Latest Updates On PA Mini-Casinos: One Down, Four To Go

Pennsylvania will eventually be home to five mini-casinos, with only Live! Pittsburgh open so far. Here’s where the other projects stand.

Mini-casinos are the shiny new things in Pennsylvania for retail gambling. But not a new concept.

Plans for satellite casinos have kicked about for three years, ushered in by a gaming expansion plan passed in 2017. But it took another year to even start taking bids.

And then there were bumps and pauses along the way.

Plans for 10 PA mini-casinos, but reality is just five

PA lawmakers intent on adding more revenue initially had dreams of adding 10 sparkly new mini-casino sites.

That didn’t work out as planned. There were fits and starts. Just five satellites is the market reality.

That’s because over the auction process, interest waned among qualified buyers for shelling out millions simply for the rights to buy a license for a second-tier location.

Eventually, five licenses went out. Mt. Airy Casino had a winning bid of $21,888,888.88. They were later denied the license for a lack of financing, and got 75% of the bid back. One last auction for the freed-up license took place last September.

Collectively, bids for mini licenses raised nearly $121.3 million. That figure does not include ongoing fees and eventual income revenue.

But only one mini is open to date, though three will be operating by the end of 2021.

PA State Income From Mini-Casino Auctions

Parent CasinoBid AmountLocation
Hollywood Casino$50,100,000York in York County
Live! Casino Pittsburgh (Stadium Casino LLC)$40,100,005Greensburg in Westmoreland County
Parx Casino$8,111,000Shippensburg in Cumberland County
Hollywood Morgantown$7,500,003Morgantown in Berks County
Bally's Casino$10,000,101Unionville in Centre County
Mount Airy Casino Pittsburgh (license application denied) $21,888,888.88 (Lost $5,472,222.22)Beaver County (Western PA)

The PA mini-casino lineup

Here’s the satellite casino lineup:

  • Live! Casino Pittsburgh opened last November in a suburb of the ‘burgh. It is a mall rehab.
  • Another mini is opening in August. Hollywood York, another mall rehab, opens in a York suburb in August.
  • Hollywood Morgantown should open in November.
  • Bally’s mini-casino near State College is in the early planning stage and could open in late 2022. It is also a mall rehab. It is the license freed up by Mt. Airy’s stumble. Cordish, Live! Philadelphia Casino’s parent company, lost out in the bidding.
  • Parx Casino Shippensburg is also likely to open in 2022, but earlier than Bally’s with its planning further along. The planned rehab of a stand-alone big box store, a former Lowe’s, is relatively simple.

Next, we look at the details of each.

Live! Casino Pittsburgh

Live! Casino Pittsburgh was the first mini to open, back last November. It opened a few months before the full-sized Live! Casino Philadelphia. Parent Cordish Companies introduced its online product, PlayLive! last August. All have a shared Live! rewards card.

The location was the first to reimagine vacant mall space for gaming.

Investment in the rehab was $150 million.

There are more than 100,000 square feet of gaming, dining and entertainment space, along with 750 slots and approximately 30 table games.

The suburban casino has more than 6,000 parking spaces. Sports bettors have a FanDuel-branded retail sportsbook.

Annual economic impact is projected at $188 million. Annual taxes will likely be about $47.5 million. Live! should provide about 500 permanent new jobs.

Hollywood York

Penn National’s mini at a rehabbed mall space in suburban York is set for an August opening.

A sportsbook, casual dining, bar, entertainment facilities, slots – up to 750 – are allowed, and 24 to 40 table games are planned for the 80,000-square-foot facility, projected initially to cost $120 million before the virus delay.

Penn National, the parent company, had to halt construction, both because of virus restrictions and also due to revenue woes, delaying work there and at a sister mini-site in Morgantown. Work resumed in November 2020.

A Barstool Sportsbook and Bar with “interactive experiences” is planned. Hollywood Casino York will offer mychoice loyalty program, rewarding online play at HollywoodCasino.com, Barstool Sportsbook and online casino, and land-based play at York and other mychoice properties.

Hollywood Morgantown

A brick-and-mortar ground-up casino is coming to the side of the PA Turnpike at the Morgantown exit, likely in November.

Up to 750 slot machines, 30 table games, a betting lounge, a restaurant and food outlets, and an entertainment lounge on a 36-acre lot are planned. The location is about half the way between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

They partnered early with BetMGM PA for their online sportsbook. Hollywood Casino Granville already has three PA online casino skins its iGaming license.

