PA casino already has deal in place with 888

Breaking Down The PA Online Gambling Market: Mount Airy Casino

Mount Airy online gambling
Pennsylvania recently legalized online poker and casino games. This is the third in a series of articles about the casinos in Pennsylvania and their possible place in the online gambling market.

History of Mount Airy Casino

Mount Airy Casino Resort is located in Mount Pocono, Pa., on the site of the former Mount Airy Lodge.

The lodge originally opened in 1898 was one of the most popular honeymoon destinations during its heyday in the 1950’s, ’60’s and ’70’s. It started to fall on hard times in the ’80’s and closed its doors in the early 2000’s.

After ownership changed hands several times, it was eventually torn down to make way for the casino in 2005. Mount Airy Casino Resort opened its doors in 2007.

Staying true to its roots, Mount Airy was the first Pennsylvania casino to offer hotel lodgings. The 188-room hotel is an important amenity considering Mount Airy’s secluded location.

Land based performance

Mount Airy is one of four Category 2 casinos in Pennsylvania. The other three:

  • SugarHouse Casino
  • Rivers Casino
  • Sands Bethlehem Casino

Unlike Category 1 “racinos” or the heavily restricted Category 3 “resort” casinos, a Category 2 casino designation is a traditional casino.

Mount Airy currently houses 1,800 slot machines, 70 table games and a nine-table poker room. That makes it the smallest of the four Category 2 casinos,

Despite its location and size, Mount Airy has a six percent market share and has been steadily gaining on some of the major players in the market.

What we know about Mount Airy and online gambling

Mount Airy has been a vocal advocate of online gambling. It is one of the few casinos that has officially entered into a partnership agreement with an online casino platform provider.

Most likely platform provider

Mount Airy and 888 entered into an iGaming agreement way back in 2014.

During a hearing held at Mount Airy, David Licht, the executive chairman of the All American Poker Network (888’s US-facing network at the time) let the cat out of the bag.

The partnership is still in place, as Mount Airy is currently running promos for 888 New Jersey’s online casinos on its website.

In-state partnerships/relationships

Mount Airy’s partnership with 888 opens a lot of doors.

As it does in New Jersey and Nevada, 888 is expected to power Caesars‘ sites in Pennsylvania. That would almost guarantee an intrastate online poker agreement between Mount Airy, Harrah’s Philadelphia, and any other casino that might choose 888.

Possible out-of-state partnerships/relationships

Because 888 is the only online gambling operator active in every state with legal iGaming, the sky’s the limit for Mount Airy.

If, as expected, Pennsylvania joins the existing interstate compact featuring Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, Mount Airy will instantly be one of the most well-trafficked online poker sites.

Forecasting Mount Airy’s online gambling performance

Because of its partnership with 888, Mount Airy will be able to overcome its built-in disadvantages.

  • The casino’s revenue makes it difficult to devote a ton of marketing dollars to online casino/poker.
  • Further hurting marketing, the casino doesn’t produce the foot traffic or database of some of the larger Pennsylvania casinos.
  • The Mount Airy brand isn’t as strong as Parx, Sands or Harrah’s.

At the end of the day, Mount Airy’s online success will likely come down to the team the casino puts in place. It will also depend on whether the casino views online as a product it has to offer to keep up with other casinos, or if it views the ubiquity of online as an opportunity to even the playing field with larger facilities.

Past installments:

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Steve Ruddock
- Steve covers nearly every angle of online poker in his job as a full-time freelance poker writer. His primary focus for OPR is the developing legal and legislative picture for regulated US online poker and gambling.