Pennsylvania passed a law legalizing online casinos and poker in the fall of 2017.
How exactly it will all shake out is a matter for speculation, at least until the first operators actually enter the market. The high licensing fees and tax rates do not make it a no-brainer for all 12 existing casinos (and one planned) to launch every vertical.
Here’s a look at the current expectations for which properties will be involved in PA online gambling, and what software provider(s) they’ve partner with. This information is based on both educated guesses and confirmed/existing relationships.
|Casino||Applied?||Online casino?||Partner(s)||Online poker?||Partner(s)|
|Lady Luck Nemacolin||No||No||N/A||No||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Yes||Yes||TBD/Scientific Games||No||N/A|
|Rivers||No||Maybe||Rush Street Interactive||Maybe||Rush Street Interactive|
|SugarHouse||Yes||Yes||Rush Street Interactive||Yes||Rush Street Interactive|
Harrah’s is owned and operated by Caesars, which is partnered with 888 in New Jersey and in Nevada. It also operates WSOP NJ and WSOP NV for online poker. There’s every reason to believe these partnerships will carry over in PA.
Caesars also has an interactive partnership with Scientific Games.
Hollywood / Meadows
Penn National owns both of these casinos as of early 2018. Expectations of a Scientific Games partnership did not materialize, as the group revealed a deal with IGT in September. It will use the Hollywood brand for both interactive gaming and sports betting, the latter under a partnership with William Hill.
The Penn paperwork was some of the first regulators approved.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun, best known for its brick-and-mortar casino in Connecticut, already has a foothold for online gambling in New Jersey. It runs online casino games under the license of Resorts AC; those casino games are powered by NYX.
Mohegan Sun in PA also runs its social casino via Scientific Games’ platform. Given that Scientific Games acquired NYX, that makes this partnership almost a given for PA.
In NJ, Mohegan operates alongside Resorts’ online poker operator, PokerStars. And the operator has hosted PokerStars live events in the past. At this point, though, it looks like PokerStars has a different partner lined up in PA.
Mohegan Sun is approved for online slots and table games, though it withdrew its online poker petition in November.
In 2015, a partnership between 888 and Mount Airy came to light. The status of that partnership isn’t exactly clear today, particularly in light of the recent news.
Mount Airy announced a partnership with PokerStars in August 2018, paving a path into the market for The Stars Group. It will also leverage the BetStars brand for PA sports betting.
PokerStars previously indicated it wants to be one of the first sites to launch in the state.
In July, Parx and GAN broadened their multi-year partnership to cover PA online gambling. Among the very first to receive interim permits, the duo made an early addition to the the list of those approved for all forms of expanded gambling.
Parx will use Kambi to power its sports betting products, both at its flagship casino and at its South Philly Turf Club.
Presque Isle Downs / Lady Luck
Churchill Downs is set to operate these two PA casinos once its transactions with Eldorado Resorts are finalized. The Kentucky company’s entry into the state is centered around online gambling, having announced a broad partnership with SBTech way back in May.
Churchill will also offer PA sports betting under the same deal, likely leveraging its existing TwinSpires horse betting platform.
Rivers / SugarHouse
Rush Street Gaming, the parent company of these Pittsburgh and Philadelphia casinos, already has its own interactive division, so we know where the online casino platform will come from. It will launch its sportsbook under a partnership with Kambi.
Rush Street already operates a real-money online casino and sports betting platform via the SugarHouse brand in New Jersey, as well.
The name is in quotation marks because it won’t bear that moniker for much longer. Sands is undergoing sale to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians right now.
We know the buyers plan to offer PA online gambling, as the sellers have applied on their behalf. That’s about all we know, though. Which suppliers and platforms the Poarch Band will deploy are still to be determined, as is the timeline.
Another casino that may have lost name, the Philadelphia Live! project under construction is reportedly on the market. Developers initially applied for all three interactive gaming permits before surrendering online poker back into the pool. The online slots and online table games permits will likely be rolled into any sale.
Located in the heart of the Philly stadium district, the property is an attractive site for a sportsbook, too.
Valley Forge has a deal in place with GVC/PartyPoker. Expect to see the partypoker brand deployed for online poker, and possibly an MGM online casino platform under a separate partnership. Valley Forge will also launch in-house interactive products with help from IGT and GAN.
The network includes a sports betting deal with FanDuel Sportsbook, too, which is poised to expand into a third state.
PA online casino applications
Here’s the current status of applications/licensure for PA online gambling and sports betting:
√: Approved O: Applied X: None