PokerStars And Mount Airy Casino Resort Partner To Provide Online Gaming In Pennsylvania

PokerStars And Mount Airy Casino Resort Partner To Provide Online Gaming In Pennsylvania

BetStars and PokerStars coming soon to PA residents

More big news came from the operators of Mount Airy Casino Resort on Friday when they announced a partnership with The Stars Group, a Toronto-based gaming company that runs the well known PokerStars platform. The Canadian company, which also has an online gaming presence in New Jersey, will soon offer Pennsylvanian’s a full package of online betting options, including sports betting, table games, slots, and poker.

The Stars Group is a big player in the international gaming scene. They are licensed to operate in 19 jurisdictions and own/license a wide range of online gaming brands such as PokerStars, Betstars, Full Tilt Poker, Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Poker, and many more. It’s too early to be positive, but it’s likely that their Pennsylvania activities will run under the PokerStars and BetStars brand. As evidence, the company recently extended its partnership with New Jersey’s Resorts Casino Hotel to operate their online gaming presence under the BetStars brand. Additionally, the PokerStars name is so well-known in the American market that it would make little sense to use any brand for their PA online poker platform.

The announced partnership still has one final hurdle to clear, however. While Mount Airy has applied for one of Pennsylvania’s online gaming licenses, the license hasn’t been issued yet. There are no anticipated problems with Mount Airy’s license bid, but it is unknown exactly when it (and the eight other pending online gaming licenses) will be issued by the state.


This deal is a big win for the two companies involved as well as a win for Pennsylvania gamblers, who have been waiting patiently for online gaming to be legalized and offered in the state.

PokerStars has been openly vocal about wanting a presence in the Pennsylvania online gaming market. With this partnership, they proved their presence in New Jersey was no one-off deal. Clearly, they intend to regain the strong presence they had in the US prior to being shut down by the US Justice Department on poker’s “Black Friday” in 2011.

Said Matt Primeaux, SVP of Strategy & Operations, USA at The Stars Group:

We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States. In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”

This is a big win for Mount Airy as well. Beautifully nestled in the Pocanos, it is one of the state’s smaller casino operators. Their recent expansion of casino operations into western Pennsylvania as well as this move into the online gaming sphere significantly increases their influence and significantly moves them up the ranks of the PA casino hierarchy.

As Mount Airy VP of Marketing & Gaming, Vincent Jordan puts it:

“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings. Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”

Is PokerStars (and poker itself) the runt of the PA online gaming litter?

While PokerStars is the more familiar name to Americans, it’s highly probable that BetStars is the big story here. First, it’s worth noting that the press release announcing this partnership focused the lion’s share of the text on sports betting. This makes perfect sense in light of the anticipated size of the PA sports betting market, not to mention the enormous (and untapped) market in online slots and table games.

Online poker will certainly earn money, and it’s something that PA residents deserve and are eager for. Despite this, it is obvious the revenues of online poker will be dwarfed by the receipts from the other online gaming channels.

Online gaming is a big deal and it is quickly headed for Pennsylvania. Mount Airy and The Stars Group are poised to get a big share of the pie. Who will be next PA casino/online casino operator partnership to join in?