PA Online Casino Revenue Continues Drastic Climb In February, Led By FanDuel

Online casino revenue in PA is really taking off now, and the addition of FanDuel to the market has helped lead that charge.

Online casino revenue in PA continued a trend of double-digit percentage jumps month-over-month in February, according to the PGCB.

In February 2020, revenue from PA online casinos increased by a staggering 39.6% over January 2020, which was itself up 31.4% over December of 2019.

Gross revenue from online slots, table games, and poker in February reached nearly $19.5 million.

That came out to $6.8 million in tax revenue from online casino.

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Table game revenue continues to gain ground on slots

Revenue broke down to over $9.6 million from online slots and more than $8 million from table games. Online poker, which has only one operator, brought in $1.8 million.

FanDuel, which entered the online casino space in late January, led the way with their partner, Valley Forge Casino.

The total February revenue for the relatively new FanDuel was nearly $6.1 million. Table games accounted for more than $4.8 million. That’s unusual since online slots typically contribute to the bulk of revenue for online casinos.

For instance, PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia) was second in terms of revenue, with $4.8 million in February and slots accounted for more than $3.1 million of it.

PA online casino revenue by operator in February

A complete breakdown of February revenue, including slots and tables games, can be found here:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge)$6,053,007$1,233,147$4,819,860
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$4,755,592$3,149,084$1,606,508
Parx Casino$2,352,492$1,861,267$491,225
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$2,315,459$2,164,360$151,099
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,393,103$717,068$676,035
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$723,229$449,992$273,237
BetAmerica Casino (Presque Isle Downs)$67,575$59,062$8,513

FanDuel surges to No. 1, online poker stays strong

After getting off to a hot start in the final days of January, FanDuel followed up strong. It took the well-known Daily Fantasy Sports brand less than a month to surge into the top casino operator spot.

The FanDuel Sportsbook was already the leader in PA. With the two verticals in an integrated app, FanDuel’s dominance in sports betting is clearly helping casino business.

As more people turn to online gaming with PA land-based casinos closed for coronavirus containment, FanDuel and other operators will likely get an uptick in traffic.

Online poker has already seen it, and PokerStars PA will be running its biggest series yet, PASCOOP, in early April. The lone online poker operator in PA continues to post strong numbers, which are likely to increase in March and April.

Coronavirus Concerns Rapidly Change Sports, Gaming Landscape In PA

Online gambling options in PA are all the more inviting in the current time of increasing isolation and precaution in face of coronavirus spread.

The sports and sports betting landscape around the world and in the Keystone State are still adjusting to a spate of cancelations, delays, and cautions.

One casino has closed in Pennsylvania so far on Gov. Tom Wolf‘s orders in an effort to help contain the coronavirus.

For now, the rest of the casinos in PA remain in operation, as do all online sportsbooks and online casinos.

*Update: All PA land-based casinos were ordered to close by March 17 by the PGCB.

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Rapidly evolving situation with coronavirus precautions

Gov. Wolf spoke in a press conference on Thursday, urging the cancellation of events involving large gatherings. He also singled out Montgomery County, which has been hit the hardest by the virus.

“No mass gatherings should be held, including conferences and rallies. By closing these facilities, we can control the spread of this disease, that’s the hope. And we can redirect our public safety and health officials to where they are needed the most.”

At about the same time as President Donald Trump spoke on Friday, Gov. Wolf announced all PA schools from K-12 would close until March 16.

Trump takes federal action against the virus

Additional changes are likely as Trump declared a national state of emergency Friday.

He invoked a federal law allowing his administration to aid state and local governments, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The move makes available more than $42 billion through the Disaster Relief Fund. Trump asked all hospitals to move to emergency status and removed many rules from how they operate.

The president also thanked the sporting world for responsibly mitigating against the spread of the virus by canceling and postponing events.

Changes are pervasive due to virus

Most flights to Europe are cut.

The NBA’s season is on hold, with some players who have tested positive and others in self-isolation due to exposure. The Sixers are on hiatus with the rest of the league.

The PGA is suspended. March Madness will not happen. The NHL is halted, including the Flyers and the Penguins.

Baseball’s opening day is pushed back to mid-May. The MLS and some European soccer are at a standstill and NASCAR is idling.

