RushArena Slots Tournament Gives PA Online Casino Players New Customizable Ways To Win

BetRivers Casino Pennsylvania customers now have access to a new RushArena Slots Tournament feature in the online casino app

For Pennsylvania online casino players, the mechanics of trying to rack up line hits or chase progressive jackpots can get monotonous. A new RushArena slots tournament available in PA on BetRivers Casino aims to break up that mundane repetition.

Participation in the tournaments is highly customizable and allows you to participate at your convenience. The result is what could be a fresh take on online slots for Pennsylvanians.

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How RushArena slots tournaments work in PA

The RushArena premieres RushRace in PA on BetRivers. RushArena is Rush Street Interactive‘s new proprietary “multi-player tournament engine” while RushRace is the name for the actual tournaments themselves.

The gimmick behind RushArena is that it opens online casino play up for peer-to-peer games. Instead of competing against the house, your competition in such games is other BetRivers Casino players.

RushRace builds on the classic slots tournament format that brick-and-mortar casinos have employed for decades. It uses the technology to give players far more options than the land-based avenue can afford.

The biggest optimization there is customizability. That’s great because it allows you to take part in this tournament while sticking within your bankroll. There are different options for starting balances and wager amounts.

Along with the betting options, RushRace includes a wide array of available slot games on BetRivers. That allows you to pick from your favorites, try out a new title, and differentiate your strategy from other players.

Also of importance is the fact that you can take part when you want. You can log in and hit the slots at your convenience. Play a little, play a lot, on a break at work, throughout the evening, it’s up to you.

RushArena’s tech also allows you to see where you stand on the various leaderboards in real-time. While this should prove an enjoyable way to take slot play up a notch in PA, players who enjoy other games won’t be left out for long.

Slots just the beginning for RushArena and RushRace

A press release from Rush Street says the framework “will allow for the addition of new head-to-head contests and much more in the future.” If it reaches its full potential, RushArena has a lot of possibilities.

For one thing, there’s a potential social element. BetRivers Casino players could create their own custom competitions with friends, setting up their own parameters for their friendly wagers of slots or maybe other games as well.

The inclusion of table games presents another expansion option. PA gamblers who prefer to challenge others or work their way up leaderboards playing baccarat or roulette might enjoy this amenity as well.

“Enhancing the player experience remains our top business strategy,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive. “We listen to our customers, and by owning, building, and innovating the framework, we can tailor our games to deliver what our casino players, or insights obtained from them, have told us they want.  We use these ground-breaking game mechanics to create new experiences, which is consistent with our goal to increase retention, loyalty, and business KPIs.”

For now, the action is on the RushArena slots tournament. Until the program expands, that’s where PA online casino players can get a feel for RushRace and imagine the possibilities.

BetMGM Goes Black & Gold With New Steelers Casino Games

Black & gold & GREEN. Pittsburgh Steelers casino games online in PA. Enjoy Blackjack & Roulette w/ unique offers for Steelers fans

Blackjack and roulette is turning black and gold. Pittsburgh Steelers casino games are at online casinos in Pennsylvania.

In a news release last week, BetMGM Casino announced the launch of two new games, Pittsburgh Steelers Blackjack and Roulette.

The PA online casino games build upon BetMGM Sportsbook’s partnership with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which was first established in November 2020.

Steelers Casino Games – Blackjack and Roulette steelers casino games blackjack

The Steelers Blackjack game was developed in partnership with Entain.

It allows players to wager in up to five seats and includes two popular side bets: 21+3™ and Any Pair. It also features a ‘go live’ button, which takes the player directly into a live dealer version of the game.

In addition, the Steelers roulette game (developed in partnership with Evolution) features realistic ball animations, section bets, and a full results statistical interface.

When a player accesses the roulette game, they enter into a three-dimensional rendering of a suite at Heinz Field – the Steelers home stadium.

“For BetMGM, it has been a successful first year as a gaming partner of the Steelers,” said Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming at BetMGM. “As we take the next step together, BetMGM is thrilled to further foster its connection with one of the most passionate fan bases in professional sports through these additions to our market-leading portfolio of games.”

The BetMGM and Steelers partnership has already boosted both brands

Since becoming the first gaming partner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, BetMGM has worked to blend its own brand with the storied football franchise. The partnership has included sponsorship of the kickoff pregame show and broadcast programming, digital marketing assets, and in-stadium promotions and signage.

