Pennsylvania Online Poker Options Triple With BetMGM Poker And Borgata PA Launches

Both BetMGM and Borgata online poker sites are now live for testing in Pennsylvania, set to go fully operational April 29.

The wait is over, Pennsylvania poker players! Borgata Poker and BetMGM Poker PA sites are now live for testing as of April 27.

The PGCB confirmed to PlayPennsylvania that both sites will undergo a two-day testing period starting Tuesday. Assuming all goes as planned, BetMGM and Borgata poker will be fully operational in PA beginning April 29.

After nearly 1.5 years with a single online poker operator, there are now three.

BetMGM and Borgata poker apps operate on the same platform in the partypoker US network. They also share player pools but operate under different iGaming licenses in PA, meaning players can take advantage of sign-up bonuses on both sites when they’re fully live.

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BetMGM Poker and Borgata PA give players more options

BetMGM poker launched under the Hollywood Casino Grantville iGaming license, just as BetMGM online casino did in PA. Borgata online casino and poker room are partnered with Rivers Casino Philadelphia. But that isn’t stopping the sites from sharing players.

As PGCB spokesperson Doug Harbach told PlayPennsylvania:

“Players can enter via either provider and be combined into one when it comes to playing cash or tournament games.”

The combined pools should help the newest poker operators compete with PokerStars PA, which got a sizable head start in the market. BetMGM is also live in New Jersey and Michigan, while the Borgata skin is also live in NJ.

In Michigan’s nascent online poker market, PokerStars also got about a two-month head start over BetMGM. PokerStars’ opening series in MI performed much better than BetMGM’s, but that was largely thanks to a disparity in scheduling.

PokerStars set out with an ambitious MI Championship of Online Poker series with 60 tournaments and $1 million guaranteed. BetMGM’s first Michigan series promised $300,000 over 10 events. Ultimately, both bested their guarantees. The recent BetMGM Online Series paid out over $360,000 while PokerStars MICOOP topped $2.2 million in prize pools.

Tournaments and games on offer at BetMGM and Borgata Poker PA

The new PA poker rooms stick to the familiar top three popular games, for now:

  • No-limit Texas hold’em
  • Fixed limit hold’em
  • Pot Limit Omaha (Hi and Hi-Lo)

Using the tabs atop the app, players can choose from cash games, sit & go tournaments, multi-table tournaments (“Tourneys”), Fast Forward (fast fold cash games), and Spin & Go (short-handed jackpot style SNGs). NLH and PLO cash games run from stakes of $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50, while the fixed-limit hold’em games go from $0.02/$0.04 to $30/$60.

PA players can expect similar tournament series as those BetMGM and Borgata run in other states, but guarantees may be a bit bigger. To start, it looks as though PA players will get:

  • Daily $10Ks, $109 buy-in
  • Mega Tuesday $535 buy-in $12K GTD
  • Thursday $320 buy-in PKO Bounty (progressive knockout), $10K GTD
  • Sunday $40K, $215 buy-in
  • Dozens of other daily tournaments
  • Keystone Grind promo: Earn up to $6,500 in a month via poker credits (iRPs) earned for real-money cash games and tournaments

These partypoker US network sites will also likely host an opening series soon for PA players.

BetMGM poker, casino, and sportsbook are all integrated on one app. If a Borgata Sportsbook launches in PA, it would also integrate with Borgata poker and casino online.

How to download Borgata and BetMGM Poker apps in PA

Looking for Borgata Poker in PA? It is in the app store. Put Borgata poker in search bar. Although it says “play from anywhere in NJ,” it is for PA users. You can login with Borgata online casino credentials or create a new user ID.

Getting started on BetMGM and Borgata poker PA:

  • Download and install each app or client
  • Create an account and pick a username
  • Deposit funds easily with a range of options
  • Try out play money games to get comfortable before playing for real money if you want

Why the lag?

Poker players in PA rejoiced when PokerStars launched Nov. 4, 2019 and understandably, they expected more sites to follow soon after. But a cocktail of factors caused delays and made the PA poker market less appealing.

Concerns over a 2018 DOJ Wire Act Opinion led PA regulators to raise requirements for operators. That included requiring separate PA servers for each site, even ones already live in New Jersey. Additionally, shared liquidity or the sharing of player pools across states, seemed unlikely in the near term.