Valley Forge is the only closed casino for now

Valley Forge Casino closed its doors Friday morning, in compliance with a directive from the governor.

The property is in King of Prussia in Montgomery County, which Wolf referred to as the “epicenter” for the COVID-19 outbreak within the state.

Schools in that county shut down, at least for two weeks. As a result, more than 60 Philadelphia schools, with a high percentage of parents employed in Montgomery County, have also closed.

Valley Forge offers online betting options through FanDuel Sportsbook and FanDuel Casino, which remain open for business.

Online betting options still available

Online wagering remains an entertainment option for those living in states with regulated mobile gaming. PA betting apps offer casino games and sports betting on the limited remaining sporting events being played.

PokerStars PA the only PGCB-regulated online poker option in the state for now.

Online sportsbook operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and PlaySugarHouse sent out emails reassuring customers they are working on making good on wagers placed on unplayed games.

DraftKing’s note read:

This situation is fluid, so we are actively developing a status page where you can find the latest news on game and contest cancellations and schedule changes, with the goal of providing a one-stop destination for the answers to questions you may have. We will email our customer community as soon as this page is live and we will continue to update it with new information.

It will take time to sort this all out, obviously, but uncertainty is what remains certain.

Editor’s note: This is a rapidly evolving situation. We will continue to provide updates here.

Hail, Caesars: Gaming Giant Launches PA Online Sportsbook, Casino To Follow

Caesars has finally launched an online sportsbook in Pennsylvania, through their retail partner Harrah’s Philadelphia and iGaming provider Scientific Games.

Finally, Caesars Online Sportsbook soft-launched with limited hours during a mandatory test phase, which began Tuesday afternoon.

Full approval by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is pending, which will make it the ninth online sportsbook in the Keystone State.

The virtual book is in partnership with Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester, Delaware County and their platform provider, Scientific Games. Interface for now is through desktop and Android phones, with an iOS app to come.

Online casino games in the offing

Sometime this spring – no announced timeline – online casino games including slots, table games, and video poker will also launch, according to a news release.

The official release has no mention of online poker. But given that their license allows for it, and the brand offers poker through in neighboring NJ, it’s reasonable to expect it to follow.

A long wind-up to launch

It looked as if the online book would launch last fall. In fact, there was an announcement made targeting a September live date, but then the timeline was subsequently withdrawn without explanation.

Harrah’s has had approval from PA regulators to set up shop online since August 2018.

The retail sportsbook for Harrah’s opened in January 2019.

Integrated into Caesars Rewards Program

Executive VP of Gaming and Interactive for Caesars Entertainment Christian Stuart said of the venture:

“Caesars Entertainment is the leader in legalized and regulated gaming in the US, and this online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania is an exciting expansion given the incredible number of sports fans across the state.

“The online sports betting launch in Pennsylvania achieves another milestone in our strategy to offer Caesars branded mobile gaming products equipped with the latest technology and superior customer service that customers trust, across the most populous states in the U.S.”

Mobile products are integrated fully into the popular Caesars Rewards loyalty program, said Stuart. That means customers can earn and redeem points across all properties in the network.

The delay is not addressed in the announcement release. But it appears to have had to do with the pending closing of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado.

Caesars’ merger with Eldorado likely delayed rollout

Eldorado Resorts, Inc. got official PGCB approval in early February to follow through with the acquisition of Caesars.

The corporate change should not be an issue in PA. But the sale could prompt some changes in New Jersey, where Caesars owns a cluster of properties in Atlantic City.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack General Manager Chris Albrecht said of the online rollout: “With the addition of mobile sports betting, we look forward to more guests playing with us on the property and all-around Pennsylvania.”

Caesars Entertainment operates across 29 locations, including retail and online. They are now in the US states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana, Iowa, New York, and Nevada.

Funding options

Accounts can be funded in the app via VISA, MasterCard, PayPal, ACH, and several other forms of payment.

Sports bettors, online casino players, and likely online poker fans should be in for a treat given the ubiquity of the brand and Caesars’ well-received rewards program.