Last season, the partnership also included the ‘Decade of Black & Gold’ contest. That sweepstake rewarded one grand prize winner with two club-level season tickets and two VIP hospitality tent passes for the next decade.

BetMGM is the leading operator in the nation and No. 1 in PA iGaming

According to the news release, BetMGM Casino is currently the leading online casino operator in the United States, with an estimated 32% national market share in its four states of operation.

BetMGM also leads Pennsylvania in terms of iGaming market share (October 2021: 25%). But the company keeps pushing forward. The black and gold games are the latest proof.

Pittsburgh Steelers Roulette and Blackjack will first launch at BetMGM Casino and Borgata Casino.

“We’re proud to see the continued growth of our partnership with BetMGM.  It provides our fans with exciting opportunities throughout the year,” said Ryan Huzjak, Steelers Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

Yesterday, Steelers fans were thrilled with a 20-19 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.

And soon, those same fans will be able to find their favorite team and its iconic colors inside Pennsylvania’s leading online casino.

Roulette and blackjack are turning black and gold.

Food-Themed Online Slots If You Still Have Room on Thanksgiving Day

No more turkey & still hungry for more? Here are some favorite food-themed online slots PA players can cash in on after Thanksgiving dinner!

Too much turkey? But still hungry for some slot action in the palm of your hands while waiting for your slice of the pie? PAOnlineCasino has some tasty tidbits offered by online casinos in Pennsylvania to keep you entertained before or after dessert. Here are some popular food-themed slots for PA online casino players to enjoy!

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BetMGM has the whole kitchen, well Hell’s Kitchen

At BetMGM, let’s start with the whole kitchen. Well, make that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay‘s Hell’s Kitchen, which may describe many a kitchen in the throes of meal prep for dozen or more, some of whom look only vaguely familiar.

The slot title is a trusted NetEnt game based on Ramsay’s wildly popular kitchen contest TV show. It is a five-reel game with 20 ways to win, bright food visuals, and banter straight from the chef.

The return to player ratio is 96.07% and is a popular player favorite. The max payout is X1,000. Sadly, there are no Ramsay-branded restaurants in any of the Commonwealth’s casinos.

Big Piggy Bonus is a new game from Inspired Gaming and is quite popular. The RTP is 95%. But the max payout is X1,250, which explains its appeal. The game features a bright pink pig. Maybe it is supposed to be a bank, but I keep thinking ham.

If you are a traditionalist, there’s also Wild Turkey, another NetEnt title with a return to player of 96.6%, 20 paylines, and five reels. There is a tribe of turkeys at large, worshipping wild symbols and offering free spins.

On the sweet side, Sugar Surge and Donuts. But Incredible Technologies Sugar Surge’s RTP isn’t that sweet at just 94.25%, though. Donuts percentage is better at 96.5. Random Donut Boxes act as multipliers.

SugarHouse offers a spicy slot

At SugarHouse, Jumpin Jalapenos from Konami has 30 paylines and an RTP of 96.04%.

The game plays out in a Mexican village. There’s an angry bull, tacos, and a hot pepper eating contest on this penny slot.

A man in a sombrero is the wild symbol, and there are scatters and free spins. A big win triggers fireworks bursting on the screen. The max payout is a low X500.

Keeping with the non-traditional food play, SugarHouse also has Hey Sushi with a progressive jackpot created by Habanero. A crab is the game’s wild symbol and there is a sushi platter scatter. Max win is X1,304 and the RTP is 96.71%. There are five reels and 25 paylines, plus multipliers and free spins.

Unibet vamps it up with slot offering high RTP

Unibet has set the table with different sorts of food-themed slots. That is the bloody vampire-themed Blood Suckers slot from NetEnt.

There are five reels, three rows, and 25 fixed paylines and it has been around for more than a decade. Maybe that’s because the game has a leading RTP of 98%. Plus, there is haunting music and just a taste of creepiness, such as a male vampire chomping on a maiden’s neck. The max payout is X1,014.

Caesars is Rakin’ Bacon with this food-themed slot

Caesars has a tasty food title with Rakin’ Bacon. The game features fattening a pig until the porker explodes with a win. The RTP is 95.89%, there are five reels and 243 paylines, and a progressive jackpot.

And seeing the golden pig blow up is strangely entertaining.

FanDuel seals the meal with addictive Candy Bars

FanDuel closes out our food-themed slots quest with Candy Bars with five reels and 40 paylines. There are progressive jackpots in three sizes, scatters, wilds, and multipliers, but an RTP of just 94.89%.