Bally’s State College and Parx Shippensburg

These two properties, Bally’s State College and Parx Shippensburg, are early in the planning stage.

Shippensburg had a public input hearing on the campus of Shippensburg University on May 20. A vacant Shippensburg Lowe’s is the target location for Parx.

Bally’s has yet to hold a required public hearing.

But they hope casino construction will begin during the first half of 2021 and work should take a year. The casino should have up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games.

Bally’s plans a retail sportsbook as well as a Bally’s online casino and PA online sportsbook.

But details are pending for both locations.

PA Online Casinos Shine Bright In April With Another $100M Plus Revenue Month

PA online casinos combined for over $100 million in gross gaming revenue for the second month straight in April, led by Penn brands.

Pennsylvania online casino gross gaming revenue declined 5.5% from March to April, according to monthly revenue reports from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

March GGR for online casino games and online poker was more than $111.6 million, but the April figure was just more than $105.4 million.

Online slots revenue was more than $75.4 million, and online table games accounted for nearly $27.7 million.

Tax revenue generated from internet gaming during this April was $38.6 million, according to the PGCB.

PA poker has additional operators

PA online poker, which has been a one-trick pony with just Mount Airy‘s PokerStars, now has additional operators. Longtime provider PokerStars pulled in more than $2.3 million of poker’s total $2.4 million in April.

The new PA Borgata Poker (through Rivers Philadelphia) and BetMGM Poker (aligned with Hollywood Casino) were only live for two days in April.

Poker revenue has mostly plateaued in PA and dropped nearly 55% from a year ago when all brick-and-mortar casinos were shuttered due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Overall PA gaming at record highs

Sources of gaming revenue regulated by the PGCB include slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and VGTs.

PA sportsbooks had a handle of $479 million and $36 million in revenue. Compared to March, handle decreased 14.4% and revenue dropped 12.1%.

Total revenue during April generated from all forms of regulated gaming in Pennsylvania plus fantasy contests was more than $404.1 million, eclipsing the total revenue record set the previous month in March.

Tax revenue generated from internet gaming during April 2021 was $38.6 million.

Penn National’s Hollywood still dominates in the online gaming space

Hollywood’s online casino brands Hollywood, DraftKings, and BetMGM, combined for nearly $36 million from iGaming, again making them the leader among 13 online casinos live during April. In PA, each land-based iGaming license holder can partner with up to three “skins” or online casino brands.

The PA-based company was second in online slot play at $24.4 million and first in online table play at $11.5 million. Poker chipped in more than $20,000.

Rivers Philadelphia in the second position

Gross online gaming revenue for Rivers Philadelphia including SugarHouse, BetRivers, and Borgata Poker totaled $30.4 million.

They were the king of online slot revenue at nearly $26 million and in second for online table games at nearly $4.4 million. Poker added just about $6,600.

Valley Forge, fueled by FanDuel, in third

Valley Forge Casino and their FanDuel Casino skin had gross online gaming revenue of almost $16 million, nearly evenly split between online slots and online table games.

Mount Airy fourth

Mount Airy’s PokerStars came in fourth for online revenue, with more than $5 million from slots, nearly $1.8 million for table games, and more than $2.3 million for poker, their signature online offering.

Live! Philadelphia not showing much online momentum

Live! Philadelphia, the Cordish Companies‘ marque PA casino, only recently opened its doors, and that was in the midst of the late phase of the pandemic, but the company went with an online casino last August.

Despite that head start, online numbers remain low, with online table games accounting for just $23,220 eight months later.

That’s anemic, given the online table games revenue generated at similar large properties.

Even tiny Presque Isle and its new TwinSpires brand had online tables revenue of more than $270,000.

Live!’s online slot revenue was healthier but still relatively low at just more than $870,000.

PA iGaming operator revenue in April 2021

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total Revenue (GGR)Slots RevenueTable Games RevenueOnline Poker Revenue
HollywoodHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM$35,966,200$24,410,233$11,535,536$20,431
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata Poker$30,391,067$25,994,061$4,390,366$6,640
Valley ForgeFanDuel$15,960,286$8,052,231$7,908,056
Mount AiryPokerStars$9,168,267$5,051,490$1,771,720$2,345,056
ParxParx$5,724,081$4,882,862$841,220
Mohegan SunUnibet$2,883,228$2,357,813$525,415
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,962,398$1,827,654$134,744
Harrah'sCaesars$1,854,717$1,570,575$284,142
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive$895,595$872,375$23,220
Presque IsleTwinSpires$665,577$392,640$272,937
Total$105,471,416$75,411,933$27,687,356$2,372,127

Image via Dreamstime

No Fools: Free PokerStars PA Casino Bonus Instead Of A Spoof On April Fool’s Day

PokerStars PA is flipping the script with a free bonus for online casino games on April Fool’s Day, and Fox Bet has Opening Day promos.