PA Online Casino Revenue Jumps In January 2020, Thanks To FanDuel Table Games

PA online casino revenue posted a 31 percent month-over-month increase in January 2020, thanks largely to the addition of FanDuel Casino.

Online gambling in PA is off to a strong start in the new year.

In January 2020, revenue from PA online casinos increased by a staggering  31.4% over December.

Gross revenue from online slots, table games and poker reached just shy of $14 million last month, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

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Online revenue continues to expand

That continues a run of double-digit increases online.

Gross online revenue in December was over $10.6 million, which was an increase of more than 10% over November’s revenue figures.

PlaySugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia) continues to dominate the online space in PA, bringing in nearly $3.55 million from online slots and table games.

In December, Rivers’ internet games revenue was more than $2.97 million.

A complete breakdown for the month by operator can be found in this table:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$3,549,970$2,420,204$1,129,765
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$2,405,023$2,143,292$261,731
FanDuel Casino (Valley Forge)$2,081,252$375,442$1,705,810
Parx Casino$1,644,854$1,154,368$490,486
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,322,829$589,879$732,950
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$786,447$505,867$280,580
BetAmerica Casino (Presque Isle Downs)$9,898$3,139$6,759

Online slots lead the way, table games get a boost

Online slot revenues continued to dominate, accounting for more than $7.19 million in revenue in January. It was a significant increase too, as December internet slot revenue was just over $5.57 million.

While still trailing slots, online table games had a strong January with revenue of more than $4.6 million.

That’s a healthy increase from December when the revenue take for internet table games was just $2.58 million. Nearly all of that growth can be attributed to FanDuel Casino, which launched in PA on Jan. 24.

In its limited eight days of operations in January, it took in an impressive $1.7 million in revenue in online table games alone.

Poker remains a one-trick pony in PA

PokerStars PA, with land-based partner Mt. Airy Casino Resort, earned more than $2.15 million in online poker revenue. They are the only operator with internet poker in PA for now.

But that January figure is down from the month before when they took in nearly $2.5 million. That number was helped along by the PACOOP series that ran in December.

Hollywood and newcomer FanDuel Casino on the rise

Following SugarHouse, Hollywood Casino at Penn National was second in online slots and table games for January.

They tabbed more than $2.4 million, with more than $2.14 million from slots and only $261,000 from table games. Both were increases from December.

The Valley Forge-partnered FanDuel Casino only operated its online casino for the last week of January but did exceptionally well considering the short time period.

Their overall gross revenue was more than $2 million, with more than $1.7 million from table games and $375,000 from slots.

PokerStars still trails in online slots, tables

Mount Airy/PokerStars was second only to SugarHouse (Rivers Philly) in January gross revenue with more than $3.48 million, though that result is due to their poker monopoly. Nearly two-thirds of their online casino revenue was from poker last month.

In terms of slots and table games, PokerStars Casino ranks fifth, ahead of only Unibet and the recently launched BetAmerica Casino.

The overall gross revenue figure for PokerStars is down from December when it was was more than $4 million.

PokerStars table games revenue was over $730,000, better than slots which tallied $590,000 – a sharp drop from the $750,000 they took in during the previous month.

And the rest of the field

Parx Casino had total internet revenues of slightly more than $1.6 million in January, primarily from slots which brought in $1.15 million. That’s roughly on par with their December figures.

Mohegan Sun Pocono, which operates as Unibet Casino, had gross revenue of $786,000. Slots accounted for nearly two-thirds of that figure. Unibet’s January revenue was nearly double what it posted in the previous month, when table games actually posted a small loss.

BetAmerica, the online casino through Presque Isle Downs, operated for just two days in January and collected $9,900 in revenue.

Tax collected from online casino was just under $5 million in the first month of 2020.

PA Online Gaming Revenue: Poker Closes In On Table Games In December

PokerStars topped the PA online gaming revenue charts in December 2019, thanks to poker, as slots drop slightly across the board.

Pennsylvania’s three online verticals – slots, table games, and poker – combined to produce $10.62 million in revenue for the month of December, 2019.

That figure represents a healthy 10.3% increase from November when revenue was $9.65 million, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). 

Dissecting online casino and poker revenue in December 2019

Of the total iGaming revenue, online slots brought in the most with $5.6 million while online tables games produced less than half that amount at $2.6 million.