The simple IGT game, a fixture in land-based casinos, is played by filling canisters with sweet treats. There are four reels and as many as 50 paylines, wilds, and upbeat music.

PA Crosses $1 Billion in Online Casino Revenue for 2021, Shatters Gaming Records in October

PA online casinos and sportsbooks broke records in October 2021, joining NJ as the first state to cross $1B in yearly iGaming revenue.

Gaming in Pennsylvania continues to recover from the worst of the pandemic. In fact, it is still growing like gangbusters, October revenue numbers released by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) show.

October was a month of revenue records, for sports betting and online casinos.

PA gaming revenue has a record-setting October

PA crossed into the $1 billion stratosphere for iGaming revenue in a single year. And it did it the same month that New Jersey accomplished the same feat.

Sports wagering handle last month was staggering, nearly $776.3 million. That’s the highest to date. That easily beats the former record of $615.3 million total set in January 2021 by an impressive $161.1 million.

Total gaming and fantasy revenue (AGR) last month was $425.9 million, an increase of 33% compared to revenue in October 2020 when it was $320.2 million. The figure from this October is an all-time monthly revenue high.

Keep in mind there were more than 9,100 fewer retail slots in operation a year ago.

Retail table games set a record of just more than $89 million, a 41% increase year-over-year. That was also the single highest month ever, besting the July 2021 figure of  $86.9 million.

Performance, however, remained uneven from property to property. That was especially so in the online casino segment with one big winnerHollywood at Penn National and its affiliated brands – and three clear losers.

We take a closer look at the key numbers for continuing strong online casino performance and record-setting sports betting numbers.

Online casinos set new record, surpass $1B yearly revenue

Casino games available online generated gross revenue of $117 million during October 2021, increasing 58.7% compared to October 2020, when revenue was $73.7 million.

That’s a new high.

The tax revenue generated from internet casino play in October was $43.3 million.

So far this year, iGaming has generated just over $1 billion in revenue and $1.8 billion over its lifetime.

There are some clear winners and losers here, with the top three operators (making up 9 of 17 online brands) making up around 80% of market share.

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM | Barstool$44,444,677$30,388,315$13,753,252$303,110
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$31,025,369$27,509,521$3,407,780$108,068
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$19,570,740$11,441,383$8,129,357$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$7,330,911$3,959,319$1,515,758$1,855,834
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$3,185,474$2,055,915$542,248$587,311
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,446,901$1,991,867$455,034$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,861,652$1,669,670$191,982$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$1,427,382$1,055,154$372,228$0
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$1,156,567$948,356$208,211$0

Sports betting revenue sets new high

Helped by five NFL weekends and the start of NBA season, PA had its best-ever month for handle three years into legal sports betting. Also, with about half of all sports betting revenue and handle in PA coming in 2021, the segment is still gaining steam.

Sports revenue so far this year is more than $382.6 million with lifetime revenue at nearly $766.8 million.

Valley Forge Casino Resort, allied with FanDuel Sportsbook, had a total handle of $275.4 million with online revenue of $19.3 million. Their retail revenue added $566K.

Penn National’s Meadows Casino, partnered with DraftKings Sportsbook online, had a handle of $204.1 million, with online revenue of $9.6 million and total sports revenue of $9.8 million.

Land-based retail casinos fully recovered

In October, retail slot revenue was more than $203.3 million, up from $154.7 million a year ago.

Retail table revenue topped $89 million. A year back, table revenue was $63.3 million.

Penn National brands continue to suck up online casino market share

The dominant winner in the online casino segment was Hollywood Casino at Penn National Gaming, with $44.4 million in iGaming revenue. Its brands include DraftKings, BetMGM and Barstool.

But Mount Airy Casino, Parx Casino and Mohegan Sun Pocono were down double-digit percentages year over year in the online casino sector.

Lead image via Shutterstock.

Almost “Play” Time?: Pennsylvania Might Get First Crack At PlayUp Online Casino

PlayUp online casino has made a deal to get into the Pennsylvania through a partnership with Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania’s status among the first-movers in terms of online casinos might come to fruition again. PlayUp online casino has added PA to its plans for its iGaming product, and given the current landscape, could be the first state where it’s available.

If that ends up being the case, PlayUp could help iGaming in PA push over the $100 million mark in monthly revenue. There is another possibility for PlayUp’s first foray into iGaming in the United States, though.