However, a court decision in January 2021 overturned the Opinion which claimed the Wire Act applied not just to sports betting across state lines but all forms of interstate online gambling. The latest decision clears the way for PA and other states like Michigan to join interstate compacts like the one that already exists between NJ, Nevada, and Delaware. The addition of MI and PA to these existing joint player pools will drive up tournament guarantees, poker action, and of course, operator revenue.

PokerStars has done well in PA, but its revenue pales in comparison to what PA online casinos are bringing in. In March, PokerStars poker site accounted for $2.4 million in revenue, while PokerStars/Fox Bet online casino made $4.8 million. PA online casinos combined brought in a record $95.3 million in March.

Relatively low revenue combined with a relatively high tax rate (16%) for online poker is thus another likely reason operators weren’t clamoring to launch poker sites in Pennsylvania. However, the tides seem to be turning much more favorable for poker’s growth in Pennsylvania and in the US more generally.

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.

Topgolf Partnership is Latest Move in BetMGM Gambling Expansion

BetMGM is expanding fast, most recently partnering with Topgolf and planning to launch a Borgata online casino in PA.

It’s a lot like the wave

If you’ve ever been to a ball game, you’ve probably seen it before. People stand up and throw their arms in the air and then others join in. Before long, the whole stadium sweeps up in a wave that spreads across the entire crowd.

That’s kind of how sports betting is moving these days. Take the BetMGM brand as a case study.

Last week, BetMGM announced a partnership with Topgolf that will provide joint opportunities for gaming, marketing, and promotions at Topgolf venues across the country.

“We look forward to introducing Topgolf guests to the immersive sports betting experience that only BetMGM can provide,” BetMGM’s Chief Revenue Officer Matt Prevost said in a news release. “Topgolf is known for offering unique and interactive entertainment options, which our loyal BetMGM users can now access through a variety of exclusive and customized packages.”

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Topgolf already has a presence in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can witness the partnership come together first-hand at a TopGolf location in Pittsburgh and another one that’s being planned near King of Prussia.

In addition to Pennsylvania’s locations, the partnership will be visible throughout Topgolf venues in cities where BetMGM operates. Those include its Las Vegas location at MGM Grand plus Indianapolis, Nashville, Detroit, Virginia Beach, and Denver. It also includes those within the WGT by Topgolf platform. 

BetMGM will also pursue branding and promotional integrations in other  Topgolf locations as sports betting and iGaming platforms become available in new states.

Beyond the BetMGM partnership, another online casino also made news in Pennsylvania this week. 

Borgata Casino joining PA iGaming market soon

Borgata online casino, also owned by MGM, will launch in Pennsylvania this week in partnership with Rivers Philadelphia. The BetMGM brand is already live in PA with online casino and sports betting apps that launched in December 2020.

While the Borgata iGaming app will partner with Rivers, BetMGM is partnered with Penn NationalHollywood Casino Grantville for online casino and Hollywood Casino Morgantown (coming in 2021) for online sports betting. In Pennsylvania, an iGaming and sportsbook app do not need to share the same land-based operator.

The Borgata online casino is already live in New Jersey. It is likely the Pennsylvania entity will provide similar rewards and promotions for new players.

BetMGM to launch online poker rooms in MI and PA

Although the BetMGM sportsbook/betting brand arrived later than many others, it continues to expand rapidly across the country.

Plans are in place to launch a BetMGM online poker room in Michigan in the near future, and one is expected to follow in Pennsylvania later in the year. For now, PA has one online poker room, PokerStars PA, a site that also launched in Michigan late last month.

Gambling wave continues in the US

And so, just like the wave that forms inside a stadium, the BetMGM brand continues to grow in strength, gain support, and spread across the country.

Many other sports betting and gaming companies are sharing in similar success.

The momentum is growing.

And the energy is expanding in every direction.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

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.

Your Guide to Live Dealer Games at PA Online Casinos

Live dealer games finally arrived at PA online casinos. Here’s a look at how they work, and where you can play them in Pennsylvania.

The much-anticipated live dealer games are now available in Pennsylvania.

Live dealer give players the chance to play casino table games, at home in real time with a live dealer. The most common options are blackjack, roulette and baccarat.

These games are transmitted from a remote studio and live-streamed to computers and mobile devices. A dealer, just like if you were at a casino, deals the cards.