Online poker, meanwhile, brought in nearly as much as table games despite having just one operator in only its second month.

PokerStars PA, in conjunction with land-based partner Mt. Airy, earned an additional nearly $2.5 million in online poker revenue to add to its online casino revenue. 

The following table breaks down online casino revenue for the five PA online casinos for December, with poker excluded:

CasinoTotal revenueSlots revenueTable games revenue
SugarHouse (Rivers Casino Philadelphia)$2,970,222$1,875,628$1,094,594
Hollywood Casino (Penn National Race Course)$1,692,797$1,472,941$219,855
PokerStars Casino (Mount Airy Casino)$1,559,057$753,570$805,487
Parx Casino$1,523,041$1,025,524$497,518
Unibet (Mohegan Sun Pocono)$406,445$442,922($36,477)

Mount Airy dominates with addition of PokerStars’ offerings

Mount Airy Casino Resort, the only operator offering poker, led the way this December in gross revenue from all online sources. Despite ranking just third of the five operators in online casino, its strong online poker showing catapulted it to first in overall revenue.

The total online revenue for PokerStars/Mount Airy was more than $4 million. That is not even including its online sportsbook FOX Bet.

Revenue for online slots was over $750k and online table games revenue was $805k for PokerStars Casino.

The debut of poker in PA during November was massive, with nearly $2 million in revenue. So it was no surprise December built on that with $2.47 million in revenue from poker.

As of now in mid-January, PokerStars remains the only site for poker in the state. Of course, that could change in a moment’s notice.

Rivers, formerly SugarHouse, leads casino revenues

Rivers Casino Philadelphia, which operates online under its old SugarHouse name, had gross revenue of more than $2.97 million.

Slots accounted for more than $1.9 million, while table games revenue was more than $1.1 million.

With poker excluded, Rivers revenue was tops in online casino, including both slots and table games categories. 

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Hollywood and Parx still contending in online casino

Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course was a distant third in total online revenue, but second when considering only online casino. With nearly $1.7 million in combined slots and table games, it narrowly beat out the revenue of PokerStars Casino.

Slots brought revenue of $1.47 million, far outperforming table games, which accounted for just $220,000.

Parx Casino was just behind Hollywood, with gross revenues of more than $1.52 million.

Slots revenue was just over $1 million while table games revenue came in at nearly $500k – a typical slots-to-tables ratio.

Unibet trails the field

The lowest gross revenue came in at just over $40ok for Unibet Casino, which launched in November via land-based partner Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Their performance was stunted in December by a minor loss of more than $36k at their table games. Thus all positive revenue was thanks to online slot play.

Time will tell if Unibet can close the large gap in online casino revenue, and which, if any operator, chooses to join PokerStars in the PA online poker waters in 2020.

Taxes for Online Casinos and Sportsbooks All Over the Map

States like PA who opt for high tax rates on online gambling may be limiting the growth potential of the market, especially as nearby competition rises.

The tax rates for online gambling are literally and figuratively all over the map as jurisdictions across the United States move to approve, regulate – and profit from – mobile/online wagering.

As 2020 begins, there are only three states – Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey – with regulated online betting on slots, poker, and table games. Nine states across the country, including PA and NJ, have online sports betting.

Here, we break down the various state tax rates for online gambling and discuss the implications of the vast range that exists across markets.

Online casino rates all over the map

Tax rates for online casino operations run from as low as 15% in New Jersey, the top revenue generator, to the 62.5% found in Delaware. That number comes from totaling the state’s cut, referred to as “revenue sharing” in DE, plus a 12.5% state vendor fee.

Pennsylvania took a different approach, varying tax rates depending on the vertical. PA’s rates are 54% for online slots, but 16% for online poker and online table games.

StateOnline Tax Rates
Delaware62.5%* (50%+12.5%**)
New Jersey15%
Pennsylvania54% (slots); 16% (poker & table games)

*These rates apply after the initial $3.75 million in revenue all goes to the state.

**50% goes to revenue sharing with the state and an additional 12.5% to the state vendor.

Online sportsbook rates run the gamut

Online sportsbook rates vary even more widely across the nine states with mobile sports wagering operational. Those states are:

  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Oregon
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • New Hampshire

The lowest tax rate among the online sportsbook jurisdictions is 6.75%, the rate employed in Nevada and Iowa.