PlayUp online casino makes deal to get into PA

PlayUp announced a market access agreement with Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia on Wednesday. In a press release, PlayUp CEO Dr. Laila Mintas explained the importance of having a robust iGaming product for the company.

“It’s no secret that the sports betting sector is ultra-competitive in the U.S.,” Mintas commented. “The way we look to cut through the noise is to offer unparalleled customer service and experiences for our VIPs and provide our patrons [with] gaming and entertainment options beyond just sports betting. iGaming and other services are central to our roadmap of including a wide breadth and depth of options in our product portfolio.”

Currently, PlayUp offers online sports betting in Colorado and New Jersey. It also has an agreement in place for online casino access in Iowa, should that state ever legalize iGaming. Online casinos remain illegal in CO as well.

Currently, there is no timeline for when PlayUp online casino might go live in PA. That’s partially up to regulators, as the company does not yet have a license. Whenever that time comes, it might be part of PA reaching a new milestone.

Will PA make $100 million months commonplace?

In September 2021, PA online casinos produced just under $98 million in adjusted gross revenue. Although September was the seventh consecutive month with gross revenue from iGaming topping $100 million, the adjusted figures haven’t had such consistency.

There’s no guarantee that simply adding another operator like PlayUp will get the PA iGaming industry to a place where AGR consistently surpasses $100 million every month. If PlayUp is successful in its ambitions, however, it’s possible.

PlayUp says it intends to compete for market share just as it has on the sports betting front in CO and NJ. That will probably mean some new customer bonuses, exclusive games, and contests.

PA might be the place where PlayUp first starts working out its marketing plan for its online casino. That isn’t a foregone conclusion at this point. The company says it plans to launch iGaming in NJ “shortly.”

There’s no official timeline for launch in New Jersey right now. So while the verbiage suggests NJ will be first, the possibility exists for PA still. Even if NJ goes first, PA is a priority for PlayUp.

Lead image c/o PlayUp 

Cordish “Skeptical” About iGaming But Is A Fan Of Online Sports Betting

Cordish says CPA for iGaming is too expensive and no one is making money. Online sports betting drives positive growth to retail casinos.

David Cordish, chairman and CEO of the Cordish Companies, perked up the audience of the East Coast Gaming Congress with an old-school throwdown about iGaming and physical casinos.

He even quickly invoked the memory of his late friend in gambling, Sheldon Adelson, leader of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, who adamantly opposed online gambling.

“I’m skeptical,” said Cordish about iGaming, at the beginning of his 20-minute speech.

Cordish says “no one is making money” on iGaming

He quickly added he does not feel the same way about online sports betting. He sees sports betting apps as a positive for driving growth in physical casinos, Cordish’s heaviest investment. The 81-year-old third-generation leader of the Baltimore-based development company had just spent two days at his Live! Philadelphia Casino before coming to the Atlantic City conference.

Cordish said online casinos lack the social aspects of visiting a casino or even of online betting on sports. People who wager on sports betting apps become cross-over customers who come to retail sportsbooks, in his view, bolstered by research.

“iGaming is expensive. No one is making any money,” because of the cost of acquiring customers, said Cordish.

“iGaming lacks a social aspect,” he said, meaning it does not easily add to play in physical casinos.

On the other hand, Cordish commented, online sports betting is “the point of the spear” for attracting new customers and converting them to loyal casino customers.

“Brick-and-mortar have to very be careful how far we take iGaming,” cautioned Cordish.

Cordish “thoughtful and provocative”

Michael Pollock, whose company Spectrum Gaming Group has for 24 years hosted the Atlantic City-based gaming conference, later called Cordish’s comments “thoughtful and provocative.”

Pollock said states “should take David’s comments into consideration as they weigh what gambling options to offer.” Spectrum consults with governments and gaming companies.

But iGaming works only with linkage and a robust database, he added.

“Absent linkage, they won’t capture the full benefit of iGaming,” Pollock continued.

“There is a wide opportunity to translate them into revenue streams. It is not an either/or situation. States will make their own decisions,” said Pollock on when they are properly marketed together.

Competing against Amazon not a fair fight

Cordish made it clear he believes he can strongly compete when it comes to brick-and-mortar casinos. But that it may not apply to online casinos, where a colossal database overwhelms building a social customer experience.