If you wager on your favorite online casino games at PokerStars Casino or FOX Bet in Pennsylvania, there will be no tricks on April Fools Day.

Here’s the deal: On April 1, beginning at 9 a.m and running until 1 a.m., Stars Casino is running a special promo, no joke.

The sites have a shared client for online poker, sports betting, and online casinos, and they are all offering a one-day bonus.

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How to get the deal April Fool’s Day gift

Begin by logging into a qualifying account on April Fool’s Day.

Under the menu, select Challenges.

You can then sign in for a $5 free casino bonus to use on any of your favorite casino games.

The same offer is available in Michigan if you happen to be traveling through the Wolverine State.

And a cash bonus for new players

Additionally, new players who sign up at PokerStars Casino are eligible for an instant casino bonus worth $50.

Sign up for PokerStars Casino and make your first deposit. Then go to the app’s Challenges area (under the My Stars menu). Select this offer.

After wagering $1, the $50 bonus should kick in and automatically be the source of your next $50 of play.

Make sure to read the fine print.

  • You have five days after creating your account to make that $1 wager.
  • After the bonus goes live, you have seven days to clear the bonus and any winnings.

Fox Bet Sportsbook specials for MLB Opening Day

And for sports betting enthusiasts, Fox Bet PA Sportsbook has you covered for Opening Day baseball on April 1.

Get a free $10 parlay bet for placing a $10 (or more) 3+ leg parlay on MLB Opening Day games. The free parlay bet will automatically show up in the bet slip after the first parlay is placed.

Philadelphia Phillies fans can also take advantage of a futures odds boost.

  • Phillies to win the World Series boosted from (+3500) to +4500

Lead image via Dreamstime.

February Revenue: Online Casinos Save The PA Gaming Bacon With Another $70M-Plus Month

Overall PA gaming revenue was steady year-over-year in February thanks to some huge gains in online casinos and sports betting.

According to state figures, the combined total revenue generated from all forms of gaming and fantasy contests during February was almost $302 million, a decline of less than 1% compared to a year ago.

January revenue, by contrast, was more than $311 million.

PA online casino revenue in February was above $70 million for the third month straight.

The release of the gaming revenue figures came exactly one year since the virus pandemic led to orders to shutter all Pennsylvania casinos for what was then an indefinite period, setting off a rippling shockwave that is still being felt.

The virus’s effects began several weeks before the ordered state shutdown and likely had some influence on last February revenue numbers.

Michigan sprints past PA in revenue

Despite a record for per-day revenue of $2.8 million for all online games in February, Pennsylvania is now just the third-largest online casino market in the U.S.

Newly launched Michigan is in second place, and New Jersey remains first.

Looking back a year, PA statewide revenue was down by just .78%, from $304.4 million in 2020 to nearly $302 million this February.

Total online gambling revenue in February was nearly $77.8 million.

Online slots accounted for nearly $50.9 million. Table games brought in nearly $24.7 million in revenue and poker revenue in February was just above $2.5 million.

Total tax revenue generated collectively through all forms of gaming, including video gaming terminals and fantasy contests, was nearly $122.9 million during February.

Revenue online rocketed, retail hung on

Over the past year, retail slots were down by nearly 27% to $145.8 million, and retail table games revenue fell off by nearly 25.9%.

But PA online casino games saved the gaming revenue bacon.

Online slot revenue jumped more than 425% in 12 months. And online table games climbed 207.5%.

While down from record revenues, online poker was still up YoY in February by almost 37.7%, with more than $2.5 million in revenue.

Sports betting revenue from all sources was up more than 246.9% over last year, with combined revenue of more than $16.4 million. Total handle was $509.5 million, PA’s fourth best month.

An uneven experience year-over-year

The bounce-back from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic appears extremely uneven at the casino properties.

Double-digit decreases in revenue percentages during this February versus a year ago were the norm for most casinos, but several properties defied the trend.

Two – Hollywood and Valley Forge – posted amazing numbers.

Hollywood Casino at Penn National was up just over an astounding 82% at almost $41.9 million, largely due to online. Online accounted for nearly $28 million at Hollywood. The online slot revenue was nearly $17.7 million. Online table games were more than $10.3 million.