The highest, Rhode Island, comes in at a staggering 83% when adding the 51% revenue sharing amount and the 32% cut for the state’s vendor.

Delaware comes in second-highest with its 62.5% tax rate set for online casino.

States with Online SportsbooksTax Rate
West Virginia10%
New Jersey13% (casino-based); 14.25% (racetrack-based)
New Hampshire51% (revenue share)
Rhode Island83%**
OregonNot disclosed

*Includes 50% revenue share with the state plus 12.5% to the state vendor

**Includes 51% revenue share with the state plus 32% to the state vendor

Pitfalls of high taxes on online gambling

Nevada was the lone state with full-fledged sports betting prior to the 2018 overturning of PASPA that opened the way for other states to join in. Their reasonable 6.75% tax rate across the board has stood the test of time.

While states like New Jersey, Iowa, and Indiana have followed suit with operator-friendly tax rates, others have clearly opted for a different strategy – to their detriment.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) believes setting tax rates too high to foster competition in the market makes it difficult to compete against illegal gambling operations. The AGA tracks tax rates across the country in the organization’s annual State of the State’s report.

“To compete with the illegal market, states must implement sensible policies – including tax rates and licensing fees – that enable a seamless shift to safer alternatives for consumers,” said Casey Clark, the AGA’s senior vice president, strategic communications.

Market saturation is changing the gambling business

There is a longstanding tendency by governments to treat gambling taxation as an elastic cash cow, shifting program funding from a state’s voting constituents to outsider companies.

That may have worked when gambling was relatively new, but with the increasing competition in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic gambling markets, high taxation in certain states has caused issues.

The high online tax rates in Pennsylvania come up when discussing the slowed rate of gambling market growth in the state. The huge 54% slot rate likely in large part explains why there are still just five online slot operators in a state as large and populous as Pennsylvania, with its nearly 13 million residents.

The other factor holding back expansion is likely PA’s decision to require computer servers to be housed within the borders of the Keystone State. This regulation stems from an early 2019 DOJ Wire Act opinion that has been taken at face value by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, even as other states attribute little weight to the interpretation.

With online casino growth left wanting, PA’s online sportsbook market has proven more appealing for operators, despite the hefty 36% tax rate on revenue.

Online sportsbook expansion is ‘hot’

There are currently eight online sportsbooks in PA with more expected to launch in the near future.

Pennsylvania’s online sports betting market has several factors working to their benefit.

Joe Bertolone, the executive director of the International Center for Gaming at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, said online sportsbook growth, even in high tax jurisdictions such as PA, will continue to drive expansion and innovation simply because that niche is considered “hot.”

Despite the high tax rate, the PA market is a “must” for operators due to the size of the state’s population of close to 13 million, added Bertolone.

“You’ve got to be there,” he said of PA.

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Small market states feel negative effects of high tax rates

Smaller markets like Delaware and Rhode Island don’t carry the same draw for potential operators. The impact of high tax rates is magnified in these states, which can be further constrained by local law.

While “The First State” was indeed the first in the country to offer a form of legal online casino, revenues from online gambling have underwhelmed to date. In addition to a small population of around 1 million, Delaware is constrained by a law that allows for just three online casino operators, one for each land-based casino.

All three brands operate on one single platform run by 888 Holdings. Competition in the DE market, therefore, is lacking.

The first state (besides Nevada) to launch legal retail sports betting, Delaware is still limited to land-based wagering at their three casinos plus state lottery retailers which can accept parlays of three teams or more.

The state lottery runs Rhode Island‘s only legal online sportsbook, and it has limited features and offers no bonus incentives.

Both states have traditionally treated gambling operations like a goose with limitless gold eggs. But they may soon be forced to change with the times.

Competition necessitates adjustments

After being out ahead of the curve when it comes to offering legal gambling, Delaware seems to be falling behind in adjusting to the post-PASPA era of online wagering.

Between its three casino sportsbooks and lottery retailers, DE brought in $132.5 million in handle for the year 2019, $19.5 million being revenue.

