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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s a new day in Philadelphia for sports fans. Sports betting is getting underway.
Sports betting got underway Thursday at SugarHouse Casino as it launched the start of a two-day testing period, before formally launching the soon-to-be first and only sports book in the city.
Philadelphia native and Wall Street broker George Fill was the first person to place a bet.
“It’s interesting, pretty cool,” Fill said. “I can’t complain. It’s interesting, kind of historic for Philadelphia. Historic for Pennsylvania.”
SugarHouse is the second casino to open its sports book in the state. A casino in Hershey was the first last month. Pennsylvania is now one of seven states where sports betting is allowed.
The United States Supreme Court cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting back in May.
Van Mitchie was also one of the first to place his bet in Philly.
“Well, you gotta get the kinks out but it looks like it’s gonna be OK and it will probably expand but right now, it’s nice to be able to do it at home,” Mitchie said.
Pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, regular operations will begin on Saturday. It’s a move that the casino’s general manager has been looking forward to for months.
“They’ve been waiting. It’s a special city for fans. It’s a special city for sports. I’m just excited to be a part of this process and a part of this launch,” SugarHouse GM Cheryl Duhon said.
Northeast Philadelphia native Bernard Curran was eating lunch at the casino when he heard the news.
“It’s kind of exciting and being a first-time sports better, I’m hoping for a win,” Curran said.
“Five-dollar bet,” he said. “I’ll just put five down on Kansas City tonight, see what happens.”
“Las Vegas has been making a lot of money off this for a long time and to bring it back home and a lot of people don’t have to fly away and bet on their Eagles and Flyers and Sixers, it’s a good feeling,” Fill said.