Some reasons players prefer live dealer:

  • Social interaction
  • Slower pace
  • More entertaining than playing against RNG (random number generator)
  • Trust playing a live dealer more than RNG

These games in PA are provided to casino operators via a partnership with Evolution Gaming. To get a feel for the games, see the demo video from PlayUSA provided below.

Here are some online casinos in Pennsylvania that feature live dealer and a list of their selection of games, which are available on iOS, Android and desktop.

BetRivers online casino

The BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse library features low- and high-stakes Blackjack games (with side bets such as 21+3 and Bet Behind).

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • First Person Roulette
  • First Person Lightning Roulette
  • First Person Blackjack

DraftKings Casino

Players in PA can access DraftKings Casino through the standalone casino app, the DraftKings sportsbook app or via desktop.

DraftKings live dealer selections in PA so far include:

  • DraftKings Blackjack 1: Min bet $100/max bet $5,000
  • Blackjack 1: Min bet $30/Max bet $2,500
  • Backjack 2: Min bet $50/Max bet $5,000
  • Blackjack 3: Min bet $250/Max bet $5000
  • Blackjack 4: Min bet $50/Max bet $5000
  • Blackjack 5: Min bet 50/Max bet $5000
  • Blackjack 6: Min bet $30/Max bet $2500
  • Infinite Blackjack: Min bet $1/Max bet $5,000
  • Roulette: Min bet $.50/Max bet $2,000
  • Auto Roulette: Min bet .10/max bet $10,000

FanDuel online casino

Live dealer games for FanDuel can be accessed through through the standalone app, the FanDuel sportsbook app, or via desktop.

FanDuel games selection:

  • Infinite Blackjack: Min $5/Max $5,000
  • Slingshot Roulette: Min .10/Max $10,000
  • Blackjack Table 1: Min $25/Max $5.000
  • Blackjack Table 2: Min $50/Max $5,000
  • Blackjack Table 3: Min $250/Max $5,000
  • Blackjack table 4: Min $250/Max $5,000
  • Blackjack table 5: Min $50/max $5,000
  • Blackjack table 6: Min $30/Max $2500
  • First Person Lightning Roulette: Min .20/Max $10,000
  • First Person Blackjack: Min $1/Max $5,000
  • First Person Roulette: Min .20/Max $10,000

Bet MGM online casino

BetMGM live dealer:

  • Blackjack Live
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • American Roulette
  • American Auto Roulette
  • First Person Roulette
  • First Person Lightning Roulette

Borgata PA casino

Borgata online casino is the sister site of BetMGM, which launched in PA in partnership with Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

The site has live dealer offerings including:

  • Blackjack Live
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • American Roulette

Caesars Casino

Live dealer at Caesars online casino:

  • Live Blackjack Table 1: Min $30/Max $2500
  • Live Blackjack Table 2: Min $50/Max $5,00o
  • Infinite Blackjack: Min $5/Max $5000
  • Live Roulette: Min. 50/Max $10,000)

Unibet

Live dealer at Unibet online casino:

  • Infinite blackjack: Min $5/Max $5,000
  • Blackjack 1: Min $30/Max $2,500
  • Blackjack 2: Min $50/Max $5,000
  • Roulette: Min .50/Max $10,000
  • Auto routlette: Min .10/Max $1,000

Hollywood casino

Live dealer choices at Hollywood online casino:

  • Blackjack Live (6 tables)
  • Infinite Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Lightning Roulette
  • First Person Blackjack

Description of Evolution Studio’s Live Dealer Games

Here’s a description of the live dealer games from Evolution Studios.

First person Lightning Roulette: In every game round, one to five randomly generated lucky numbers are struck by lightning and have random multipliers of between 50x and 500x applied.

First Person Roulette: The classic single zero game from a first person perspective.

Blackjack Live: Touted as the “fastest live dealer blackjack in the world.” There are seven seats at each live table. An unlimited number of players can also “bet behind.” Live dealers interact with players throughout the game and deal “real” cards. Bets are placed through an interface as players try to achieve a hand that’s closer to 21 (without going over) than the dealer’s hand.