A look at year-on-year figures from 2018 to 2019 in the popular betting month of November, Delaware saw a significant 46% drop in handle while revenue was stagnant at $1.3 million.

With competition in surrounding states increasing, gambling revenues in Rhode Island have also disappointed of late. The Providence Journal reported in November that the state would claim less than $10 million in revenue for sports betting for 2019. That’s less than half of the $22.7 million projected in profit.

The state also now expects only $105 million in handle via the state’s new mobile app, just a fraction of the $595 million assumed in prior projections.

Will high online tax rates survive?

Bertolone has cautioned that expansion is dynamic, and markets will continue to feel the “ripple” as saturation is reached.

And yet, just like Delaware, Rhode Island’s tax rate remains in the stratosphere. PA’s rates likewise leave something to be desired, especially for potential online casino operators.

Whether states will make changes to online gambling tax rates perceived by many to be unsustainable or stunting growth of the market remains to be seen.

Divine Fortune Strikes Twice For One PA Online Slots Player

Thanks to not one but two jackpots on PlaySugarHouse’s Divine Fortune slot, one PA man is now almost $387,000 richer off $120 in bets.

Divine Fortune has struck for the 10th time at online casino since the game launched in July.

The popular Pennsylvania online casino progressive slot paid big.

A Hilldale, PA, man hit the mega jackpot this week for $151,000 with a $100 bet.

The 62-year-old man wants to remain anonymous. Maybe with good reason.

On Nov. 18, he won over $235,000 from SugarHouse on a $20 bet.

That’s almost $387,000 in winnings for one player.

Divine Fortune has a winning history at SugarHouse

Mattias Stetz, COO of Rush Street Interactive, the site’s operator, commented:

“Not only are these Divine Fortune jackpots hitting in rapid succession but our players are winning huge amounts of money multiple times. This latest winner has now collected two six-figure jackpots and we had another woman in PA hit three times.”

The winning at SugarHouse started with a bang,  with the first five happening after only two weeks. Things didn’t end there either.

Divine Fortune online slot returned three payouts worth over $250,000 to three PA players in just four days in September.

On Sept. 1, a woman from Selinsgrove, PA, hit for $196,000 on a $4 bet.

Thirty-nine minutes after her win, a man from Warrington, PA, turned a $30 bet into a $57,000 jackpot.

Then on Sept. 5, a woman from Levittown, PA, won $30,000 on a bet of just 40 cents.

That didn’t end things either.

The slot hit for the fourth time in September, meaning four jackpots in just 11 days.

The final September jackpot came on Sept. 12. A player turned a $10 bet into $61,000.

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Not the first repeat jackpot winner

On Oct. 22, a record payout for Divine Fortune hit on a mere $1 wager with a life-changing payout of almost $377,000.

The progressive online slot is not exclusive to the PA market or SugarHouse, though the paydays have certainly centered on SugarHouse.

In New Jersey, Divine Fortune has paid out more than $3 million since its inception in 2017.

In fact, a New Jersey cancer survivor hit the Divine Fortune jackpot for the third time in less than six months on NJ’s PlaySugarHouse site.

Her combined jackpots tally nearly $300,000.

BetAmerica Sportsbook Now Taking Bets From PA Customers…With A Few Hiccups

The latest PA online sportsbook to get up and running is BetAmerica, the online betting app from Presque Isle Downs and Churchill Downs.

BetAmerica quietly debuted at 4 p.m. on Monday with the first of a three-day test period supervised by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

Testing resumes Tuesday at 2 p.m. and runs until midnight. Then there is testing from noon to midnight Wednesday. Pending PGCB approval, the site will fully launch operations on Thursday.

No mobile apps yet for BetAmerica

Curiously, there is no iOS or Android app version of BetAmerica PA available yet. That’s unusual for PA online sportsbooks.

Each of the other seven online sportsbooks in the states offered an Android app at launch. Though, some did not have an iOS app available until weeks, or even months, after launch.

There is good news for cell phone users wanting to wager on BetAmerica. Like SugarHouse and Unibet, the site works in tandem with the third-party GeoGuard app from GeoComply. Users who download and utilize GeoGuard can access BetAmerica via their phones’ browsers to bet.

