Measures seeking to legalize internet casinos in Pennsylvania may have stalled in the legislature. However, at least one of the state’s casino resorts went live online last month.  

Mount Airy Casino Resort launched the social casino site Play Mount Airy, offering a number of free-to-play social casino games for PCs, tablets, and mobile devices.

The social casino offers no real-money gaming at this point. However, it would appear to be just the flip of a switch away should Pennsylvania lawmakers finally pass the online gambling legislation they have been considering. 

A comprehensive gambling expansion bill in PA

Over the past few months, the Pennsylvania legislature came close to passing a comprehensive gambling expansion bill that would legalize, regulate and tax: 

  • PA online casinos
  • PA online poker rooms
  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Video gaming terminals at liquor licensed establishments; and
  • Tablet gaming at airport locations

The plan to allow video gaming terminals at liquor licensed establishments and proposed tax rates for online casinos have proved the biggest stumbling blocks for the bill. 

Pennsylvania’s 12 land-based casinos currently pay a 54 percent tax on slot machine revenue and 16 percent on table games. 

The PA Senate first passed legislation including a 54 percent proposed tax rate on online casino games. However, the House amended the bill, changing that rate to 16 percent. The House also added the plan to authorize video gaming terminals at licensed establishments. 

Negotiations went on throughout July as a part of the state’s budget. In fact, lawmakers ultimately included $200 million in taxes from gambling expansion in that budget. However, lawmakers have yet to pass the comprehensive gambling expansion bill, with influential Sen. Jay Costa remarking on Twitter that the issue will be taken up again this fall. 

Play Mount Airy

In the meantime, Mount Airy Casino Resort continued to develop its social casino platform using iGaming developer Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions‘ private label social casino solution Greentube Pro. Kenny Huang and the team at Greentube subsidiary BlueBat Games also helped design the Mount Airy social casino. 

In the end, the company created a customized social casino product allowing players to experience the resort online and officially launched it in late July.  

The Mount Airy-branded product reflects the physical appearance of Mount Airy Casino Resort, including a virtual rendition of the property’s lobby and main casino. 

Additionally, games on the site were designed by Greentube and other third-party software providers. 

“Our goal was to build a social platform that delivered part of the Mount Airy Casino Resort experience into players’ homes and hands,” Mount Airy Casino Resort Executive Vice President and General Manager John Culetsu said. “We are proud to offer this platform to our regional players as well as casino enthusiasts throughout the country.”  

From social to land-based casinos

Greentube believes online social casinos can help draw foot traffic to land-based casinos. In fact, according to SuperData research, 82 percent of social casino gamers visited a land-based casino within the past year. In addition, 60 percent have visited within the past six months.  

According to the data, millions of players prepare to visit brick-and-mortar casinos by playing on a social casino online. 

“Social casinos are the gateway to attracting new players to visit a casino property and the means by which casinos can entice previous players to return,” Greentube North America President of Market Development Gabriel Cianchetto said. “With our assistance, Mount Airy Casino Resort is aptly positioned to deploy the latest marketing technologies and game content.”

Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has spent more than a decade traveling the globe in his capacities as a reporter, editor, and video producer in the world of high stakes poker and gambling. He covers the industry for a variety of publications, including USPoker.com, PlayUSA.com, and PlayPA.com.