The other gainers were:

  • Valley Forge Casino Resort up more than 66.4% with more than $31.5 million.
  • Mount Airy Casino up more than 3.9%,  up to nearly $19.5 million this February.

Revenue percentage losers outnumbered winners

The biggest loser year-over-year was Rivers Pittsburgh, down nearly 38%, with revenue of nearly $21.5 million, compared to $34.6 million a year ago.

The other percentage losers were:

  • Parx at 18.8% down.
  • Rivers Casino Philadelphia at nearly 6% off.
  • Wind Creek Bethlehem off more than 29.3%.
  • Mohegan Sun Pocono down 25.6%.
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia off more than 32%.
  • The Meadows Casino down more than 26%.
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino off more than 27.6%.

February PA online casino breakdown by operator

A complete breakdown of February revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Penn National (DraftKings, Hollywood, BetMGM)$28.0 million$17.6 million$10.3 million
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$18.0 million$15.1 million$2.8 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$15.5 million$6.7 million$8.9 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$4.7 million$3.3 million$1.4 million
Parx Casino$4.0 million$3.5 million$475,000
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.1 million$1.9 million$204,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.4 million$1.1 million$242,000
Wind Creek Casino$656,000$718,000($62,000)
Presque Isle Downs (Twinspires)$518,000$200,000$319,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)$397,000$370,000$27,000
Totals:$75.3 million$50.6 million$24.7 million

Casino operators by the numbers

The clear front-runners in PA’s online casino race are Penn National (which includes DraftKings, Hollywood, and BetMGM), Rivers Philadelphia (which includes SugarHouseBetRivers, and the brand new Borgata Casino), and Valley Forge, with FanDuel.

A look at top PA online casino operators in February:

  • Penn: Total revenue $28 million (slots: $17.6 million; table games: $10.3 million).
  • Rivers Philly: Total revenue $18 million (slots: $15.1 million; tables: $2.8 million).
  • Valley Forge: Total revenue $15.5 million (slots: $16.7 million; tables: $8.9 million).

Lead image via Dreamstime.

Playtech Looks to US Expansion via Parx Casino Partnerships

Parx online betting products will get a makeover as Playtech partners with Greenwood Racing for expansion in US markets.

Isle of Man-based Playtech is upping its US expansion through partnerships with companies owned by Greenwood Racing, the parent company of Parx Casino.

Parx is the largest casino in Pennsylvania. Greenwood already offers online casino and land-based sports betting in New Jersey and retail betting in Michigan.

Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, said:

“This strategic partnership with the Greenwood companies represents a major milestone for Playtech and I’m excited to work with them to help achieve their growth plans in the coming years.

“The US is a highly strategic market and this multi-state, multi-product agreement highlights the demand for the full breadth of our product offering. This is the next step for Playtech in the US and we are delighted to work with the Greenwood companies to capture this exciting long-term opportunity.”

PA, Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey expansion planned for Playtech

The agreements announced via the London Stock Exchange news service will license the company’s products across Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana.

The launch begins with an online casino in Michigan on Playtech’s IMS Platform and Player Account Management.

Greenwood has also announced plans to launch an online offering in Indiana.

Moving from GAN

The company is already in New Jersey via bet365 and also with Entain and now Playtech plans further expansion in the Garden State.

As a consequence of the new partnerships, Parx plans to migrate its current online gambling offering from GAN to Playtech.

No details yet for its online casino presence in PA or any sports betting plans there either.

Playtech Background

Israeli tech and property billionaire Teddy Sagi founded Playtech in 1999. He has since exited the company, selling his holdings.

The London Stock Exchange’s Main Market premium listed the company in 2012. The company has about 6,400 employees across 24 countries.

The business is considered a technology leader in the gambling and financial trading industries. It is also an established leader in poker tech.

Playtech delivers business intelligence-driven gambling software, services, content, and platform technology.

Product verticals include casino, live casino, sports betting, virtual sports betting, bingo, and poker. The omnichannel gambling technology comes through its integrated platform, Playtech ONE.

The platform delivers data-driven marketing expertise, single wallet functionality, customer relationship management, and responsible gambling solutions across retail and online.

PA Online Casinos Lead Gaming Recovery with Record $80 Million January

Online slots, table games and poker in PA crossed $80 million in revenue in January 2021, helping PA gaming post a 2.7% YoY revenue increase.