Be wary of potential technical hiccups

Signing up on the browser was not a smooth process for some users and required several refreshes of the page before getting information to submit.

The information required to create an account with BetAmerica is:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

BetAmerica operates an online casino and sportsbook in neighboring New Jersey. However, if you have an NJ account, you will need to sign up for a new account in PA.

Presque Isle is BetAmerica’s partner

The online sportsbook is partnered with Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie.

Presque Isle launched its retail sportsbook, also run by BetAmerica, in July.

No BetAmerica online casino for now

While there are plans to eventually offer a BetAmerica-branded online casino, Monday’s launch was for just the sportsbook. There is no word when an online casino could launch.

At launch, BetAmerica offered a $25 free bet and also matched deposits up to $100 at a rate of 100%.

Payment options do not currently include charge cards

Payment options under a button on the website says they are:

  • Play+ BetAmerica card
  • PayPal
  • Skrill
  • Pay Near Me
  • Online banking

Visa and MasterCard are also mentioned as forms of payment at the bottom of the sportsbook page.

However, a customer service representative confirmed that credit card deposits are not currently available. They added that Visa and MC will be available eventually, but he could not address why they are showing now.

Google Gives The Greenlight To Online Casino Ads In Pennsylvania

After years of refusing to allow gambling ads, Google will now let regulated online casinos in PA and three other states advertse on its sites.

Expect to see advertisements from Pennsylvania online casinos when you use Google in the near future.

The same thing will happen in New Jersey, Deleware, and Nevada as well. Online casinos or online poker are available in each of those states in addition to Pennsylvania. Gambling Compliance (paywall) reported on the change in the long-standing Google policy last week. The search engine giant produced over $116 billion in advertising revenue last year.

PA, NJ, DE, and NV will have gambling ads

The tech giant is updating its gambling and games policy to allow PA, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada to enable online casino ads.

If you travel to Las Vegas and expect to see ads for a variety of online casino games, don’t. Nevada does not permit most online casino games but does allow online poker.

Google’s new policy has no exact launch date. However, the policy could change as soon as the end of December or more likely in early 2020.

Change by Google comes as online gambling takes off

While there are still only a few states with legal and regulated online casinos, the list of states with online sports betting is growing by the week.

The policy change will permit online casino operators in the four states to routinely run ads via Google Ads, Google Display Network, YouTube, and AdMob.

The various platforms have specific niches:

  • Google Ads emphasizes connecting with clickable keywords, the most familiar form of internet advertising.
  • Google Display places display ads across the internet.
  • YouTube generates ad revenue from video ads placed before and during user videos
  • AdMob targets mobile apps users.
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Google Ad Manager not part of the deal

Google Ad Manager, which gives publisher some leeway about which ads appear on their sites, remains off-limits for gambling ads

Would-be advertisers will need to apply for certifications meant to assure age-verifications and a responsible gambling message.

Google began heading in this direction last June when it allowed sports betting ads in New Jersey. The company soon added Nevada and West Virginia to the list.

Then in October, Google allowed sports betting ads to appear in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, and Rhode Island.

No changes so far at Facebook

Google already allows gambling ads in many other countries where it operates. The Google Play Store, on the other hand, will continue its policy of no real-money gambling apps.

Facebook, on the other hand, is generally unreceptive to all gambling advertising. The company accounts for about 22 percent of internet ad revenue.

Facebook has a new play-for-fun provision for gambling in some non-US jurisdictions. However, that’s only on the country level, and not state-by-state, and does not extend to the US.

Following Strong Weekend Launch, PokerStars PACOOP Ups Guarantees Twice In Three Days

The opening weekend of the PokerStars PACOOP tournament series was so popular, the online poker site has upped the guarantees twice this week.

Talk about pent up demand. PokerStars PA has upped their guaranteed prize pools for the PA Championship of Online Poker series twice since the tournament series started on Nov. 30.

The upwards resets came after a successful weekend round of tournaments which launched the tournament series.

Sweet smell of success for PACOOP

For instance, the opening $100 No-Limit Hold’em event had a guarantee of $20,000.  The turnout more than doubled that number though,  with a prize pool of more than $50,000. The third event, with a $15,000 guarantee, finished with a nearly $35,000 prize pool.