Players also have the choice of:

  • Full screen video
  • Optional insurance
  • Double down
  • Split pair bets
  •  21+3 and Perfect Pairs Side Bets
  • Pre-Decision and Bet Behind added-value features

First Person Blackjack: A first person view of the table (pictured, right). It includes the usual Blackjack bets and Perfect Pairs and 21+3 side bets. In addition, the player has a choice of five hands in each game round. You can place a bet on one hand or multiple hands.

Infinite Blackjack: An unlimited number of players can all play on the same seat whereas standard Blackjack tables have 7 seats.

Tipping dealers at online casinos

When you are playing live dealer games, you can tip dealers just like you would at a brick-and-mortar-casino.

Click on the “hamburger menu”and you will see an option for tipping. The dealer’s name will appear and you’ll be given an option of what amount you would like to tip.

Live dealer demo from Golden Nugget NJ

If you would like to get a look at how live dealer games work, check out this video from the PlayUSA YouTube channel.

PA Casino Players Ring in the New Year with Big Jackpot Wins

These PA online and land-based casino players started the year off right with big jackpot wins at slots and table games.

As temperatures dropped, January jackpots raised the spirits of a number of lucky Pennsylvanians.

All casinos in Pennsylvania reopened on January 4 after closing for a few weeks in December to slow the spread of coronavirus. A new year brought a new casino to Pennsylvania. Live! Casino Philadelphia opened for preview days ahead of its official Feb. 4 grand opening. With the slots turned on and the games “live,” the casino handed out its first jackpots.

Whether casinos were closed or if players didn’t feel like braving the cold, many found big wins at PA online casinos, which are always “open.” In December, a player at Hollywood Online Casino won $537,000, the biggest jackpot win ever on the site.

Here are some players who started off 2021 with jackpot wins.

This is not a complete list of jackpots.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

What a way to ring in the New Year. A $111,864 Four Card Poker jackpot.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Two Dancing Drums jackpots at Rivers Pittsburgh:

Rivers Casino Philadelphia

Rivers Philadelphia announces some of their jackpot winners on their Instagram stories. Vincent S. won $33,600 at All-Star Poker II.

Live! Casino Philadelphia

Martino C. won Live! Casino Philadelphia’s first big jackpot when he hit for $48,000 on the Double Diamond slot.

The first jackpot at Live! Casino Philadelphia was for $2,600 at China Shores.

Mount Airy Casino

Mohegan Sun Pocono

Wind Creek Casino

Wind Creek online casino winners:

Parx Casino

A $53,186 jackpot at Lightning Cash.

Other jackpot winners at PA casinos

The Meadows:

Hollywood Casino:

Presque Isle Downs:

Please note, these results are not common. PAOC reminds readers to always set limits and play responsibly.

Lead image via Live! Casino facebook page.

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.

When Will WSOP.com Stop Hinting and Start Dealing in PA?

WSOP teased an impending launch in a new market with their recent Online Circuit Series announcement. Could it mean good news for PA poker players?

It’s a new year. Much as was the case throughout the last one, online poker players in Pennsylvania continue to watch for the arrival of WSOP.com to the Keystone State.

Neither the WSOP nor the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) have shared anything new during the first two weeks of 2021 regarding the launch of WSOP PA.

However, there have been hints, including one this week suggesting WSOP.com could be coming sooner than later.

Wait continues for WSOP in PA

The last we heard on the matter was in October 2020 when a Caesars representative noted it would be at least 2021 before WSOP.com would launch in PA.

By then the PGCB had already approved an interactive gaming manufacturer license for Caesars‘ online poker partner 888 Holdings. Indeed, some Pennsylvanians began to receive promotional emails at the time suggesting a WSOP.com PA launch was imminent.

Among other clues being parsed then were changes to the WSOP.com website. Those included the addition of a Harrah’s Philadelphia logo and a PA-specific “House Rules” page.

Such co-branding of Harrah’s Philadelphia resurfaced on a promo page in recent days, although it has since vanished. That said, this week’s announcement of a new 2021 WSOP Online Circuit Series includes an even more tantalizing suggestion.

WSOP Online Circuit announcement teases new WSOP.com site launch

The year-long series actually involves multiple tournament series of 12 or 18 events each. The schedule somewhat follows the one used by the WSOP Circuit live tour. Such live events have understandably been postponed for now due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently only players on WSOP New Jersey and WSOP Nevada can participate in the events. Each awards a WSOP gold ring to the winner. There is also an ongoing leaderboard with a championship tournament scheduled at the end of December.