Despite ongoing disruptions from virus-restricted business conditions, overall gaming revenue in Pennsylvania is up 2.7% over last year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Revenue during January from all forms of gaming, along with fantasy contests, was more than $311 million. Revenue regulated by the PGCB includes slot machines, table games, internet gaming, sports wagering, fantasy contests, and VGTs.

Total tax revenue generated collectively through all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $127 million during the month.

Restrictions from virus boosted online gaming

And as a likely by-product of COVID-19 concerns and restrictions, January was a record month for PA online casino games. The PGCB reported total iGaming revenue of more than $80.4 million.

That’s the highest amount ever, beating the previous high of $71.6 million set in December 2020 by an impressive 11%.

Online slots revenue was just above $51 million, a huge jump from a year ago when it was $7.2 million. The year-over-year percentage increase comes out to a staggering 609%.

Online table games revenue was nearly $26.7 million, up from just over $4.6 million a year ago. The percentage increase YoY was almost 479%.

Tax revenue generated from internet gaming play during January was more than $32.2 million.

Online poker generated more than $2.7 million with just one operator, a 26.4% boost from a year ago. That was on par with December numbers.

Virus disrupts gaming revenue nationwide in 2020

The virus clearly wreaked havoc on the land-based gaming across the country, according to figures this week from the American Gaming Association.

Commercial gaming revenue totaled $30.0 billion in 2020, down more than 31% YoY, according to the AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker.

The year marked the first market contraction for the gaming industry since 2014 and the lowest gaming revenue total since 2003.

Retail casino numbers hammered

In PA, January’s gross revenue from casino-based slot machines was $140.7 million, a 26.1% decrease compared to the $190.3 million generated in January 2020.

Tellingly, the number of slot machines in operation this past January was just 18,703 compared to 24,126 a year back.

Table games revenue in casinos was likewise off for January with just more than $50.8 million, a decrease of 29.9% from the previous January, when revenue was $72.5 million.

Sports handle up, revenue down slightly

January’s sports betting handle was nearly $615.3 million or 12.2% above December’s record total of $548.6 million. But the taxable revenue for January declined slightly from $34 million to just above $33.9 million.

In January, PA crossed the $100 million mark in lifetime sports betting tax revenue.

VGT and daily fantasy back on track

Video Gaming Terminals, or VGTs,  produced gross revenue of more than $2.2 million and daily fantasy sports (DFS) kicked in revenue of more than $2.9 million. The two segments seem to have recovered from pandemic headwinds.

Online poker was up slightly at $2.7 million compared to $2.4 million in November. There is still just one operator, PokerStars PA, via Mount Airy Resort.

January PA online casino breakdown by operator

A complete breakdown of January revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Penn National (DraftKings, Hollywood, BetMGM)$27.6 million$16.2 million$11.4 million
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$21.0 million$16.5 million$4.5 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$14.7 million$6.8 million$8.0 million
Parx Casino$5.3 million$4.8 million$509,000
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$3.6 million$2.2 million$1.4 million
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$2.8 million$2.2 million$534,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.4 million$1.2 million$244,000
Wind Creek Casino$552,000$380,000$173,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)$487,000$451,000$37,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$182,000$282,000-$100,000
Totals:$77.7 million$51.0 million$26.7 million

Casino operators by the numbers

The clear front-runners in PA’s online casino race remain Penn National (which includes DraftKings, Hollywood, and BetMGM), Rivers Philadelphia (which includes SugarHouse and BetRivers), and Valley Forge, with FanDuel.

A look at top PA online casino operators in January:

  • Penn: Total revenue $27.6 million (slots: $16.2 million; table games: $11.4 million).
  • Rivers Philly: Total revenue $21.0 million (slots: $16.5 million; tables: $4.5 million).
  • Valley Forge: Total revenue $14.7 million (slots: $6.8 million; tables: $8.0 million).

Image via Dreamstime/Anke Van Wyk.

NetEnt, Evolution Online Casino Powerhouse Bearing Fruit for Stock Holders

Evolution Gaming, a market leader in PA and beyond, reported operating revenues were up 68% YoY in Q4 2020, thanks in part to NetEnt.

Casino online game maker NetEnt is now fully integrated with iGaming giant Evolution Gaming, and the merger is paying dividends.

With last year’s late Q2 move to acquire NetEnt for $2.3 billion completed Dec. 1, Evolution reported Wednesday operating revenues were up 68% YoY in Q4 2020 to EUR 177.7 million ($215.5 million). For full year 2020, operating revenue was up 53% YoY to EUR 561.1 million ($680.4 million).

