The launch of the first three online casinos in July ushered in a new era of gambling in Pennsylvania. And because of its population and its successful land-based gambling industry, expectations are high.
It’s believed PA online casinos could meet or even surpass the successes of their neighbors to the east in New Jersey. That’s no small task. The fledgling industry in PA has a long way to go before comparisons to NJ online gambling can begin.
In order to replicate that thriving online gambling industry, Pennsylvania needs to keep moving forward in four key areas:
First and foremost, Pennsylvania must have more online gambling operators. The need to compete will force everyone to be better. Only through robust competition can the industry reach its full potential.
The online casino market in New Jersey leaves little doubt that competition is good for everyone — the industry, the state, and the consumer. Because Pennsylvania mimicked New Jersey by allowing operators to launch multiple skins, the competition will come in two forms:
The first is obviously good for the market, but so is the second.
Just like healthy competition within a sports team, pushing your teammates to achieve makes the whole team better. Each new competitor requires the rest of the field to increase their marketing and promotions, weigh their catalog of games against the competition, and innovate to stand out in the crowded market.
The current crop of online casinos launched with what can best be described as a limited number of games in Pennsylvania. The first gambling sites went live with just a couple of dozen slot titles and a handful of table games and video poker options.
That’s quite a contrast to Golden Nugget, which boasts more than 600 game titles in New Jersey. It’s not just a Golden Nugget thing. Virtually every NJ online casino offers hundreds of slot titles and a wide assortment of table games and video poker.
Of course, that wasn’t always the case.
Golden Nugget launched in 2013 with a similar number of slots as the new PA online casinos — around 40. Even though it had a better selection of table games and video poker, it was nothing compared to what it offers now.
Like the Nugget and the rest of the competition in NJ, expect Pennsylvania operators to increase its game catalogs steadily over time. The list will grow as products are tested and approved and more content partnerships are inked.
In addition to adding more slots and table games, operators should also be mimicking Golden Nugget by providing new options, like virtual sports and live dealer games.
Payment processing is one of the biggest hurdles in every legal US online gambling market. Despite the rapid spread, banks and financial institutions still get the heebie-jeebies when the word online gambling is involved.
That reticence stems from:
The good news is payment processing is improving. Every new legal online gambling state, especially a large one like Pennsylvania, is another reason for financial institutions to ease their restrictions.
With a little regulatory help, online casino and sports betting operators in Pennsylvania would be wise to integrate the two products as quickly and seamlessly as possible.