Pennsylvania is amidst a sudden pivot in their domestic online gambling offerings, and PokerStars is looking to steer them in the right direction.
The online gambling provider is partnering with Mount Airy Casino Resort to introduce legal online casino, poker, and sports betting options to PA residents. This makes Pennsylvania the second conquest of PokerStars, as they already offer online gambling products in New Jersey.
Mount Airy petitioned state regulators for the ability to offer online gambling services well before this official announcement was made. The casino is considered one of Pennsylvania’s leading gambling ventures, so this move makes sense for a gambling company looking to corner the market.
“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with the Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings,” said Vincent Jordan, VP of Marketing and Gaming Operations at Mount Airy.
Ever since 2011, states have been able to legalize domestic online casino and poker sites, but the US poker market has fallen well short of its casino counterpart. PokerStars hopes to change that narrative by partnering with more states.
“We’re excited to take this next step as the Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States,” said Matt Primeaux, SVP of Strategy and Operations, USA at the Stars Group.
New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada are each in a combined poker pool via their interstate agreements. Pennsylvania, being the substantially large market that it is, ups the ante on this combined player pool and increases the competition. The next step would be a joint online poker offering between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the two states PokerStars is invested in.
The fact that sports betting is tied into the deal makes it multi-faceted. Mount Airy is the second PA casino to announce their intent to launch sports betting (the other being Parx Casino).
Pennsylvania’s terms for legal sports betting are a steep $10 million licensing fee and 36% tax rate on revenue – but that doesn’t seem to be enough to keep local casinos from entering the fray.
While sports gambling is currently at the forefront of the US gambling industry, this deal with PokerStars reintroduces a focus on US-based online casino and poker gambling. Online casinos and poker may have been considered afterthoughts, but this PokerStars deal could pull them back into the limelight by appealing to a different audience, a sentiment echoed by Jordan following the agreement.
“Introducing Internet gaming through the Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”