A total of EUR 17.8 million ($21.6 million) of the revenue came from NetEnt. Evolution chief executive Martin Carlesund commented in the company’s year-end report:

“Through the acquisition of NetEnt, we add a second vertical to our unrivaled live casino offer and two strong and fantastic new brands to our product portfolio. This makes us well placed for our long-term ambition of taking a leading global position in online casino.”

Evolution’s stock ($EVO), which trades on Nasdaq Stockholm, is on the rise since the report. It went from around $110 Tuesday to closing over $122 (SEK 1,023) on Thursday. Just six months ago, the stock price was $72.50.

NetEnt a market leader in PA

As an early-in online casino company, NetEnt remains a market leader in PA as well as nationally.

The international company made its US debut in New Jersey in 2015, where it houses its US headquarters. Then NetEnt got initial approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) in March 2019 to operate and went live in July 2019 upon iGaming launch in PA.

Now, most of the PA online casinos carry their titles, of which they have more than 200. Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst and Divine Fortune are some of the most popular.

In addition to their home base in Sweden and their US office, the company has operations in Malta, Gibraltar, Poland, Ukraine, India, and the UK.

NetEnt, Evolution an expanding powerhouse

NetEnt continues to expand its footprint, most recently debuting games at a number of online casinos on Day 1 of Michigan’s iGaming launch. Jeff Millar, Evolution Commercial Director, North America commented:

“America is an absolute priority market for Evolution Group, which is reflected by the scale of NetEnt’s first-day presence in Michigan.”

With NetEnt on board, Evolution is in a unique position to dominate in the online gambling market. A big part of that stems from Evolution’s live dealer games, popular in New Jersey and now PA. Evolution announced it plans to open a third live casino studio in Michigan later this year.

Though the majority of revenue comes from Europe and Asia, the growth potential in the US is immense. According to Millar, the company has much planned for expansion this year:

“We are poised to add more operators in all US markets during 2021 and have a roadmap of high-profile game launches. And, as we’ve once again shown, we’re ready for new markets being switched on and partnering casinos to offer a standout product to their players the minute they go live.

NetEnt continues growth in PA

NetEnt continues to grow market share in the red-hot Pennsylvania online casino market. The company formed some key partnerships in the latter half of 2020. Those included launching games on the Cordish Companies‘ online casino PlayLive! as well as the Wind Creek online casino.

Brian Uran, vice president of marketing for PlayLive!, explained the desire to partner with NetEnt:

“As one of the first suppliers to go-live in Pennsylvania, NetEnt’s portfolio is must-have for any operator looking to compete in the online sector. Partnering with them was a priority for the launch of PlayLive!”

The company also expanded its deal with DraftKings to include PA and neighboring West Virginia, as well as new markets to come.

Brian Kraft, NetEnt vice president commercial, Americas said of the partnership:

DraftKings’ size and market presence make this launch one of the most significant to date. We’re proud to expand our relationship with such a well-known operator and look forward to continuing the success that we’ve achieved together so far. We are thrilled to have such a renowned operator on board as we enter new jurisdictions.

PAOC editor Valerie Cross contributed to this article.

Fly Eagles, Fly: First Pro Sport Slot Game in US Now Available at Unibet PA

Pennsylvania online casino players now have access to a Philadelphia Eagles online slot and Eagles-themed blackjack at Unibet Casino PA.

As if betting on the Philadelphia Iggles wasn’t enough of an adventure recently, Unibet Casino now offers die-hard Eagles fans an option to wager on the first pro sports-themed online slot in Pennsylvania.

First slot in the US to feature pro sports team

It’s also a first in the US. As of yet, there are no other professional sports themed slots at legal online casinos.

Unibet partners with Mohegan Sun Pocono for both its online casino and online sportsbook, and is part of the Kindred Group.

Innovatively, Unibet allows gamblers to toggle back and forth seamlessly between the online casino and the online book.

The new slot offering is made possible by Unibet’s continued partnerships with the Eagles and online game provider Pala Interactive. Kindred recently extended its Pala partnership to additional states.

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Details of the Eagles slot game at Unibet

The “Eagles Online Slot” game has familiar Eagles symbols, snappy snare drums setting down the beat, and appropriate scrimmage grunting.

The game has 27 lines, five reels, and three rows.

Hitting three or more free spin symbols activates free spins with multipliers. Three wheel bonus symbols on an active pay line activates the wheel bonus game.

The wild symbol subs for any symbol except for free spins and the wheel bonus signal.

