Pennsylvania is a state that has shown a progressive mindset when it comes to adopting online sports betting. Already in 2004, years before the New Jersey case about sports betting, Pennsylvania passed the so-called Act 71.
Act 71 regulated and legalized horse racing and casino gambling. Along with opening the way for race tracks and casinos, Pennsylvania created several control bodies. Those would form the foundation for control and also open the way to sports betting. First of all, they established the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The board is in charge of licenses and control on the premises. Contrary to what you might expect, the main objective of the act was not gambling. It was about regulating a matter in the best interest of the public. Because gambling was already happening on such a large scale, it simply seemed smarter to create regulation. Aside from protecting the people, the act anticipated tax relief and developing economic opportunities in the area. It’s not sure if they established the board also in anticipation of the legalization of sports betting.
Experts have been speculating for years that sports betting would soon be legalized in the United States. But of course, nothing is for sure. Many people believe it was only a matter of time, especially because Europe has such a longstanding history with sports betting. Sooner or later these cultures will collide, which has shown to be the case with many things, for example, cannabis legalization. Governments seem to develop a bigger consciousness about progressive regulation.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National
The first casino that introduced sports betting in Pennsylvania is the Hollywood Casino at Penn National located in Grantville. After introducing a 2-day trial to catch any possible flaws, sports betting became accessible to the public on November 2018. This made the Hollywood casino the very first one!