Theonline gambling market is starting to come into focus, and from the looks of it, The Keystone State will have a robust industry.
that includes online poker, and another online poker license has already been scooped up in the next round of licensing.
So applicants are:
Parx CasinoHarrah’s PhiladelphiaMount Airy CasinoHollywood Casino in Penn NationalSands Bethlehem (on behalf of Wind Creek)Rivers CasinoSugarHouse CasinoValley Forge CasinoThe unbuilt”stadium casino”
The tenth casino to.
But will every licensee launch an online poker site?
The amount of online poker applicants provides a glimpse into the amount of future operators.
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulations, license holders cannot sit on their permits for an extended period of time:
“All interactive gaming certificate holders and interactive gaming operator licensees shall commence operations on the date established by the Board unless granted an extension by the Board, upon a showing of good cause by the interactive gaming certificate holder or interactive gaming operator licensee, up to 12 months from that date. Failure to commence interactive gaming operations within the time directed by the Board may result in administrative sanctions up to and including revocation of the certificate or license to operate interactive gaming in this Commonwealth.”
Having said that, it’s unlikely Pennsylvanians will have nine different online poker options when the business goes live.
The more likely scenario is a choice between three or four intra-state poker networks. All these networks would contain at least one of the state’s licensed operators. In layman’s terms, there will be a branded site for every licensee, but there will likely be less than a handful of operating platforms powering these websites.
Who will be operational in the state?
That begs the question, what online poker companies will jump in the Pennsylvania pool?
That will depend on a number of factors, such as:
Current presence in Internet Poker statesHow well positioned they’re in future online poker statesExisting relationships with casinos inside and outside of PA
Right now the anticipated choices are:
A couple of other possible players include:
Sizing up the competitionRush Street
Both of Rush Street’s Pennsylvania casinos (SugarHouse in Philadelphia and Rivers in Pittsburgh) applied for the three-category license. As such, the company will be launching multiple online poker websites. Those sites will almost certainly be powered by the same software and linked together.
Rush Street Interactive is thought to have created an in-house online poker platform. Up to now, no one has officially seen the finished product, but if its anywhere near the quality of RSI’s proprietary online casino platform used by PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey, it will be well received.
If, as is anticipated, Pennsylvania joins the existing-Delaware- compact for , an RSI online poker launch in New Jersey might also be in the cards. A New Jersey launch likely depends on how well-received the online poker platform is in Pennsylvania.
As mentioned above, Rush Street is currently an active player in New Jersey. It also has casinos in two other countries that are considered online poker contenders,and . That gives Rush Street plenty of opportunity to leverage interstate trades and become a formidable online poker operator as more markets open down the road.
888 has links to both Mount Airy and Harrah’s in PA, and because of its reach (888 is active in each state with legal online poker) it’s an attractive solution for any casino looking for an online poker partner.
The Mount Airy connection is officially official, and also one of the more intriguing, as the casino also has a formal partnership in place with PokerStars.
Todayconfirmed both and will have online casino and online poker websites under the property’s license
— PlayPennsylvania (@PlayPANews)
Our best guess at this time would see Mount Airy with an independently branded PokerStars site, as well as a Mount Airy branded site powered by 888.
The 888 site could also link up with Harrah’s (likely to be a WSOP.com branded site powered by 888) and some other 888 platforms in Pennsylvania.
And then there is 888’s current interstate online poker network that currently encompasses online poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware.
PokerStars is officially coming to Pennsylvania (pending regulatory approval) through a partnership with Mount Airy Casino.
With one Pennsylvania casino partner already penciled in, coupled with its reputation as the top online poker operator in the world and the capacity to link up with its New Jersey site down the road, PokerStars is every bit as attractive an online poker partner as 888.
A Mohegan Sun-PokerStars venture would make all of the sense in the world. Mohegan Sun already has history working with Stars, as it runs Resorts Casino in New Jersey; PokerStars spouse in the market.
GVC / PartyPoker
Because of its deal with MGM, and as a result of, GVC is expected to launch in Pennsylvania through Boyd Gaming’s Valley Forge Casino (when the purchase is officially completed).
And like PokerStars and 888, GVC’s growing presence in US online gaming (largely due to its partnerships with MGM and Boyd) makes the company a very attractive partner.
IGT has submitted applications to function as an online gambling operator, and while the company isn’t known for its poker merchandise, it does have one,.
The platform is a revamped version of the BOSS Media online poker applications, and has some interesting features, especially the mobile client.
If it’s likely to become a player in the US online poker market, IGT has a lot of catching up to do, and getting its product into Pennsylvania would be a fantastic place to start.
Pala is another in-house online poker platform that could make an appearance in Pennsylvania.
Thetribe has spent years building a proprietary casino and poker platform, and has been shopping itself around as a B2B online poker platform provider ever since it established in New Jersey.
Despite the fact that Pala’s NJ online poker site hasn’t gained any traction in the highly competitive NJ online poker market, it could be a reasonable alternative for one or more of the Pennsylvania casinos that have online casino partners that enjoy a viable online poker platform.