Pennsylvania Lottery Launches Simulated Sports Betting Despite Casino Concerns

Summary: The Lottery of Pennsylvania has started offering simulated sports games, even though the land-based casinos of the state are not happy with the gaming option.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Lottery decided to roll out the newest addition to their line-up by providing players with simulated sports games. Such games will most likely appeal to racing and football fans which has land-based casinos of the state concerned.

New Games On Offer

The lottery launched the Xpress Football and Xpress Car Racing games this week, offering realistic animations of sporting events that can be wagered on. Players are to choose the outcome they feel will take place, with the end of the race determined at random by a computer drawing every five minutes.

Every lottery retailer will be offering these games for sale, giving patrons the ability to purchase and check the games on-site. A big-screen in over 1,500 locations will provide the drawing results of the races and more venues should be offering the screens for viewing in the future.

To play the new games, players will need to choose a selection or selections on a play slip. Wagers can be placed on football games that will depict the outcome of a drive or the first, second or third place finishers of a car race. The slip is turned in to the retailer or place in a vending machine. Then the race or game is watched to see if the right outcome was chosen.

With the new football games, players can win for choosing the correct outcome in one of 16 options. For just $1, players can earn a prize up to $250. With the racing games, players can win for choosing the right car number finishes with $250 given to the player who choose the top three correctly.

The new games are expected to generate as much as $55 million during the 2018-19 fiscal year. The games are the third expansion for the lottery this year, with the first being keno games then the online lottery.

Casino Opposition

The online lottery in Pennsylvania now offers a total number of 18 games. The land-based casinos of the state are not happy with the recent additions to the lottery, including the sports games. The Pennsylvania Casino Gaming Coalition is created of land-based operators in the state who are opposed to the changes. The group sees the new Xpress Sports games as an infringement on their turf based on the expansion law passed last year that gave the land-based venues exclusivity.

David La Torre is a spokesman for the coalition who stated that the new sports games combine elements of online casino games, sports betting and slots. These areas are restricted with legislation to the casino operators only. The group has plans to continue to oppose the lottery and what they are calling ‘illegal attempts to cannibalize the state’s casino industry’.

The coalition of casinos have already started considering taking legal against the administration of Governor Tom Wolf due to their objections of the online games. The casinos feel that the online offerings are too similar to the online casino games the land-based venues will be offering in the future, something that the lottery is banned from offering based on state law.

It will be interesting to see if the coalition moves forward with any legal challenge against the lottery or the governor based on their feelings towards the new games. The group seems to feel they have legal standing and will be able to fight the changes in some manner.