Why Did The Chickie’s Cross The County? To Open An OTB

A shuttered off-track betting and sports activities betting location in suburban Philadelphia for Parx On line casino and Racing within the Oaks part of Montgomery County is shifting a bit west to Chester County after approval this week by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Fee.

The pending transfer, late this 12 months, means a change from a stand-alone betting facility to a smaller operation housed inside a deliberate Chickie’s & Pete’s sports activities bar and restaurant within the Grove Procuring Heart, 10-20 Liberty Boulevard, in East Whiteland Township, close to Malvern.

The location wants liquor approval and will open by the tip of the 12 months, in accordance with Parx lawyer Mark Stewart.

The corporate initiatives 30,000 guests yearly to the betting operation, stated Stewart, and no less than 14 new workers.

Joe Wilson, the COO of Parx, testified: “We’d wish to open a number of of those.”

“That is what we see as the longer term,” he added. “No one desires to stroll into an empty bar. It’s the identical method with an OTB.”

What ever got here of the contraband raid at Parx?

In the meantime, what didn’t occur on Tuesday on the month-to-month race fee assembly was maybe extra notable.

Greater than a month after a late Might raid and investigation, which led to the suspension of notable Parx coach Richard Vega, there are nonetheless no deep particulars within the public file regarding what was confiscated and labeled “contraband.” There additionally was no announcement of what, if something, was present in blood samples for out-of-competition horses examined.

To this point, the one public remark within the two months because the daybreak raid on barns at Parx was an 80-second abstract of the motion by fee worker Tom Chuckas, the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Bureau director, throughout the earlier month’s assembly.

Not a single query has been requested or answered in public by fee members. That features Sal DeBunda, who had prior to now used Vega as a coach for his thoroughbreds.

And PA State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding, the chairman of the racing fee, has stated nothing past gravely nodding his head when the 80-second account of the investigation was delivered two months again.

Veterinarians who’re typically essential of the fee, Kathryn Papp and Bryan Langlois, each famous after the assembly the fee’s side-stepping silence.

So, again to OTB…

Mannequin for the way forward for OTB operations contains sports activities bars

If profitable, that first sports activities bar/OTB tie-up ought to grow to be a mannequin for the way forward for the faltering OTB enterprise. Parx has stated so since first making use of for racing fee approval this January.

Wilson repeated representations made within the petition. A portion reads:

“The partnership and the OTB relocations will reinvigorate … off-track betting operations, carry a brand new set of consumers to the pari-mutuel wagering business and enhance pari-mutuel wagering revenues. Such partnerships, with the built-in potential new buyer base and advertising synergies they provide, symbolize a viable mannequin for the way forward for off-track amenities.

“Absent the flexibility to co-locate amenities and benefit from such relationships, the OTB idea will face important challenges and continued closures, because the previous mannequin just isn’t sustainable given present patron developments and present amenities which are too giant for the market.”

Approval for sports activities wagering primarily piggybacks with the okay for OTB operations. A Pennsylvania Gaming Management Board approval of a petition is an administrative formality.

After all, anybody over the age of 21 with a mobile phone can already gamble on sports activities and racing whereas visiting Chickie’s & Pete’s, or for that matter, even from the pew of a church, as a Parx consultant has beforehand acknowledged.

Nevertheless, as soon as the Parx betting operation runs contained in the sports activities bar, the placement function often called geofencing will account for all horse and sports activities wagers made inside the restaurant as income generated by the Parx operation, stated Wilson.

General, PA OTB places dropped from 23 to simply two

PlayPennsylvania first reported the Oaks location had closed completely final July, just some months into the COVID-19 pandemic.

At one time, PA boasted 23 working OTBs.

Now there are simply two, one owned by Parx in South Philadelphia and one by the Mohegan Solar Pocono in Lehigh Valley, which gives a sportsbook and OTB at its Allentown location.

Parx had six OTBs however only one now, and it’s struggling

Whereas Parx has six OTB licenses, just one location in South Philadelphia is presently in operation.

And it’s hurting, and much more so since Stay! On line casino Philadelphia opened late final 12 months.

Parx’ South Philadelphia Race & Sportsbook, higher often called the Turf Membership, hoped for the same co-location to a close-by Chickie’s & Pete’s, although a latest zoning denial makes that uncertain.

However an attraction by Parx is feasible.

The formal written denial was despatched out Friday, July 2 to Chickie’s & Pete’s proprietor, Pete Ciarrocchi. With that doc in hand, Parx can proceed with an attraction if it so chooses. A lawyer representing Parx has not returned a request for remark.

One other relocation plan additionally hung up by zoning

Zoning has additionally hung up a plan by Parx to relocate a long-shuttered location on 69th Road in Higher Darby to an present Chickie’s & Pete’s within the Pilgrim Gardens Procuring Heart at 5035 Township Line Street within the Drexel Hill part of Higher Darby.

A township zoning official has discovered that the placement doesn’t adjust to necessities for an OTB location. An attraction listening to might occur in September. The zoning official has not commented.

Parx already has a Chickie’s & Pete’s inside its on line casino in Bensalem, Bucks County. There may be additionally an OTB inside a location in South Jersey, however it’s strictly for observe wagering, not sports activities. And Parx plans a Chickie’s & Pete’s with each sports activities and OTB at its deliberate mini-casino in Shippensburg.

The final PA observe to start its meet, Presque Isle Downs in Erie, begins racing on July 5.

The horse racing fee’s subsequent assembly is July 27.

Surprise what the percentages are for extra transparency on the Parx raid and the out-of-competition testing by then?

The publish Why Did The Chickie’s Cross The County? To Open An OTB appeared first on Play Pennsylvania.

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