Penn National (Hollywood Casino) and Sports Betting Giant William Hill: Promo Code and Features
Hollywood Casino went live first in PA with their brick and mortar sportsbook. They have partnered with betting giant William Hill for this venue.
They are also expected to partner with this international betting giant for their online sportsbook. This will enable anyone inside Pennsylvania to bet online.
This Hollywood sportsbook review takes the existing William Hill powered sportsbooks in NJ and around the world to work out how the new PA book might look.
It includes information on apps, in-play betting and how to get your money on board.
You’ll need to wait until the go-live date for the Penn National online sportsbook and for the exact details of their welcome offer. In the meantime, the offer at William Hill sportsbooks in New Jersey gives us a great clue.
This is a $50 free cash boost when you sign up and bet your first $50. You can get this with Penn National Promo Code WH50.
|Online Sportsbook||Hollywood PA Sportsbook|
|No Deposit Bonus||TBD|
|Last Updated||November 2020|
The offer is open to everyone that can legally bet (over 21 years of age). After placing your first bet, the $50 will be added to your regular account within 7 days. There is no play-through requirement or tricky terms and conditions with this offer. It is restricted to one per person, and you have 60 days from registering to place your qualifying wagers.
Based on William Hill sportsbooks in NJ, there are a lot of promotions and special offers to look forward to. What I like about these is that they are not aimed at ‘whales’, even people betting a few dollars at a time can take advantage of deals which work through the week.
The promos below will give you an idea of what is in store. Keep in mind that these will likely change depending on what sport is in season / which major events are running.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to William Hill / Hollywood promotions. Compared to other online sportsbooks this is a long and lively list. Best of all, you don’t need to be wagering huge amounts to take advantage.
There is no comps scheme aimed at sports bettors in the PA Hollywood Sportsbook apps. With the international sites, there is a loyalty scheme. It will be interesting to see whether the PA site has loyalty rewards, promos or a mix of the two.
Few casinos have the rich history of Hollywood. This venue also has a lot of betting experience, coming from their huge racebook. Adding a sportsbook (currently on the 2nd level above the racebook) was a natural move – it came as no surprise to see this as the first live sportsbook to open in PA.
For me it is the choice of partner for the online sportsbook which makes Penn National the place to head. William Hill are not only active in the regulated states, they have decades of experience around the world. If you are looking for a platform which is fast and reliable, while offering a huge depth of betting opportunities, then this is the right platform to choose.
Finally, the promos are simple, regular and aimed at casual sports bettors – not just the high rollers like you’ll find elsewhere!
There are some differences in the design of Penn National / Hollywood online sportsbooks compared to those from other providers. You will immediately notice that the interface looks clean. There are far fewer links and options from the main betting screen compared to other sites. Where there are options (for example odds format / help and feedback on the right), these are via drop-down menus.
Across the top of the middle section is a scrolling area. This highlights the significant matches or futures bets – it changes based on the sport you select.
As with most books, the 3-column layout is used. On the left are the sports. At the top is ‘in-play’ (live betting) with the in-season leagues with matches appearing in the top section below this. Popular sports are next (the in-season major leagues). After that you will find an a-z for sports. This has only 10 options. As you click them, you will see sub-options based on leagues, countries or futures markets.
The middle section is wider than the two side columns. This shows the highlights (most popular markets) for the sport you choose from the left. Tabs break the screens into leagues or categories depending on which sport you choose. Instead of ‘more wagers’, you can click on the match title to go to an individual screen showing different betting options for each game.
Choosing a line, either at the main screen or individual match view level will add this to your betting slip. You can continue to add lines, accessing your slot on the right-hand side later to remove or sort your selections.
You’ll also find some important links in the footer of the Penn National website. This includes the house rules, responsible gaming information and access to the help section.
Compared to some US online sportsbook apps, William Hill focus on the major sports. While you can find sports that most people would never even consider betting on with some books – at Penn National I expect to see a focus on the major leagues and college leagues only in the most popular sports.
Note that horse race betting will not be available via this app. You’ll need to find a specialist horse racing site / app for this.
Each sport has a daily list (when in season), in-play (live) and futures betting. Here is where the main groups of betting lines can be found:
You can also bet on Tennis, Rugby and Cricket. The last 2 are found via the ‘other’ tab.
Live betting and in-play betting are the same thing, with Hollywood Sportsbook, choosing in-play for this activity. When a match is live, you can bet as the action unfolds. You will often need to be fast, as those lines can and do change at a moment’s notice.
Live betting has become an established way to add to the excitement of watching a match internationally. Many of the PA online sportsbooks will offer this, with some also expected to offer cash out (or early redemption) betting alongside.
These days websites for major sportsbooks will automatically respond to both your screen size and to whether you use a mouse or a touch screen. Some people still prefer to download sportsbook apps, which are quicker to load on smartphones.
Google does not allow gambling apps in their ‘Play’ app store – even fully legal state licensed ones. This means you’ll need to go direct, downloading the Android app from the Penn National / Hollywood Casino website. This is safe and secure. You will need to approve the download, as anything from outside the Play Store gives an ‘unknown source’ warning message.