“There is a limited universe in brick-and-mortar casinos,” he said, while the internet means an infinite field of competition.

He added that the taxes brick-and-mortar casinos pay means casinos “make friends by paying taxes” in their host locations.

Cordish coupled his reluctance about online casinos with the likelihood of tech giants eventually becoming competitors for online gambling dollars.

Tech giants such as Amazon, with its vast database “in the ether,” as opposed to anchored and operating in brick-and-mortar gambling operations, would not be a fair fight, Cordish’s view.

Gambling ads cause alarm

Chris Rogers, the chief strategy officer for Penn National Gaming, warned that the online gambling market must be better about self-regulating advertising in another portion of the conference. Otherwise, he said the US could soon face the imposition of restrictions that have swept like a tidal wave over European betting markets.

Bill Miller, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, gave an upbeat keynote address, beginning by saying the in-person meeting “beats the hell out of a Zoom call.”

He said the industry is “roaring back” from COVID-19 restrictions and is on a “record pace to beat 2019, the best year on record.” Miller added technology will soon replace cash at most casinos, leaving cash transactions to “flea markets and garage sales.”

But Miller, too, sounded a note of caution when it comes to sports betting. He cited over expansion and a “saturation” of advertising in that segment.

“We know what sports betting looks like when it goes wrong,” he said.

Miller cautioned that “building sustainability” should be the aim in the sports betting segment. He also told the audience they must focus attention on the unlicensed grey market of gambling machines.

“We need everyone to work on this,” he said.

Lead image: David Cordish in 2012/Brian Witte AP

Pennsylvania Man Wins Big BetMGMJackpot; BetMGM Gift Cards Now Available

A PA man playing Win Genie slot at BetMGM PA online casino won a big jackpot. BetMGM now offers gift cards for fast and easy payments.

Well, that’s one way to pay for college. A PA online casino player in Albion, PA near Erie won a $232,479 jackpot on the Win Genie slot at BetMGM online casino in September

The player, Jason Hancharik, becomes the latest winner to be handsomely rewarded by BetMGM’s online offerings.

“Because of BetMGM, now I am putting my kids through college,” Hancharik said in a news release. 

Last year, BetMGM awarded more than $9.5 million in live market jackpot prizes. The biggest win was a record $3.2 million prize paid out to a female player in New Jersey.

In Michigan, BetMGM paid out nearly $2 million in jackpots in just over two days last June.

And thanks to Hancharik, some of that good fortune made its way to Pennsylvania. 

“We congratulate Jason on his win with the Genie,” said Matthew Sunderland, Vice President of Gaming, BetMGM. “As our exclusive jackpot network continues to attract players across our live markets, BetMGM is always glad to reward our players with life-changing wins.”

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Leading online casino operator in the country

BetMGM’s online casino went live in Pennsylvania in December 2021, just two weeks before its online sportsbook.

By July 2021, it became the top online casino operator in PA  (26% GGR market share).

But BetMGM’s brand strength and performance isn’t limited to Pennsylvania. BetMGM is the leading casino operator in the entire country, with an estimated 30% national GGR market share across its live markets.

Jackpots like the one Hancharik received are certainly a reason why.

BetMGM gift cards are coming to a retailer near you

Now players at BetMGM can receive the gift of gaming. 

BetMGM announced a partnership with TAPPP, a leader in flexible payment options, to make BetMGM gift cards available across the country. The gift cards will be available at major convenience and grocery retail chains in select U.S. states that offer sports betting.

Maria Tomlinson, Head of Payments, commented: 

“One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get from our customers is that they want a simple and convenient way to fund their accounts. We’re thrilled to introduce an option for players to quickly and securely fund their BetMGM accounts, while avoiding deposit failures.”

Currently, BetMGM gift cards are now available in $25 and $50 denominations in eight states and at over 6,000 locations nationwide. 

At present, the gift cards are not available near Pennsylvania’s biggest cities. However, players can find them in some neighboring states (West Virginia and New Jersey).

August Online Casino Revenue Jumps 59% Year-Over-Year With Penn National and Rivers Leading

PA online casinos and poker sites combined for over $100 million in gross gaming revenue for the sixth month straight in August.

Gaming, with a few exceptions, appears recovered from the pandemic in Pennsylvania, though there are quirks with individual operators. And online play remains a significant revenue stream despite the reopening of physical casinos.

