Add another PA casino to the list of sports wagering license holders who will be live with PA Online Sportsbooks. The latest is Wind Creek Bethlehem, who has struck a deal with the UK-based sports betting operator BetFred. Of course, this is pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming and Control Board, who met to discuss in mid-January. Assuming approval, BetFred would then be able to operate as a sportsbook using the Wind Creek Casino’s license, allowing a retail sportsbook and online/mobile sportsbook.
Wind Creek Bethlehem Sportsbook ETA?
Wind Creek Casino is formerly “Sands” in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. From a casino to fine dining to a hotel, Wind Creek is one of the more well-known casinos in Pennsylvania. The casino is located just a few miles away from Lehigh Valley International Airport, and is close to attractions such as Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdown. In May, Wind Creek paid nearly $4M to acquire and take over the Bethlehem Casino (Sands), and attracts over nine million people each year.
The casino has table games, slots, poker room, live dealer stadium gaming, and more. There are plans to add more hotel rooms, event space and attractions. What it is missing is a sportsbook, retail and online presence. With an assumed license purchased and partner now in place, expect to hear about their sports betting plans very soon.
BetFred Sportsbook Pennsylvania
BetFred is a name you may not have heard before, but it is quite popular in the UK. With nearly a half-century of experience as a bookmaker, it is one of the leaders in sportsbook operating in the United Kingdom. BetFred was founded in 1967 by Fred Done after betting (and winning) on England to win the 1966 World Cup. There is over 1,600 betting locations in the UK under the BetFred name, and the company is looking to get into the legal sports betting industry in the US, with a partner in Las Vegas called SCCG Management.
In April 2019, BetFred’s managing director Mark Stebbings expressed their excitement to get into the US sports betting gold rush:
“The entire team is energized by the opportunity to bring the totality of our experience and technology to the diverse and innovative US sports wagering leaders who are responding to the tremendous opportunity these markets present”
When Can I Bet at Wind Creek?
While this is terrific news for both Wind Creek Casino and BetFred, multiple steps still need to occur before sports betting will be offered in Bethlehem. The casino still needs to apply for a sports betting license, which is not cheap in Pennsylvania. After approval and the license, the casino will need to launch a retail sportsbook, along with a PA online sports betting app. Expect Wind Creek to have poker and an online casino as well in their mobile offerings.
Assuming all goes well, Wind Creek will be the 13th operator in Pennsylvania, and the ninth online sportsbook.
Massive PA Online Sports Betting Competition
BetFred and Wind Creek will enter a PA sports betting market that thus far has been dominated by FanDuel Sportsbook. The December PA Sports Betting revenue report listed FanDuel with a state leading $154.5M handle. DraftKings Sportsbook (Meadows) is steadily climbing up the ranks with a $35.9M handle.
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