There are 12 series overall, one for each month in 2021. However, the announcement mentions “An additional 13th online circuit event is earmarked pending launch of the WSOP.COM service in a newly regulated market” (emphasis added).

With no other discussion, such a reference sounds as though it might indicate an additional WSOP Online Circuit “stop” could take place on WSOP.com PA soon after it launches.

Making moves in Michigan, online sites soon to launch

Then again, the reference could mean something else.

Stepping back to survey the national picture, Michigan is on the precipice of launching its first online casinos, likely in the coming days. Online poker may be part of the picture there as well, although perhaps not at the very start.

On Tuesday the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) had its first public meeting of 2021. One consequence of that meeting was regulators giving the go-ahead to approved operators to launch their sites when ready. According to Online Poker Report, the first sites should go live by early next week.

That includes online poker, although “testing requirements” will likely delay the opening of the first online poker room (or rooms) in Michigan by “four or five days.”

WSOP.com is not among sites in the running to launch a poker room in MI at the start. Meanwhile PokerStars, still the only online poker room operator in Pennsylvania, appears poised to do so via its partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

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Prospects for multi-state agreements, shared liquidity

Of relevance to Pennsylvanians is the fact that earlier this month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law a bill allowing interstate compacts for online gambling. That means the MGCB can permit operators in MI with online poker to enter multi-state agreements with sites in other states that also permit such compacts, thereby allowing shared player pools.

Michigan online poker rooms will not be sharing liquidity with other states for a while yet, however. According to OPR, any sharing of Michigan player pools with those from other states will not happen until late 2021 at the soonest.

New Jersey could be Michigan’s first choice for such an agreement. MGCB staff are presently in discussions about an interstate compact with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Pennsylvania would likely be less quick to enter a multi-state compact, given the caution PA regulators have shown to this point regarding uncertainties surrounding the US Department of Justice‘s interpretation of the Wire Act.

In any case, stay tuned here to find out if and when WSOP.com PA stops hinting and starts dealing.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

December Jackpot Winners Find Luck Online and At PA Casinos

The month of December produced dozens of big jackpot winners across Pennsylvania, at land-based casinos and online gaming sites.

Casinos in Pennsylvania closed again in mid-December to slow the spread of coronavirus and reopened on Jan. 4.

Pennsylvania players had luck before the shutdown and online in December. A player at Hollywood Online Casino won $537,000, the biggest jackpot win ever on the site.

The “sun” shined on one lucky Mohegan Sun player twice as he won a pair of jackpots.

December was merry and bright for the following jackpot winners at PA online and retail casinos.

BetMGM online casino launches in PA

BetMGM online casino officially made its entrance into Pennsylvania in December. It’s the state’s 13th interactive casino.

The welcome offer for new BetMGM customers includes $25 in freeplay and a 100% deposit match up to $1,000. In addition, they are having a “party.” For BetMGM’s PA Launch Party Sweepstakes promotion, players earn entries for every $20 wagered on slots or table games.

BetMGM’s online casino arrived with a robust (for PA) library of games. It has:

  •  120 slot titles
  • 8 types of roulette
  • Game King Video Poker and Let it Ride
  • Baccarat
  • Jackpot slots Divine Fortune and Mercy of the Gods

BetMGM’s online casino is available in PA via Android, iOS and desktop (casino.pa.betmgm.com).

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Note: The following is not a complete list of winners from the month of December. 

Hollywood Online Casino biggest jackpot

An online casino in player in Pennsylvania got a not-so-scary surprise when he was playing Halloween Jack at Hollywood Online Casino.

On December 16, Randy won $537,000 at a Halloween Jack slot game.

“This has been our biggest jackpot win so far,” Rich Criado, general manager of iCasino for Penn National Gaming, said in a news release.

Rivers Casino Pittsburgh

Live! Casino Pittsburgh

Mohegan Sun Pocono

Wind Creek Casino

Wind Creek online casino wins:

Parx Casino

Hot stuff! A $105,576 win at Great Balls of Fire.

Other jackpot winners at PA casinos

Mount Airy:

Harrah’s Philadelphia:

Presque Isle Downs:

Please note, these results are not common. PAOC reminds readers to always set limits and gamble responsibly.

Lead image via Rivers Pittsburgh Twitter.

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.

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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.