In August, the gross gaming revenue for iGaming, which is online slots and online table games combined with online poker, was more than $103.2 million, the sixth straight month above $100 million. GGR was quite steady month-over-month, down just 1.2% from $104.5 million in July.

Taxable iGaming revenue for August ($88.7 million) was up a whopping 58.6%, from $55.9 million last August, according to figures from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).

The online record of $111.6 million was set in March.

Gaming landscape in PA has changed

It has been a year of change, and not just because of the virus.

There are three additional brick-and-mortar casinos this year: Live! Philadelphia, Live! Pittsburgh and Hollywood Casino York

All land-based casinos are fully back, though some have staffing issues left from the pandemic.

And there are now 17 PA online casinos and four online poker sites, which seems to say online wagering is not just a phase. Online has increasingly tilted to slots so far this year, with an upwards swing of about 10 percent of overall iGaming revenue just this year.

Online Slots, Table games, and Poker Revenue in 2021

That might partially explain why four land-based casinos have asked the PGCB to allow them to remove more than 1,200 slot machines from casino floors. Though the unfettered proliferation of unregulated gambling machines outside casinos likely also plays a role.

Total revenue up 31 percent in a year

Total combined taxable gaming revenue in PA during August 2021 was just above $408 million.

That represents an increase of over 31% over total revenue for last August when it was just under $310.1 million.

Keep in mind there are three additional brick-and-mortar casinos this year, with Hollywood York being open for 20 days during August 2021.

Two companies dominated online casinos: Penn National and Rivers Philly

Betting on online casino games remained brisk, hitting $3.2 billion in August, about even with July.

Online casinos and online poker generated $3.3 million in gross gaming revenue per day over the 31 days of August, narrowly down from $3.4 million per day in July.

Online slots accounted for $80.8 million of the total revenue online, while online table games tallied another $19.2 million.

Just two companies together accounted for nearly two-thirds – 64% – of the iGaming market revenue.

Penn National and their brands Hollywood, DraftKings, and BetMGM dominated with 34% of the iGaming market, followed by Rivers Philadelphia, with brands SugarHouse, BetRivers, and Borgata combining for 29.8% of the market.

Together the two accounted for nearly $26.9 million in state and local taxes from iGaming out of the total tax paid of almost $39.4 million.

In August, the two were the tops for giving away promotional play, more than $4.6 million Hollywood Penn National and nearly $3.7 million for Rivers Philly. Total promo play in August was $14.5 million.

Online poker

Online poker at four properties combined for revenue of nearly $3.2 million in August, up from $2.6 million in July.

Mount Airy‘s Poker Stars took in more than $1.9 million, Harrah’s ( accounted for $819,249, Hollywood (BetMGM) collected $345,983, and Rivers Philadelphia (Borgata) kicked in $117,440.

It was the first full month for WSOP PA, which also hosted the first-ever online bracelet series for PA players during August.

PA online casino operator revenue in August 2021

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM | Barstool$35,093,596$27,860,328$6,887,285$345,983
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$30,796,907$26,946,890$3,732,578$117,440
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$15,274,431$9,920,857$5,353,575$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$7,548,670$4,415,359$1,218,991$1,914,320
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$3,038,942$1,997,924$221,769$819,249
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,409,303$2,057,488$351,816$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,753,565$1,580,717$172,849$0
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$1,648,126$1,373,312$274,814$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$1,563,500$1,061,280$502,220$0

Sports wagering gets an August bump

The taxable revenue from August 2021 for overall sports betting was $18 million, compared to $18.2 million in August of last year, a decrease of 1.5%, PGCB figures show. GGR was $25.3 million in August.

The total sports wagering handle was $348.5 million, a 14% increase from July. Valley Forge (FanDuel Sportsbook) accounted for $137.3 million and The Meadows (DraftKings Sportsbook) brought in $81.3 million. The two together owned nearly two-thirds (62.7%) of the market. The Meadows was up nearly 419%.

Online sports betting dwarfed retail sports wagering, with August online revenue $22 million and retail revenue just $3.3 million.

VGTs and fantasy

Four operators of video gaming terminals or VGTs had total August revenue of more than $3.6 million from 290 machines at 58 locations, according to the PGCB.

Fantasy sports continued a long decline, down more than 24.5% from a year ago, with August revenue of just $1.6 million, down from $2.1 million 12 months ago. But it was about a $100K increase from July.

Lead image via Dreamstime.

