July 23, 2019 3 min read


PA’s Churchill Downs Online Betting Tests on July 24

  • Churchill Downs prepares for official launch
  • SBTech powers the casino’s BetAmerica sportsbook
  • Pennsylvania’s online market begins to take form

Churchill Downs launches sportsbooks tests on July 24 and July 25 ahead of an sports betting roll-out. The sportsbook is powered by SBTech and branded as BetAmerica.

Churchill Downs Sportsbook Begins Soft Testing

Churchill Downs’ Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Pennsylvania has become the latest property to announce a public soft test for its BetAmerica sportsbook, which will be part of the newly-legalized online gaming and betting industry. The full product is expected to launch by the end of this week.

BetAmerica is developed by SBTech, a respected sports betting software developer and supplier and the first tests are planned for 4 PM through 12 AM local time on July 24. A follow-up test will be conducted between 2 PM and 12 AM local time on July 25 as well.

The product will come with a generous number of wagering kiosks directly at the casino floor. Multiple betting terminals will cover the entire area of the venue to ensure that sports fans don’t need to concentrate in a single location and create congestion.

Should the tests go according to plan, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is going to allow Presque Isle Downs and BetAmerica to make a formal launch on Friday, July 26. An official inaugural event will only be held on August 8 with the company launching a number of pre-2019 NFL betting events.

The Online Segment to Boost Gambling in Pennsylvania

Gambling in Pennsylvania is about to take on new dimensions with the online expansion which is already happening under the aegis of the PGCB. Recently, the state reported that it had collected $3.2 billion through gambling for the financial year ending on June 30, 2019, marking a steady growth.

Sports betting generated a fairly mild part of this, adding only 21.7 million over the period, but that was generated almost entirely through land-based betting. As of July, Pennsylvania’s sports betting operators will be expanding rapidly into the online space, offering betting fans more comfortable ways to place a digital wager.

Presque Downs will have to catch up to SugarHouse Casino, which remains the leader when it comes to gambling and betting revenue. Meanwhile, Parx Casino in suburban Philadelphia and Penn National’s Hollywood Casino, close to Hershey, were the first properties to launch their online offer on July 18.

More are now following with the Keystone State proving a particularly good market for online gambling. The only segment that has struggled was casino poker, which shrunk by 3.8% in June, but hopes are this trend would be reversed by linking Pennsylvania’s player base with those of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.


Simon is a freelance writer who specializes in gambling news and has been an author in the poker/casino scene for 10+ years. He brings valuable knowledge to the team and a different perspective, especially as a casual casino player.

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