When I covered the World Series of Poker live at the Rio in Las Vegas nearly a decade and a half ago, one of my favorite things to do when I took a break from the action was to pick up some food at the casino’s Chinese restaurant, then walk a few steps and sit down to eat my dinner at the sportsbook. I didn’t sit right in the midst of everything – I left those seats for the gamblers – but it was fun to enjoy my dumplings while catching up with the umpteen games that were being shown on the giant screens. This was back before streaming was really a thing, so it was one of the only ways I could catch an inning of my Milwaukee Brewers at the time. These memories make me happy for Philadelphia sports fans and sports bettors, as the Parx Casino held the grand opening of its slick new retail sportsbook on Thursday and by the looks of it, it is something else.
The new Parx Casino sportsbook is 7,400 square feet, which is somewhere around three times the square footage of my house. 36 games can be shown simultaneously on the 156-foot high definition “media wall.” Don’t sit too close or you’ll go blind. There are 196 seats, a 38 by 14-foot bar that can fit nearly 40 people, and three VIP areas. The entire space can hold more than 400 people.
As for the actual betting, there are six live tellers and 18 self-serve kiosks. The live tellers should be open anywhere from 10 to 16 hours per day, depending on how busy the sports world is. The sportsbook itself will be open 24/7.
Parx Casino’s Senior Vice President of Interactive Gaming & Sports Matthew Cullen was the main cheerleader last Thursday for the grand opening, saying in a press release:
Parx aims to set the industry standard in this new and fast-growing arena. The timing couldn’t be better as we head into football season. We felt our local Eagles fans deserved to have the ultimate game day destination to cheer on the Birds. Game day will soar to new heights as we present the absolute best gaming and entertainment experience of its kind. We have worked for nearly two years to expand our portfolio of offerings to give patrons the best of all types of legalized gaming. After the recent launch of online sports betting and our real money online casino, the grand opening of Parx Casino Sportsbook completes this mission.
Parx Casino launched its previous brick-and-mortar sportsbook on January 10, the fourth sportsbook to open in Pennsylvania. According to the latest financial figures put out by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Parx churned $39.15 million in handle through June, producing $4.44 million in revenue. Parx also has a nascent online sportsbook, which launched on June 27. Casino management has said that it will be focusing on building its online customer base, especially as the football season approaches later this month.