Rush Street Interactive Launches Exclusive Live Dealer Studio For Blackjack Players in PA and NJ

New BetRivers live dealer blackjack studios exclusively for players in New Jersey and Pennsylvania make getting to the action easier.

Blackjack players on BetRivers Casino or PlaySugarhouse Casino in Pennsylvania, get ready for some VIP treatment. Exclusive new BetRivers live dealer blackjack studios offers customers priority access to spots in the games going forward.

Users of the app in PA will now get to mingle with PlaySugarhouse Casino users in New Jersey as they place their bets. Both Rush Street Interactive (RSI) brands have answered customers’ calls for an improved experience.

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Changes for BetRivers live dealer blackjack games

When players on the BetRivers app access the live dealer blackjack tables in PA, they’re likely to notice some aesthetic changes. Instead of seeing branding for the company that produces the games, Evolution Gaming, they will see branding for BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse.

Evolution is still running these games, so there won’t be much if any change in function. The branding is just a signal that this studio is for RSI customers only. Currently, only RSI customers in NJ and PA have access to the studio.

This change is about much more than just keeping BetRivers’ logo in front of your face, though. Exclusivity is a big benefit. Evolution Gaming provides live dealer products for several online casino operators besides RSI.

In PA, those brands include BetMGM Casino, Borgata Casino, and PlayLive! Casino. As there are obviously only so many seats at each gaming table, that leads to high demand for spots in the games. This move equalizes the supply in a way by providing Rush Street customers their own tables.

Improved access to live dealer tables for PA players

Prior to this change, RSI users effectively had to “share” the Evolution studios with players from other casino brands. The investment in exclusive studios seems a result of customers expressing their dismay about that.

Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI, commented in a press release:

“Since we initially launched our live dealer games with Evolution in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we’ve had requests from customers to offer exclusive tables with seats only available to players loyal to our brands. Now our players will have their own dedicated seats where they are able to chat and interact with not only our dealers but also other players in our online community, who can interact in real-time, adding a fun social aspect to the betting experience as if they were at a land-based casino.”

The new dual studios will each feature three blackjack tables. At this time, it isn’t clear whether these exclusive studios will offer other games in the future. Even on this level, though, there are some perks.

If you have a friend in NJ who you’d like to play alongside, for instance, the two of you are more likely to get in a game together now. As any experienced blackjack player knows, games go more smoothly when other players at the table have experience playing blackjack. The situation hasn’t improved for just Rush Street players, either.

More seats at the live dealer tables for everyone

By “removing” BetRivers and PlaySugarhouse users from the pool of players in the Evolution studios, the supply improves for everyone. All PA online casino players should find it a bit easier to get a seat at a blackjack table moving forward.

The same thing applies to RSI customers who play with other brands themselves. There are plenty of options in the Keystone State when it comes to live dealer blackjack. PA operators that offer such games besides the aforementioned brands include:

Players who have yet to try out BetRivers or PlaySugarhouse online casinos can take advantage of new customer bonuses like a 100% match of your first deposit up to $250. If blackjack is your game, there’s never been a better time to take a seat.

Lead image screenshot of BetRivers live dealer table. 

Here to Stay: PA Online Casinos Finish Strong in Record Revenue Year Led By Penn National

June 2021 wrapped up a record year for Pennsylvania gambling, led by a strong and steady PA online casino market, led by Penn’s brands.

PA online casinos just closed a fiscal year for the record books with yet another $100 million-plus month. June’s Pennsylvania iGaming gross revenue topped out at nearly $100.9 million.

Of the total revenue last month, more than $72.4 million came from slot games, more than $26.0 million from online table games, and more than $2.4 million from poker. In June the year before, gross revenue was just more than $50 million.

FY 2020/21 revenue for PA online casinos, poker

And FY 2020/21 revenue from iGaming was more than $897.2 million AGR (adjusted gross revenue), a 272.5% increase in revenue when compared to the nearly $240.9 million generated in the previous fiscal year, the first year for online casino gambling in the state. iGaming began in PA just two years ago.

The fiscal year was marked by a remarkable succession of new online gambling records.

The overall 2020/21 FY revenue for all gambling combined in the Commonwealth reached a record $3.875 billion.

The previous FY high revenue was during 2018/2019 when revenue topped slightly more than $3.3 billion.

Overall revenue was supercharged this past year by galloping growth in sports betting and especially iGaming. Video gaming terminals (VGT) and daily fantasy contests also contributed.

