Betway has obtained its license to begin offering sports wagering in Pennsylvania as part of a broad plan to increase its U.S. footprint, but it is unclear just when and how it will begin operating in the state.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Wednesday approved licenses for both sports wagering and iCasino gaming that were sought by Betway’s parent firm, Digital Gaming Corp. USA. Neither gambling platform can be offered to the public, however, unless and until Betway reaches a partnership agreement with one or more of Pennsylvania’s licensed casino operators. None has been announced as yet.
Betway, a brand whose roots in Europe go back to 2006, recently entered the Colorado market as the start of a strategy to build its U.S. presence widely. On its website, the company says it is “coming soon” to not just Pennsylvania but New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa.
The company notes it is already operating in 23 jurisdictions and states in a website post: “The high regard in which DGC Betway is viewed within the US gaming industry is demonstrated by the fact that DGC has secured market access agreements for 10 US states for online sports betting, and where allowed by law, iGaming.”
Pennsylvania currently has 12 online sportsbooks and 16 iCasino sites, so gaining a strong foothold against better-known national competitors already operating could be challenging for Betway. Penn Bets reached out to the company Wednesday morning for comment on its Pennsylvania plans, but it did not immediately respond.
DGI and Betway recently became part of a holding company, Super Group, that itself has agreed to a $5.1 billion acquisition by Sports Entertainment Acquisition Group. Betway has marketing partnerships with various professional sports franchises, regardless of the fact that it’s not yet operating in most of their jurisdictions. Its name has been prominent in a rink-side ad during the recent NHL playoff games hosted by the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena, though some viewers might have wondered just what Betway referred to.
One fantasy operator fined, another approved
In another matter Wednesday, the gaming board issued a fine for the first time against a daily fantasy sports operator.
The $7,500 fine imposed under a consent agreement with Fantasy Sports Games LLC was due to the company taking entries from Pennsylvania customers before it was licensed to do so. The violation took place between May 2018 and February 2019, and a company representative explained during the board’s meeting that Fantasy Sports Games was a small, seven-person firm that had difficulty keeping up with new regulations around the country.
At the meeting, the board approved a new DFS operating license, meanwhile, for Underdog Fantasy. It will enter a Pennsylvania market dominated by industry giants DraftKings and FanDuel, which combined to represent more than 99% of the $2.1 million in revenue reported to the gaming board by fantasy operators in April.
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