Three separate casinos in Pennsylvania are finally able to offer online services this week. It’s a long time coming for this state, which legalized online gambling back in 2017. Pennsylvania’s online casino market is expected to bring in serious revenue for the state.
The three casinos are officially launching trail runs for their online services. If all goes well, the casinos will be eligible to offer full-fledged internet gaming services by the end of the week. Now is the perfect time to look at why Pennsylvania legalized online casino gambling in the first place.
Recent Changes to Pennsylvania’s Casino Laws
For many years, the state of Pennsylvania has been one of the country’s leaders in casino gambling. Land-based casinos have operated here for decades. A number of racinos (horse racing tracks with casino-style games) have also helped to generate revenue for the state.
Unfortunately, gambling revenue has dipped here over the past decade. A surge in Atlantic City’s gambling scene and additional competition in New York has hurt the state’s casino market. Lawmakers realized this and decided to implement some new laws on the industry.
In October of 2017, Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 217 into effect. This bill makes it legal for land-based casino operators to offer a range of online casino games including poker, table games, and internet slots. The state government felt that offering online casino games would help to rejuvenate the state’s gambling industry.
It certainly makes sense. States like New Jersey are profiting massively from their online gaming operations.
House Bill 217 also legalized sports betting. Of course, the state had no legal right to allow this popular form of gambling until PASPA was struck down in May of 2018. Now, Pennsylvania has one of the most successful sports betting markets on the East Coast.
Pennsylvania’s Online Casino Market Finally Opens
The Parx Casino, SugarHouse Casino, and Hollywood Casino are launching a trial run on their internet gambling operations this week. The casinos will have a two-day period to monitor and test their internet gambling services. It’s an extremely exciting time for casino gaming fans located in areas of the state without a land-based casino.
Hollywood and Parx Casino are the first to offer these online games today. SugarHouse Casino is launching its internet gambling services on Wednesday. Over the next few months, all of the ten casinos granted an online gaming license will begin offering their online casino gaming platforms.
During this trial run, casinos are limited to offering user-versus-computer games. Eventually, a wide range of different games will be available online. Even major online poker tournaments will be offered to Pennsylvania residents.
Pennsylvania’s online casino market is opening nearly two years after becoming legal. It’s the fourth state in the country to offer this service. Will it be as successful as these other states with legal internet gambling?
Revenue Projections for Online Gambling in Pennsylvania
It’s no surprise that so many are excited about this market finally opening up. As we just mentioned, gambling revenue here has failed to meet expectations over the past decade. Even Pennsylvania’s sports betting market is failing to meet the revenue projections set by lawmakers.
There’s reason to believe that online gambling will change all of this. There are already a huge number of online casinos in Pennsylvania that residents play through. Most of these are currently unregulated by the state. Once more licensed sites are operating, the state will earn valuable revenue through taxes.
New Jersey is the gold standard for online gambling right now. According to numerous outlets, internet gaming makes up more than 10% of the state’s overall gambling revenue. The state earns millions every single month from the legal online gambling services being offered.
Pennsylvania’s online casino market is already paying off. Casinos here paid millions in licensing fees. As more casinos begin to offer internet gambling services, this state may begin to compete with New Jersey and Nevada as the country’s top online gambling destination.