New Unibet slot follows Eagles blackjack

The new game follows closely behind the debut of “Eagles Blackjack.”

Until Jan. 28 at 11:59 p.m., the two games offer a chance to win up to $5,000 in a leaderboard points race called Eagles End Zone Rush. Details are spelled out online under “promos and offers.”

Kindred vice president Jonathan Aiwazian said:

“With the tremendous response we have seen to the release of `Eagles Blackjack’, we are thrilled to be able to deliver a second sports-themed game to the Pennsylvania market, this time within the slot category.

“The partnership with the Philadelphia Eagles continues to be a source of innovation and delight to fans and customers of both organizations”

The Eagles see the games as a way to connect with fans.

Eagles senior vice president for revenue and strategy, Catherine Carlson, said fans quickly embraced the blackjack game and they expect the same with the new slot game.

Said Carlson:

“We are always seeking new and creative ways to connect with Eagles fans throughout the year. We are excited to roll out ‘Eagles Online Slot’ to fans and look forward to growing our innovative partnership offerings with Unibet.”

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Lead image credit: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

PA Online Casino Revenue Surges Past $70 Million in December 2020 with Big Push from Penn

PA online casinos set new record highs in December 2020, helped along by retail casino closures and new additions like BetMGM.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced a new monthly record for revenue generated by iGaming. December sports wagering handle was also the highest ever for PA.

Casino games online generated more than $71.6 million in gross revenue during December 2020 compared to just above $10.6 million a year earlier.

December easily eclipsed the previous revenue high for online casino gaming, set in October 2020 at more than $59.7 million.

Online casino and online table games together had revenue of nearly $68.9 million in December. By contrast, retail revenue collectively tallied just more than $59.2 million.

Tax revenue generated from internet gaming play during December 2020 was more than $29 million.

Closures much of month for retail hurt revenue

The record results for iGaming came during a month in which retail operations at casinos and video gaming terminals (VGT) went dark.

Operations ceased on December 12th and remained closed through the end of the month due to statewide COVID-19 restrictions.

Even before that, the number of retail slot machines in operation on Dec. 11, 2020 – the day before a forced closure – was only 16,957 compared to 24,116 at the casinos on Dec. 30, 2019, according to the PGCB.

Some key figures from the December 2020 revenue report:

  • Online casino revenue was up a staggering 730.2% year over year.
  • Land-based casino slots were down 77.5% YoY.
  • Internet table games revenue was up 776.9% YoY.
  • Retail table games were down 78.2% YoY (from $78.1 million in Dec. 2019 down to $17.1 million last month).

With the closures, the combined total revenue in December from all forms of gaming and fantasy contests was more than $168.7 million, representing a decrease of 42.2% compared to revenue generated in December 2019.

Online wagering boomed, set new records

Recent growth in online gaming streams helped offset what would have been a much larger drop in YoY revenue.

Combined revenue for online casinos, poker, and online sports betting was $104.5 million, or 61.9% of the total PA gaming revenue for December.

Online poker was up slightly at $2.7 million, compared to $2.4 million in November. There is still just one operator, PokerStars PA, via Mount Airy Resort.

VGTs hurt by forced closures

Truckstop VGT terminals were down 8.67% to $802,918. Like casinos, they were ordered closed much of December.

A year ago, in December 2019, VGTs brought in $879,153.

Sports wagering boomed with the highest monthly handle

PA sportsbooks had their best month ever in December. The month’s total sports wagering handle was nearly $548.6 million or 11.5% above the November total of $491.9 million.

December was the highest monthly handle ever, eclipsing the previous record $525.8 million wagered in October.

The taxable revenue figure for December 2020 was just above $34 million, or 8.8% below the November taxable revenue of more than $37.3 million, which remains the highest for any month to date.

With two years of operating history for sports betting in PA, the Keystone State is the No. 3 jurisdiction for sports handle behind Nevada and New Jersey.

Daily fantasy contests were off 12.34%, with revenue of just more than $3 million.

