays, which are multiple outcomes rolled into a single bet, will likely be available.
Players should also be able to place teaser wagers (bets that shift the current point spread), over/under bets, (wagers on the overall point total combined for both teams), and point spread and moneyline bets on event winners.
Customers will also likely be able to place money on proposition bets, which are wagers on an individual or team, or outcome within a game.
We also expect futures wagering, which are bets on the winner of events like the Super Bowl and World Series made weeks and even months in advance.
In-play wagering on mobile
One additional way to bet is by taking advantage of in-play wagering, which should also be offered by Parx and Kambi.
In-play wagering involves betting after an event is underway. As the game progresses, wagers and odds shift based on how the game is playing out. No games are the same. All wagers differ from game to game.
In-play wagering has become a popular option that keeps players engaged in changing odds for the entirety of a game. It works dynamically through a robust mobile connection, like the app offered by Kambi.
Potential loyalty programs
It’s safe to assume that Parx will offer a loyalty program for its sportsbook users.
Kambi doesn’t have a recent history of implementing loyalty or rewards programs. However, Parx Casino currently offers its players rewards based on how much they play.
The program is called Xclub. Like many other programs, it awards points based on how much customers spend on wagers. Players advance to certain tiers in the program based on the total points accrued within six months. Once a player climbs to a tier, he or she can keep those benefits for six months.
Along with $10 free play for registering, players who achieve the higher tiers — premium and elite — can earn additional free plays, invitations to exclusive events, dedicated gaming windows and complimentary top-shelf beverages.
The investment that Parx is making in its sportsbook venture is enormous. With that in mind, expect where frills and perks are appropriate, frills and perks will be available. The company is looking to create a first-class sports betting experience.
Other potential promotional offers
Loyalty programs and new player incentives are only part of the offerings regular players can expect at Parx Sportsbook.
There will also be a series of promotions throughout the year with the goal of keeping players engaged and maximizing their wagers in new, fun ways.
Kambi’s offerings in New Jersey are New York Giants-focused through the NFL season, with emphasis on rookie running back Saquon Barkley. There will be odds boosters on proposition bets that involve Barkley’s performance from week to week.
With the Philadelphia Eagles recent Super Bowl win and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ history of six total Super Bowl wins, we expect something similar involving the star NFL players in Pennsylvania.
We also expect Parx to feature sportsbook pools. A betting pool is a way for a player to turn a $20 bet on football and increase their potential winnings to as much as $100,000. They do this by pitting that $20 against other players who also placed $20 bets.
Additionally, Kambi offers a refer-a-friend program that immediately adds $50 to the referring player’s account.
Parx deposit options
There are no bets and no winnings without funding a new account.
Based on industry standards, what’s available in Pennsylvania, and what Kambi has done in the past, depositing should be easy to do. Several payment methods should be available as well.
In addition to credit and debit cards, Parx could offer a prepaid card, which makes for seamless and delay-free deposits.
Players can also expect PayPal as an option. Then a player can directly connect a credit card to their Paypal account.
A direct bank transfer should be available with little to no delay. Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of PayNearMe locations, which can be used to transfer money.
Lastly, personal check or cash will likely need to be deposited directly at Parx Casino’s cage.
Withdrawing from Parx sportsbooks
We expect withdrawals to be simple too.
If a player uses a prepaid/credit/debit card, a direct bank transfer or PayPal to deposit, a withdrawal using the same method should be quick and easy.
For all other withdrawals, a bank transfer or electronic check can likely be arranged, although these payment methods may include slight processing delay.