888 Quietly Promotes Online Casino Gaming in Pennsylvania

by Kyle Miller

888 HoldingsWhile the state of Pennsylvania has yet to legalize online gambling, this fact has not stopped online operator 888 Holdings from advertising within the state in the hopes of being ready for the industry.

There are several states considering legalizing online gambling within the US with Pennsylvania being a front runner to become the 4th state to offer such gaming options. There has been quite a long period of time since New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada began offering online gaming that we have not seen a state enter the market as well. Legislators in Pennsylvania cannot seem to determine just how they should begin offer such online gaming options.

Legislation has been created and proposed with lawmakers hoping to use online gambling as a way to earn funds to defeat a budget shortfall. However, no legislation has been sent to the governor’s desk for approval. However, this fact has not stopped one online gambling operator from promoting online casino gaming options.

888 Holdings: An Online Gambling Powerhouse Company

888 Holdings is a well-known company in the online gambling industry, specifically for their casino and poker gaming options. The company already operates in the United States via New Jersey and now has their eye on the state of Pennsylvania. The company is partnered with Mount Airy Casino Resort, a popular land based venue located in the state and just a few weeks ago began quietly promoting online gambling.

888 Holdings has partnered with Mount Airy in the hopes of offering online casino gaming once legislation is in place. Reportedly a few weeks ago, the brand was asking players to sign up at the 888 Casino NJ site via the Mount Airy website and was offering a No Deposit Bonus of $25. This is a common bonus offer given to new players to entice gamers to try the site before making a deposit. The promotion was asking players to sign up and be ready if HB 2150 is passed into law.

What? The Bonus Doesn’t Apply?

Despite the initial appeal of such an offer there are drawbacks. The bonus does not apply to the site and only players who are located within the state of New Jersey can take part. Also, online gambling is still considered illegal in the state of Pennsylvania. It seems odd that 888 would make such an offer instead of promoting in another manner.

Back in June, the House of Representatives for the state voted in favor of HB 2150 with a vote of 114-85. This bill was amended to allow the 12 casinos of the state to partner with online gambling operators once the partner was approved. The land based venues will need to partner with providers of online gambling technology to begin offering services once legislation is passed.

The Logistics of Online Gambling in Pennsylvania

The bill would see casinos paying $8 million for a five year license and a renewal would have to be paid at $250,000 thereafter. The online partner providing the technology to the land based venue would have to pay $2 million to get started and then pay renewal fees of $100,000 during a five year time frame.

The measure did not pass the Senate however, and legislation was not included in a revenue plan that was passed. Yet there was language that suggested online gambling would be used to provide $100 million in tax revenues for the state but where that money will come from is anybody’s guess. It seems legislators are going to be waiting until the fall to determine how gambling will come into play online.

While the deposit offer did seem odd, players in New Jersey may feel the need to visit Mount Airy, a casino based in Pennsylvania that is less than 15 miles from the state border.