PA wasn’t just content to legalize online sports betting or online casinos. Government officials figured if you’re going to do something, you might as well go the mile. The bill paved the way for virtual casinos, poker rooms, sports betting, fantasy sports betting, virtual sports, horse race betting, and even an all-new iLottery.
Let’s take a closer look at what each of these means for PA’s iGaming community.
Online casinos are a digital representation of the same games found in Pennsylvania’s land-based casinos. As you might expect, slot machines make up the vast bulk of every online casino’s gaming menu. Online casinos are able to incorporate the same wide range of legal table games as land-based casinos. However, like their terrestrial cousins, they’ve only chosen to install the most popular ones so far – blackjack, roulette, craps, etc.
BetRivers, for example, offers baccarat, two types of blackjack, and five roulette variations, including the famous French Roulette with La Partage. In fact, BetRivers has one of the largest casino game collections in PA, going beyond the basic “slots and tables” variety. The brand took full advantage of PA’s gambling laws by incorporating everything from video poker, video bingo and slingo, to virtual sports betting.
Internet Poker Rooms
To date, only one of PA’s online gambling sites has chosen to incorporate online poker into its line-up. Mount Airy Casino partnered with The Stars Group to present Keystoners with the most famous internet poker room of them all, PokerStars. The world-renowned operator presents cash games and tournaments, including its celebrated Sunday Majors, but of course the prize pools are limited by the ring-fenced nature of the player base.
More poker sites are expected to launch in Pennsylvania in the future, but there’s still no indication of when. Caesars Entertainment, owner of the World Series of Poker, has been promising to launch an 888-powered WSOP.com portal for months now. Likewise, MGM Resorts is expected to bring PartyPoker to PA. PokerStars may be enjoying its Keystone monopoly for the moment, but will surely have a tough time competing with the likes of these two.
Interactive Sports Betting
Pennsylvanians were never privvy to legal sports betting within their own state until now. Not only is it a viable activity at land-based sportsbooks, wagers can be placed online and on mobile at 9 of PA’s 12 iGaming websites. Some offer traditional sports betting only, while others have expanded into sports, fantasy sports, and even virtual sports (as noted of BetRivers above).
Fantasy Sports became extremely popular over the last decade, so it should come as little surprise that PA casinos scrambled to team up with DraftKings and FanDuel. Hollywood Casino won the contract with DraftKings, while Valley Forge Casino managed to ink a deal with FanDuel.
Horse tracks wasted no time getting off to the races when bettors were given the option to place wagers online. It’s not much different than off-track betting, really, except that no one has to leave their home to do it. Players can access virtual racing slips from a computer or mobile device.
Last but not least is the Pennsylvania iLottery. Players can now purchase tickets for the biggest number drawings over the internet, instead of in person at retail shops. The iLottery only offers the most popular tickets; the Mega Millions, Powerball, Cash4Life, and TreasureHunt. Other tickets must still be purchased in person. the iLottery also presents a large selection of virtual scratch off cards.