Brent Celek places the first bet at the opening of the FanDuel Sports Book at the site of the Valley Forge Casino.
Brent Celek places the first bet at the opening of the FanDuel Sports Book at the site of the Valley Forge Casino.|Mike Kern
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Kern checks out new FanDuel Sports Book at Valley Forge Casino

While he’s there, he chats with Brent Celek about the Phillies, Eagles and March Madness

Mike Kern

Mike Kern

And then, there was one more.

In the last several months, sports books have taken their turns opening up in the Philadelphia area. On the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River. Finally. Now you can add another to that growing list.

On Wednesday at noon, the FanDuel Sports Book at the Valley Forge Casino in King of Prussia, officially opened and former Eagle tight end Brent Celek was given the honor of making the first bet.

With much fanfare he took the over of 33.5 that’s been set for new Phillie Bryce Harper’s home runs for the upcoming season. He wagered $20. If he wins he’ll get back $36.75. Which won’t change his world. But it will give him something to root for. And in most cases, that’s pretty much the point.

So when does he think he’ll be cashing his ticket.

“Sometime in June,” Celek projected, confidently. “I’m not worried about the odds. Bryce is going to get it. It’s the safest investment I can think of.”

Celek said this was the first time he’s done something like this. But he also said he once went to Las Vegas and had a good time. So maybe he went for those two-for-a-buck tacos at Jack In The Box. Doesn’t everybody?

The traditional ribbon cutting marked the opening of the Fanduel Sports Book at the  Valley Forge Casino.
The traditional ribbon cutting marked the opening of the Fanduel Sports Book at the Valley Forge Casino.
Mike Kern / Bettors Insider

On Thursday, the Valley Forge Race and Sportsbook in nearby Oaks (just up Route 422 at the site of the Valley Forge Turf Club) will open to the general public. With the NCAA Tournament soon to be upon us, the timing is, well, spot on.

“I’ll probably be right back in line for that,” said Celek, who now works with a Media-based real estate company. “I’ll bet Duke. I like my Bearcats (his alma mater is Cincinnati). But how are you going to stop Duke?”

It’s a question that only Zion Williamson’s knee can accurately answer.

Yet that’s why it’s called gambling, right?

Celek said he really didn’t pay attention to stuff like point spreads when he was playing. Unless of course the Eagles were the underdogs. Then they tried to use it to their advantage. And they have the Super Bowl rings to show for it.

“But I can see where it can make it better from (a fan’s) standpoint,” he acknowledged. “It’s fun. It can make (watching) the game more exciting. So that part of it is cool.”

Speaking of which, he thinks the return of wideout DeSean Jackson can only help the Birds.

“I’m really happy for him,” Celek noted. “I think he’s wanted to come back for a long time. He’s hungry. He can stretch this offense by going deep. They needed that.”

He has two young children. So he mostly stays at home and watches sports on television these days. And with March Madness, there will soon be no shortage of games to watch.

After that, he can start checking out the Phillies. Again, not that he’s concerned.

“I hope I win,” he smiled.

Yo, it might be a better bet than Duke. Although June might be pushing it a bit. Thing is, it pays off the same if he doesn’t do it until late September. Funny how that works.

So what’s the early line on those Dookies anyhow? He can always turn it into a parlay. As Gordon Gecko once exclaimed, greed can be good.

So is having something to keep you interested. Whether you’re Brent Celek or Bob from Manayunk.

Or is that Marlton?

The hours of operation are flexible. The management is hopeful that kiosks will be available soon to make the process of wagering and cashing even more user-friendly.

And the folks who live in the city’s western suburbs will no doubt appreciate the convenience of not having to drive as far to back their hunches.

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