Pennsylvania online gambling is underway, as three betting apps hit the market in May (SugarHouse) and June (Parx and BetRivers). More are on the way, further bolstering the legal PA online casino industry. All told, at least eight PA casinos will feature online gambling sites.
However, others will launch soon after and there will likely be some out-of-state competitors in the business as well.
What can we expect from these operators?
Taking a look at each casino’s PA online gambling plan and the companies they’ve partnered with can tell us a lot. It may even reveal who the potential leaders will be when online gambling becomes a reality in the Keystone State.
Map of existing Pennsylvania casinos
Many of these casinos will be involved in the online casino market too. Let’s take a look at the properties with online gambling plans:
SugarHouse applied for and has now been granted a $10 million PA online casino license to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker.
However, players can already see what a SugarHouse PA online casino will ultimately look like. They just need to login to Rush Street Gaming subsidiary Rush Street Interactive’s real-money online casino in neighboring New Jersey. It operates under the SugarHouse brand.
PlaySugarHouse.com launched in NJ in September 2016. Since that time, it has developed a reputation for employing user-friendly proprietary software, uniquely structured bonuses, and a large game library. Additionally, SugarHouse launched online and mobile NJ sports betting on the site in August 2018. The casino introduced a Pennsylvania betting app in May, becoming the first to do so and closely resembling its New Jersey product.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course applied for and has now been granted a $10 million PA Interactive Gaming Certificate to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker.
Penn National has brought on IGT to provide a full suite of digital gaming products, including the platform, and services for the HollywoodCasino.com PA online casino site. The PA online casino will run under IGT’s PlayCommand digital gaming platform. Plus, it will feature a variety of games from IGT’s PlayCasino game library and deploy IGT’s PlayBingo and PlayPoker online gaming solutions.
Additionally, Penn National has inked a deal with NetEnt to give HollywoodCasino.com access to NetEnt’s proprietary online casino game library of over 200 games.
The first PA casino to apply for a $10 million online gambling license to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker was actually Parx Casino in Bensalem.
Parx has inked a deal with UK online gambling software designer GAN to launch PA online casino operations together.
The pair also launched the Parx online social casino together in March 2015. Parx and GAN have indicated the new Parx real-money PA online gambling site will be integrated into Parx’ on-property loyalty program.
Parx and GAN have employed sports betting tech from provider SBTech for its Parx PA sports betting platform. A byproduct of that: Parx introducing an online sportsbook in late June.
Harrah’s Philadelphia applied for and has received a $10 million PA Interactive Gaming Certificate to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker.
It is a Caesars Entertainment property. The company’s online division, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, already runs online poker site’s in Nevada and New Jersey. Plus, it also has various online casino sites in New Jersey that offer slots and table games. In fact, it already runs an NJ online casino site under the Harrah’s name in NJ.
HarrahsCasino.com employs 888’s Dragonfish online casino software platform. However, Caesars also employs the NYX Open Platform System on at least one NJ online casino site. It remains to be seen which it will use in PA.
However, online poker will run under the WSOP.com brand and employ the same 888 software Caesars uses in NJ and Nevada.
Valley Forge Casino and Resort
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved a Valley Forge Casino and Resort application to operate online slots, online table games, and online poker in PA.
Valley Forge has listed its strategic online gambling partners as:
- IGT – online gaming platform
- GAN – player account and risk management
- GeoComply – geolocation
- Aristotle – age and identity verification
- FanDuel – PA sports betting
Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Moreover, in May, Churchill Downs agreed to terms with sports betting and iGaming software supplier SBTech to roll out SBTech’s online gambling and sports betting software platform Chameleon360 across the US together.
As a result, the Chameleon360 platform appears headed to PA. The Chameleon360 iGaming software platform will give the Presque Isle Downs online casino access to more than 1,500 casino, live dealer, and virtual sports games. However, it will also include additional titles from third-party game content partners including Evolution Gaming, NetEnt, Microgaming, and Kiron.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
The PGCB has approved the Mohegan Sun Pocono application for online slots and online table games and allowed it to drop its plans to launch online poker as well.
Mohegan Sun has now revealed that its online gambling software partner is Unibet, a well known public company in Europe that has filed for similar online gambling licenses in New Jersey.
The Kindred Group is the owner of the Unibet brand and will operate the Unibet online casino.
Mount Airy Casino Resort
The PGCB has approved the Mount Airy Casino Resort PA online gambling plan.
The property has a deal with The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars, to launch PA online poker, PA online casino, and PA online sports betting sites together.
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
Owner Las Vegas Sands Corporation is in the middle of selling Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. The buyer is the Poarch Band of Creek Indians’ Wind Creek Hospitality. The price: $1.3 billion.
However, the transaction will not close until the spring of 2019.
In the meantime, Las Vegas Sands applied for PA online casino and online poker licenses on Wind Creek’s behalf. The PGCB approved the application in October 2018 despite no existing online gambling plan for the property.
Taking a pass for now
The PA casino properties not applying for online gambling licenses in PA are all owned and operated by casino companies getting into PA online gambling through another property. This list includes:
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin (Churchill Downs)
- The Meadows Racetrack and Casino ( Penn National Gaming)
- Rivers Casino (Rush Street Gaming)
On the outside almost in
Two major casino companies have applied for entry into the PA online gambling market. These are:
- Golden Nugget
- MGM Resorts
Both are awaiting PGCB approval
Additionally, owners of the under-construction Stadium Casino have applied for an online gambling license. However, they are apparently waiting for the casino to open before going online.