If you are using an iPhone, downloading the app is very easy. Simply head over to the app store.
With betting on pro sports newly legal, many people will not have experienced the full range of bets that will be available when the online sportsbooks go live.
There are multiple ways to bet on individual matches, groups of games and futures. Add to this a similar range for the in-play betting, and you have even more options.
Single Match Bets: Your main 3 choices are the Moneyline, Spread and Totals bets. Moneyline bets are shown in terms of the outcome of $100 wagered (though you can bet any amount). Spread bets add a figure (usually fractional) to the underdog, attempting to balance the results. For totals you are betting on the combined scores for both teams. There are often player probs and specials for single matches which depend on the sport.
Multiple Match Bets: Parlays are the most common form of multiple bet. Here you simply make 2 or more selections, with the payout for each match rolling over to bet on the others. This makes it possible to win a large amount from a small bet. It also increases your risk. Teasers are a form of parlayinvolving variable spreads.
Futures / Specials: Futures bets can be on the winner of a league, division or cup. They can also be on players or specialist bets for individual sports. Futures bets keep you involved in the action for a long time. On the other hand, they will lock up your stake money – often for an entire season.
Safety and security is a huge reason to choose a regulated / licensed Pennsylvania sportsbook over anything in the grey market. Another great reason to choose one of these legitimate books is that you can get your money on board and winnings out easily. There are a number of payment options to help you do this. Keep in mind that you’ll need proof of Id and payment method when you deposit.
Here are the expected options:
Once the Penn National online sportsbook goes live, I will be able to verify the payment options available.
William Hill sportsbooks have a detailed ‘help’ section which includes some unique pages. One that caught my eye is the ‘First Time User Journey’. This takes things from the very beginning, explaining how things work and how to deposit. There is also a ‘How to Bet’ guide, geo-location FAQ and detailed rules for betting on the different types of sports.
If you’d still prefer to chat with an agent, then you’ll find help available 24 / 7. The usual 3 options are in place with live chat, e-mail and telephone contact all available.
Responsible Gaming helps protect people with gambling problems, and also helps to ensure that minors (under 21) can’t bet.
While every PA online sportsbook needs to have a policy and tools, William Hill have already set a high standard with other partners which I fully expect Penn National to follow.
Prevention is a big part of responsible gambling. A list of questions which can highlight issues before they become dangerous is included at William Hill. These are backed up by links (websites and phone numbers) for help organizations.
In addition to advice, there will be practical tools available. These include the ability to set deposit limits, to schedule time-outs from the site, and if needed to permanently self-exclude.
You’ll find the live sportsbook at the Hollywood casino at Penn National on the 2nd floor – next to the old simulcast theatre. This went live on the 17thNovember 2018, following a live money test and approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board.
Hours of operation are 11am to midnight during the week, and 10am to midnight at weekends. You’ll find a big bank of screens, showing the different live sports and previews depending on the season. According to early users, the setup closely mimics a Las Vegas sportsbook.
If you are unclear on how this live sportsbook works, and want to place a bet, the Hollywood casino website has a ‘Sports Betting 101’ section. This explains the options for everything from major leagues through auto racing and soccer.
Separately from the main sportsbook, you can also bet on horse races. These can be live events (which run 52 weeks a year) or via simulcast. There are plenty of bars and restaurants at this venue to enjoy while you wait for the outcome of your bets.
Located in Grantville, PA, the Penn National racetrack has a long history. This was first opened in 1972. There are thoroughbred horse races which take place on two tracks. One is dirt and the other turf. Unlike many other thoroughbred racetracks, events take place at Penn National 52 weeks per year.
These events include some big-name races, which include a long list of stakes races. The highlights are the Pennsylvania Governors Cup (which has a $200k prize pool) and the Penn Mile.
The casino linked to this racetrack came online with slots only in the first wave of legal PA casinos in 2008. In 2010, the casino was completed with the addition of table games. This is now one of the larger outfits in PA. There are almost 2500 slot machines and 54 table games to choose from – as well as the sportsbook and racebook. An events center and numerous restaurant options have since turned the Hollywood casino into a resort.
Few bookmakers have the long history of William Hill. This company was first formed in 1934. In the pre-internet era, they became famous for their chain of ‘high street bookmakers’. These were shops in UK high streets, where people could bet on horses and sports.
Ownership of William Hill has been a complex story, with multiple banks and investment funds having a stake at different times. In 2002, William Hill listed on the London Stock Exchange.
While best known for their huge UK operation, William Hill has been active in many international jurisdictions. These include the US, where the company have taken over the operations of several Nevada live sportsbooks. They are also active in Australia, India and of course online.
With the growth of state-licensed sportsbooks, William Hill are now in a prime position to partner with local casinos. Their depth of online experience, and ability to run brick and mortar sportsbooks give them an edge over many competitors. The new Hollywood Casino / Penn National online sportsbook will be a great opportunity for William Hill to showcase their abilities.