The most significant event of the opening weekend, a $200 buy-in Sunday Special, had a $50,000 guarantee, but the final prize pool was $63,426. The top player took home nearly $12,000.

Here is a look at the remaining events on the schedule and what guarantees have been bumped up from the original number:

EventDateTournamentNew GuaranteeNewer Guarantee
17Dec. 5$200 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE]$30,000$40,000
18Dec. 5$50+R NL Hold'em$15,000$20,000
19Dec. 5$100 NL Hold'em [BigStack Turbo]$15,000
20Dec. 6$300 Eight-Game [6-Max]$15,000
21Dec. 6$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo, 6-Max]$15,000
22Dec. 7$100 NL Hold'em [Deepstack, 8-Max]$20,000$30,000
23Dec. 7$150 NL Hold'em [Saturday Speedway SE]$15,000
24Dec. 8$100 NL Hold'em [Marathon]$25,000$30,000
25Dec. 8$100 PL Omaha [8-Max]$10,000$12,000
26Dec. 8$150 NL Hold'em [6-Max, Big Antes]$25,000$30,000
27Dec. 8$300 NL Hold'em [Sunday Special SE]$60,000
28Dec. 8$200 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO]$35,000
29Dec. 8$100 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo]$12,000
30Dec. 9$300 NL Hold'em [4-Max]$30,000
31Dec. 9$500 PL Omaha [High-Roller, 6-max]$20,000$25,000
32Dec. 10$200 NL Hold'em [Super Tuesday SE]$50,000
33Dec. 10$100 No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo [8-Max]$8,000$10,000
34Dec. 11$30+R NL Holdem [6-Max]$10,000$15,000
35Dec. 11$200 NL Hold'em$20,000$25,000
36Dec. 11$100 Stud Hi/Lo$8,000$10,000
37Dec. 12$250 NL Hold'em [Thursday Thrill SE]$30,000$35,000
38Dec. 12$150 NL Hold'em [Turbo]$20,000
39Dec. 13$200 FL Holdem [6-Max]$10,000$12,000
40Dec. 13$200 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo]$10,000$15,000
41Dec. 14$300 NL Hold'em [6-Max]$30,000
42Dec. 14$75 NL Hold'em [Zoom]$15,000
43Dec. 15$100 NL Hold'em [Big Antes]$15,000$20,000
44Dec. 15$300 NL Holdem [Main Event, 2-Day Event]$125,000
45Dec. 15$50 NL Hold'em [Main Event Structure]$25,000$35,000
46Dec. 15$100 NL Hold'em [Progressive KO]$20,000
47Dec. 15$100 PL Omaha [6-Max]$10,000$12,000
48Dec. 15$75 NL Hold'em [Sunday SuperSonic SE, Hyper-Turbo]$10,000$12,000
49Dec. 16$150 NL Hold'em [Nightly Stars SE - PACOOP Wrap-Up]$25,000
50Dec. 16$100 NL Hold'em [Deep, Hyper-Turbo, 6-Max]$10,000$15,000

The COOP is part of the PokerStars brand

While this is the first COOP in PA, the COOP format is a signature brand for PokerStars in many jurisdictions. it is the first tournament series for the PA online poker site, which launched in PA just last month.

The recently launched poker site initially promised $1 million in guarantees across the 50 PACOOP events.

However, that changed Monday. PokerStars added $125,000 in guarantees. The Main Event, originally featured a $100,000 guarantee. Stars decided to bump that number up to $125,000.

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Guarantees now stand at $1.225 million

Then on Wednesday, PokerStars went all in, jacking up the guarantees again. The site added an additional $100,000 in guarantees, bringing the total to $1,225,000.

The second round of added money boosted the prize pool of the majority of the remaining events, though the Dec. 15 Main Event prize pool still stands at $125,000.

Final PACOOP day is Dec. 16

The PACOOP action started last weekend and continues through Monday, Dec. 16.

There are at least two tournaments to choose from daily and as many as six on one day. Buy-ins range from $50 to $500.

Heavy player traffic on PokerStars PA makes the added guarantees a less risky prospect for the site. Only one event required the company to make up the difference to hit a guarantee, and that fell short by only $200.