Summary: The Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania is taking their time opening their sports book.
While many operators have worked frantically to offer sports betting now that it is available in the US, the Presque Isle Downs & Casino does not appear to be in a hurry. The casino operator has plans to launch sports betting services but are taking their time in getting started. The sportsbook of the property will not be ready until June 1st.
The casino located in Erie, Pennsylvania is set to launch on June 1st, according to the general manager and vice president Kevin O’Sullivan, the sportsbook is being created right now. The venue will have 50 kiosks for wagering and employees have been working nonstop in order to have the book ready for operations.
The initial timeline for the property to open was much earlier than the June 1st date that the Presque Isle has now. The casino seems to be taking their time in creating their new gaming option so they can ensure success.
The delay in opening can be attributed somewhat to the new owner of the venue. In 2018, Churchill Downs Inc. started the process of acquiring the venue. The deal was not finalized until this past January, which was about a year since the acquisition was announced. During that time, the Presque Isle venue and Churchill Downs worked to transition owners as seamlessly as possible.
Last year in March, Churchill Downs Inc. decided to partner with SBTech. By the end of the year, Presque Isle had applied for a sports betting license. Once the deal was concluded, Churchill Downs Inc. could then prepare for sports betting services.
The group presented their sports betting plans to the Gaming Control Board, deciding to use the BetAmerica brand with SBTech at the helm. The company already offers the same app for horse racing in many states and could easily use the brand for sports betting.
Based on the presentation given to the Gaming Control Board, the new sportsbook at the Presque Ise will be 1,275 square feet in size and be located in the existing casino. The sportsbook will be located next to the simulcast area and the poker room.
Along with the self-service kiosks, the space will include 50 HD TVs for viewing sporting events. The screens will showcase the events and have odds boards nearby so players can check out pre-match odds as well as live wagering options.
Phase 1 of the plan will include the land-based launch. Next up is Phase II where the casino will begin offering online sports betting services via an application. Once the app launches, players will have access to Presque Isle sports wagering online.
It will be interesting to see what the casino finally does offer once their sportsbook is operational. The option will certainly help to add to the overall revenues of the venue. We could see the brand climb up the overall earnings scale in Pennsylvania once the sportsbook is fully operational. We will continue to monitor the changes to the casino and report once the sportsbook is up and running.