A Summary Of Pennsylvania’s Casinos And Their Online Gaming Partnerships

A Summary Of Pennsylvania’s Casinos And Their Online Gaming Partnerships

The current landscape of online gaming/poker in Pennsylvania

Recent legal action has paved the way for online gaming in the state of Pennsylvania. In October of 2017, the Pennsylvania legislature passed laws legalizing online versions of poker and Vegas-style gaming. Further, in May of 2018, The US Supreme Court cleared away the federal obstacles to state licensure of online gaming.

Legal sportsbooks (both retail and online) have begun operating in the state. The first sportsbooks opened up late in 2018 and the first online versions went live in the spring of 2019.

Online gaming is underway as well, despite the daunting tax rates and license fees associated with the privilege. the first online gaming platforms went live in July 2019 and more are on the way.

Who are the players?

Pennsylvania’s thirteen available online gaming licenses were earmarked for the state’s existing land-based casinos, should they want them. The price tag is $10 million, which buys them the privilege of offering to Pennsylvanians:

  • Online table games
  • Online slots
  • Peer-to-peer gaming (most notably online poker)

Additionally, each of these licenses could be purchased “a la carte” for $4 million each.

Currently, ten of the thirteen casinos have applied to offer online gaming and all of them have been approved. Some have even begun operations.

Standing on the sidelines (so far) are:

Two outside entities have also entered the picture. MGM and Golden Nugget have applied under the Qualified Gaming Entity (QGE) provision and are seeking online gaming licenses. In January 2019, both were approved as QGEs and are expected to apply for online gaming licenses in February. MGM is expected to apply for all three licenses while Golden Nugget will probably just opt for slots and table games.

Who are the partners of the players?

Most of these casinos can’t operate in an online world by themselves. They’re going to need some tech partners to make the magic happen. Here’s a few of the most likely players:

  • 888 Poker – An international online poker cardroom based out of Gibraltar. They have relationships with Harrah’s (in New Jersey and Nevada). 888 Poker is the platform that WSOP.com runs on.
  • Scientific Games (NYX) – A Las Vegas based provider of online lottery and gambling services. They have a relationship with Mohegan Sun (through Resorts AC) for New Jersey online gaming. They also run Mohegan Sun Pocano’s and Lady Luck’s social casino. It is also rumored that they will be the eventual partner of Meadows (for both online gaming and online poker). They also have a relationship with Hollywood Penn National.
  • Rush Street Gaming – These casino operators have their own online gaming division (Rush Street Interactive) and will probably use that platform for their Rivers and Sugarhouse properties.
  • GAN – A big international provider of online casino gaming, they signed a deal with Parx Casino to run their future online operation and are currently running Parx’s online social casino. Also a leading contender to get a deal to run Valley Forge and Stadium Casino’s online gaming.
  • PokerStars/BetStars – The online poker industry leader has expressed determined interest in breaking into the PA online poker market and has a solid relationship with Mohegan Sun partner Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Their relationship with Resorts has led to their being chosen to run the online poker and casino gaming for Mount Airy Casino.
  • Party Poker – Apparently has (or had) a deal with Valley Forge to operate their online business, but details are sketchy.
  • SBTech – A player in the international online sports betting market and possibly the top pick of Lady Luck Casino and Presque Isle to run their online casinos.
  • BetFair – A well-known international casino gaming and sportsbook operator based in the UK.
  • IGT – A very well known gaming technology company. They have recently partnered with Penn National and Valley Forge to run online gaming operations. They also have a relationship with FanDuel and could be involved with providing online sports betting.
  • NetEnt – A Swedish digital gaming company who has partnered with Rush Street (owners of SugarHouse and Rivers Casinos) and Penn National Gaming (owners of Hollywood Casino) to offer online gambling games.
  • Kindred – Kindred Group (previously Unibet Group) is a well known European gaming company specializing in online gaming. Partnered with Mohegan Sun Pocono.
  • GeoComply – A well known geolocation verification company.
  • Aristotle – A well known player age and identity verification company.

 

Summary

Ok, that’s a lot of information. Here’s a table that summarizes what we know so far and what holes we still have to fill:

CasinoApplied for online license?Launched an online casino?Anticipated online casino technical partnerExpected to enter online poker market?Anticipated online poker technical partner
Sands BethlehemYesNot yetUnknownNoUnknown
Mount AiryYesNot yetBetStarsYesPokerstars
Parx
YesYes (Jul 2019)GANUnknownUnknown
Valley Forge
YesNot yetBetFairYesParty Poker
Hollywood Penn NationalYesYes (Jul 2019)IGT, NetEnt
UnknownUnknown
Sugarhouse
(PlaySugarHouse)
YesYes (Jul 2019)Rush Street Interactive (NetEnt)
UnknownUnknown
RiversNoNoRush Street InteractiveUnknownUnknown
Harrah's PhiladelphiaYesNot yet888Yes888 / WSOP
StadiumYesNot yetGANNoN/A
Lady LuckNoNoScientific Games (NYX)UnknownUnknown
Presque IsleYesNot yetSBTechNoN/A
Mohegan Sun PocanoYesNot yetScientific Games (NYX); Kindred GroupNoN/A
The MeadowsNoNoScientific Games (NYX)UnknownUnknown