Philadelphia Trip - Now With Sports Betting!
Business travelers on the east coast have more options than ever to bet on sports. Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are all live with legal sports betting. I was recently in the Philadelphia area for business and checked out some of the options available.
If you love sports betting, but your travels take you out of the way of the hustle and bustle of Philadelphia to the nearby state of Delaware, no worries! Check out the spot where the first legal sports bet outside of Nevada was placed. I’m talking about the Casino at Delaware Park. I didn’t make it over there but how can you go wrong? They started it all! If you are betting on football, another option is to visit one of the many Delaware Sports Lottery vendors across the state. One final option is to check out The Book at Harrah’s Philadelphia which is a short 10-20 mile Lyft ride from wherever you are in northern Delaware.
With everything you could want in a sportsbook, several large TVs, a stocked bar, bar food, and comfy chairs, this place is worth the drive. You can also check out the Top Golf Swing Suite next door to the sportsbook if you need to work off some aggression.
Meeting in Philly?
From the First Continental Congress to whatever meeting they have you going to, Philly is a great place for business travel. On this particular trip I was staying a little farther from the convention center at the Marriott Old City. I was actually really impressed with this newly renovated property. Rooms looked great, the bar was hopping, and they had a HUGE TV tucked away in a library nook off to the side of the lobby. This TV area was a great place to catch a game and live bet using one of the online sportsbooks available in Pennsylvania.
I checked out the Parx Online Casino and Sportsbook, mainly because I wasn’t gonna make it out to their casino this trip. The app was easy to sign up through and it verified my location quickly. The added security option on this site was to verify security questions each time you log in. Not ideal when you have Face ID or other forms of two-factor identification, but whatever. Very solid app where I was easily able to make an interesting props parlay bet with boosted odds on the Lakers vs Nets game.
What are Boosted Odds?
They go by different names based on the book you are using, but basically this is when sportsbooks offer you better odds than what would be considered tight or fair to the house. This is done as a promotion to increase their user base or to increase the number of users interested in a particular game. Boosted odds will typically be the best odds you can get for that particular bet, and in turn provide the best payout if you win. Since these are promotional offerings, be sure to check the max bets allowed or other stipulations on these bets. They will likely be different from other bets available.
If online betting is not your thing, or you just want to hit up a Vegas style sportsbook for the evening, look no further than the BetRivers Sportsbook at Rivers Casino. It's super close to wherever you are staying in central city. This is a great spot to watch and bet on games. They have both tellers and several kiosks to make sure you get your bets in on time. If your late, live betting is also available.
The sportsbook area has a large bar and several comfortable seating options lined up stadium style in front of several huge TVs. The casino itself is new and offers several dining and betting options including slots, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps. You can also deposit money into your BetRivers Online Sportsbook account and take the action on the road.
Crossing the Delaware
George Washington made a good choice crossing the Delaware into New Jersey. You can too! Philly is great and all, but maybe you want a change of scenery or to bet using one of the various online sportsbooks out of Atlantic City instead of having to stick with the Pennsylvania ones. Maybe there is a bonus, special, or unique props bet that you can only get in Jersey. New Jersey online sportsbooks are just a quick ride away.
Where to Bet?
There are a lot of online sportsbook options in New Jersey, but just next door to downtown Philly, the sports bar options are a little thin. I did stumble upon a great spot to online bet, just across the Delaware river: The Victor Pub in Camden, NJ. This spot has you covered. Large bar, several TVs including 10 over the bar, and friendly (at least friendly by Jersey standards) staff.
I successfully bet via the Unibet, BetMGM, and Caesars apps, all while pounding several Yuengling lagers on draft. But the biggest surprise came at the end of the night when I found my tab was less than their 10-dollar card minimum. Apparently Yuengling was only two dollars a pint and they had comped a few on top of that! So, I added a shot of Jameson and was on my way.
Unibet, BETMGM, and Caesars – Among New Jersey’s Best
Now I am not saying that because they are BETMAPS Premium venues, although it helps. I am saying that because these are the only ones I had a chance to try in the few hours I was in Jersey. First up Caesars.
The Caesars app was easy to signup and log into. One nice thing about this app is you can set up your bets without actually being in Jersey. The location verification comes when it is time to place the bet amounts. So I was able to set everything up in Philly and then place the bets when I arrived in Jersey. I bet a 3-game parlay on some NCAA basketball and lost spectacularly.
One thing I noticed right off the bat with the BetMGM app was the many, many, many options for bonuses and specials. I was given a bonus initially when signing up, then several other bonuses popped up in my inbox after that. They have no shortage of boosted odds specials as well. Don’t miss out on their up to $500 risk free bet offer to kick things off right. I bet a parlay on NCAA basketball with my bonus money (lost), and also placed an interesting props bet for the Lakers to win by 1-5 points against the Nets (also lost).
I ended up spending a lot of time with Unibet, mainly because of their live prop bets. In particular, I was betting on whether the next field-goal in the Lakers vs Nets game would be a 2-pointer or a 3-pointer. It seems silly but it was a lot of fun placing a few of those bets, in between sips of beer, while enjoying the game. One thing to note with the Unibet app is it kept logging me out when my phone switched to the lock screen. So be sure to set up your face ID and or store your password so you can log back in quickly when needed.
Whiz on Over to South Street for Some Philly Classics
No trip is complete without sampling some local fare. This trip I hit up two of Philidelphia’s staples: Lorenzos and Sons Pizza and Jim's Steaks on South Street. First the pizza. Slices of 28-inch pie, comes plain only, add all the garlic powder and Kraft parmesan you want. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, a cheesesteak. Jim's Steaks is right down the street. Do yourself a favor and grab a cheesesteak with both whiz (Cheese Wiz) and American. Order it “’wit” or “witout” onions. And by the way, if you really wanna get crazy wit it, this spot will take your slice of Lorenzo’s and wrap it around your steak; also known as a “Philly Taco.”
So there ya have it. A solid way to spend a few days in Philly when there for work or play. Be sure to check out Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and grab a drink at the City Tavern where Washington himself used to enjoy a pint while plotting the revolution!
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