Pennsylvania becomes the fourth state to legalize online casino games as well as online poker. The state joins the list of places in the United States that allow online poker, which is comprised by Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. The new licenses were offered to 3 casinos in Kenyon state, Parx Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack, and Mount Airy Casino Resort. Before the end of the year at least 7 more casinos are expected to be approved to offer online poker games.
As the three casinos are now looking to gain more attention, partnerships are being made with poker providers in order to offer the best options on the gambling scene. The license fees haven’t been cheap, 2 of the 3 casinos opting for a full licensing package for a cost of $10 million. It lets them offer online table games, online slot machines as well as online poker. Casinos that might want to apply for these licenses in the future will be asked to pay $4 million for each option, for a total of $12 million for a full license. Besides the large amount of money required for the licenses, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has also been very strict, noting that if the licenses will not be used they will be revoked.
Despite Bensalem’s Parx Casino being the poker room that is the highest grossing in the state, speculations are that the casino might be hindered from the beginning due to its future poker software being supplied by GAN. GAN is just starting in the realm of online poker, which means that at the moment their software is unknown to the public. However, despite the partnership being a gamble for Parx Casino, the casino’s success and reputation could prove to be enough to draw the public in, regardless of the software.
On the other side of the spectrum, Mount Airy Casino Resort located in Mount Pocono, despite its fame not being related to poker, has partnered up with PokerStars, one of most recognizable and popular online poker site in the world. The partnership can be a massive opportunity for the casino and can increase their profile in the eyes of the public. PokerStars’ software is recognized as being one of the best in the industry, which makes it difficult for the other casinos to compete with. Besides its partnership with PokerStars, Mount Airy also has a long-standing business relation with 888Poker, since 2014, which is another popular poker brand, giving Mount Airy an impressive edge in the battle between the 3 casinos.
Last but not least, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack will probably lunch a platform of its own under the World Series of Poker banner, due to the casino being the property of Caesars Entertainment.
More casinos are expected to join the market and acquire licenses for online gambling, but there is no word yet as to when the licenses will be active, and many other details about PGCB’s rules and regulations are yet to come out.