When it comes to online gaming in Pennsylvania, the question seems to be when, rather than if. Many expect the Quaker State to be among the first to follow Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey into the US regulated internet gaming market.
Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA is getting a head start on the competition by signing a deal with GameAccount Network (GAN). The plan is for Parx to offer a simulated online gaming experience (via GAN) to players nationwide by the fourth quarter of 2014. If/when iGaming becomes legal in Pennsylvania, Parx will immediately be able to offer real money online casino and poker games. John Dixon, CTO of Parx Casino’s parent company, Greenwood Entertainment and Racing, further explained the deal as follows:
GameAccount has demonstrated its regulated gaming capability in New Jersey and the merits of simulated gaming when integrated with a casino management system. By deploying its system on-property, Parx Casino will have the opportunity to launch simulated gaming nationwide before year’s end and be well prepared in the event regulation of real-money internet gaming emerges in the state of Pennsylvania.
Projections for Pennsylvania Online Gaming
We’ve seen inflated revenue projections in the past, including when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie famously predicted $1 billion within the state’s first seven months of iGaming. So the budget committee from the Pennsylvania General Assembly seems to be taking a more conservative approach with their forecast.
The committee projects that Pennsylvania online gaming would earn $184 million in its first year and $307 million in subsequent years. Online poker is expected to make up $77 million of first-year revenue and $129 million annually once the market grows. Given the fact that the state has a population of 12.76 million people, these projections don’t seem too unrealistic.
Pennsylvania is taking Things Slow
At the beginning of June, Pennsylvania held a hearing to discuss online gaming, and many of the state’s 12 casinos were interested in launching iGaming. Bob Green of Parx Casino pointed out that their land-based poker room has experienced a revenue decrease since neighboring New Jersey began offering online poker. However, Green also advised that Pennsylvania should move forward slowly with online gaming.
While Parx likely values Green’s opinion, it looks like they want to be at the forefront of the state’s iGaming operation. So we can expect to see them be one of the first casinos launching online poker and casino games when they’re legalized.