December PA online casino breakdown by operator

A complete breakdown of December revenue, including slots and table games by operator (online gaming license holder), can be found here:

Casino OperatorTotal RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games Revenue
Rivers Philly (SugarHouse & BetRivers)$19.3 million$15.9 million$3.4 million
Penn National (DraftKings Casino)$13.7 million$6.0 million$7.7 million
Valley Forge (FanDuel)$11.2 million$5.1 million$6.1 million
Mt. Airy (PokerStars & Fox Bet)$7.0 million$2.8 million$1.4 million
Penn National (BetMGM)$5.7 million$3.9 million$1.8 million
Parx Casino$5.0 million$4.6 million$418,000
Penn National (Hollywood Casino)$4.0 million$3.9 million$128,000
Mohegan Sun Pocono (Unibet)$3.1 million$2.1 million$963,000
Harrah's Philly (Caesars)$1.3 million$978,000$351,000
Wind Creek Casino$591,000$441,000$150,000
Live! Casino Philadelphia (PlayLive!)$400,000$327,000$73,000
Presque Isle Downs (BetAmerica)$164,000$151,000$13,000
Totals:$68.9 million$46.2 million$22.6 million

Casino operators by the numbers

The clear front-runners in the online casino race in PA remain Penn National, Rivers Philadelphia, and Valley Forge.

The top five PA online casinos for December revenue include:

  • BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Philly): $19.3 million
  • DraftKings Casino (Penn National): $13.7 million
  • FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge): $11.2 million
  • PokerStars/Fox Bet (Mount Airy): $7.0 million
  • BetMGM (Penn National): $5.7 million

New additions, Penn on the rise

Penn National has made a large leap when it comes to online casino market share in PA. With the addition of BetMGM Casino on Dec. 4 (through its Hollywood Casino Morgantown license), Penn now boasts three iGaming options in PA: Hollywood online casino, DraftKings, and BetMGM.

BetMGM got off to a strong start, posting the fifth-highest iGaming revenue out of the gate.

Other recent additions – Wind Creek casino and Live! Casino Philadelphia’s PlayLive! – were near the bottom at $591K and $400K in revenue, respectively.

BetRivers/PSH had the largest slot revenue at $15.9 million. DraftKings won the online table category at $7.7 million, with FanDuel just behind at $6.1 million.

BetMGM Expands to PA, Offers to Buy UK Gambling Partner Entain for $11 Billion

BetMGM recently debuted online casino and sports betting products in PA. Now its parent company is looking to absorb online gambling partner Entain.

BetMGM waded into the crowded Pennsylvania online casino market last month, becoming the state’s 13th iGaming option.

They upped the ante by adding a live dealer option shortly after launch. Games for now include blackjack liveAmerican roulette, and American auto roulette.

And on Dec. 18, BetMGM launched Pennsylvania’s 11th online sportsbook. They are partnered with Penn National’s Hollywood Casino for iGaming and Hollywood Casino Morgantown for sports.

On Jan. 4, news dropped that MGM is attempting to buy out UK gambling company Entain, its partner in online BetMGM gambling endeavors.

Play At BETMGM Casino Now With Free $25 On Sign Up

MGM looking to expand footprint

The BetMGM brand is already live in or heading to nine states, with more to come. Entain is the owner of a number of popular UK betting brands including bwin, Ladbrokes, partypoker, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Sportingbet, and online game brands including CasinoClub and Foxy Bingo.

Entain confirmed Monday the MGM offer equivalent to $11.06 billion, an offer Entain said “significantly undervalues the company and its prospects.”

As such, the deal was rejected, with Entain requesting “additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies.”

The proposal is reminiscent of Caesars’ purchase of William Hill last year for $3.7 billion. Absorbing Entain would propel MGM, already a large player in the casino industry, into one of the biggest gaming companies in both land-based and online arenas.

Entail PLC (formerly GVC) stock jumped more than 25% on the London Stock Exchange Monday to around $19.40 with the offer news. MGM stock was trading down over 4% at around $30 mid-day.

BetMGM welcome offer

If you’re new to BetMGM casino in PA, it’s a good time to get started. The newcomer’s offer for first-time depositors is typical, but it has longevity.

First, there is $25 in freeplay. And there is also a 100 percent deposit match up to $1,000. Both offers expire on Dec. 31 – but that’s Dec. 31, 2021!

There’s lots of fine print, but for those who want to get rolling, the simple skinny is:

  • Go to BetMGM, create an account, and become a verified player.
  • $25 in freeplay is automatically added to your account, available for immediate use.
  • Winnings received from the $25 freeplay bonus are not eligible for withdrawal unless the player has made a deposit.
  • Once a deposit is made, any winnings are immediately eligible for withdrawal.

All BetMGM casino games are eligible. There are wagering and deposit requirements. Most critically, there is a 15x playthrough for the release of the bonus.

Look out for new offers weekly. Like their “Seal the Deal” $5 free play bonus for wagering $50 on slots in January.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Note: PAOC editor Valerie Cross contributed to this article.