Together, those four markets accounted for almost 33% of the total revenue achieved in FY 2020/2021 but online casinos led them all.

COVID hurt traditional gaming revenue, but online alternatives flourished

The year-over-year increase in revenue number is especially significant given casino shutdowns and other factors related to Covid-19 restrictions.

Casinos in PA were closed for three months in the second quarter of 2020 affecting slot machines, table games, VGTs, and retail sports wagering revenue. There was also the stoppage of major sporting events, aside from a few exceptions.

VGTs also bounced back. FY 2020/21 revenue for the machines was more than $31.3 million, a 361% increase over the previous year when revenue was just $6.8 million.

The truck stop gambling devices appeared in August 2019 and just 28 locations were approved by the end of their first fiscal year. Now there are 49 locations, each with five machines, or 245 total.

Other FY 2020/21 takeaways

Penn National was the leading operator over the past fiscal year.

In order following PNG were: Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Valley Forge Casino Resort, MountAiry Casino Resort, and Parx Casino.

There are now 17 different online casinos in PA, the most recent being Betway online casino. It operates under the Live! Casino Philadelphia license. Stardust Casino went live in April, following Borgata Casino‘s launch in February. Barstool Sports is also in the mix with an online casino as of early May.

PA online poker finally has a choice of operators in addition to Mount Airy‘s PokerStars PA, but instead of expanding the revenue base, the new operators are just chopping up the pot. Poker revenue plateaued last fiscal year. Poker revenue dropped 25.4% in June 2021 compared to a year ago when traditional casinos (and poker rooms) were shuttered.

PA strong among iGaming states during 2020/21

In February, newly launched Michigan became the second-largest casino gambling market, with PA dropping to third and New Jersey still firmly at the top.

In June, the top three states by GGR were:

  • New Jersey: $107.1 million
  • Pennsylvania: $100.8 million
  • Michigan: $89.2 million

Live dealer games launched in October, 2020 via Evolution Gaming and additional live dealer options joined the market in the following months.

PA sportsbooks set a record in FY 2020/2021 with $5.6 billion in handle and $440.6 million in revenue. More than 90% of wagers come online. That percentage increased despite lifting virus restrictions.

PA online casino operator revenue in June 2021

LicenseeOnline Brand(s)Total RevenueSlots RevenueTable Games RevenuePoker Revenue
Hollywood Penn NationalHollywood | DraftKings | BetMGM | Barstool$37,205,093$24,617,083$12,262,772$325,238
Rivers PhiladelphiaSugarHouse | BetRivers | Borgata$27,288,552$23,661,852$3,547,674$79,026
Valley ForgeFanDuel | Stardust$15,940,154$8,854,671$7,085,483$0
Mount AiryPokerStars$7,981,005$4,829,600$1,137,990$2,013,415
Mohegan Sun PoconoUnibet$2,545,316$2,210,851$334,465$0
Harrah's PhiladelphiaCaesars$2,063,528$1,669,249$394,278$0
Wind CreekWind Creek$1,756,513$1,619,915$136,598$0
Live PhiladelphiaPlayLive | Betway$905,895$820,849$85,046$0
Presque IsleTwinSpires$607,287$158,670$448,617$0

Penn National still king of PA online gambling space

Penn National’s online gaming brands Hollywood CasinoDraftKings Casino, and BetMGM PA Casino continued to dominate in June. They combined for more than $37.2 million in online revenue.

Of that, slot revenue was $24.6 million, tables revenue $12.2 million, and poker (BetMGM online poker site) more than $325K.

Rivers Philadelphia second, Valley Forge (fueled by FanDuel) in third

Gross online gaming revenue for Rivers Philadelphia, including online brands SugarHouseBetRivers Casino, and Borgata Poker, was $27.3 million.

Online slot revenue was $23.6 million, table revenue $3.5 million and online poker less than $80K.

Valley Forge Casino and its FanDuel PA Casino and Stardust skins had gross online gaming revenue of more than $15.9 million.

VF revenue was closely split between online slots and online table games.

Mount Airy a distant fourth, but poker leader

Mount Airy had nearly $8 million in June online revenue, but its slots revenue was just $4.9 million and table games totaled $1.1 million.

They remain the poker leader with PokerStars PA bringing in more than $2 million in June 2021. BetMGM/Borgata Poker sites aren’t threatening seriously yet, but time will tell if the recently launched WSOP PA site can make a run at No. 1.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Keith Srakocic