Sports betting partnerships just keep on coming and last week, the focus shifted to Pennsylvania. Penn National, owners of the famous Hollywood Casino, made the headlines by entering deals with two major gaming suppliers, NetEnt and IGT.
It seems the floodgates opened ever since the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board granted Penn National an interactive gaming license on September 12. The only thing that stood between the company and launching an online casino platform was technology, and with these new partnerships, that’s no longer an issue.
IGT does business in over 100 countries worldwide and now it’s coming to Pennsylvania. Penn National already bagged William Hill as their platform provider for sports betting, but until recently, it was uncertain who will have that role for their online casino business.
It’s exciting that a major gaming provider like IGT has taken the Hollywood Casino under its wing. IGT has offered to provide the full scope of digital gaming products the casino will need to get their online services up and running.
What IGT is offering is online poker and bingo, which will be available on Hollywood Casino’s online gaming portal, HollywoodCasino.com. The games will be powered by IGT’s platform PlayCommand™, while PlayCasino will give players access to a long list of slot games, such as Wheel of Fortune®, Elephant King®, Ocean Magic® and Cleopatra® slots.
Within a short while, any Hollywood Casino player based in Pennsylvania will be able to find these games on the casino’s website.
IGT’s experience extends beyond online casino operations, as the company is also involved in sports betting platforms in New Jersey, like FanDuel and MGM.
We’re expecting the platform to take over the PA sports betting market as well, now that their partnership deal with Penn National is underway.
We mentioned earlier that Penn National is already working with William Hill US on their PA sports betting products. The recent reports of IGT's involvement is, however, in no case bad news for William Hill. The two companies already have a history of working together. In fact, they signed a deal to cooperate in providing sports betting products to state lotteries with Rhode Island.
So far, however, their operations regarding lottery sports betting seem to be running behind schedule. We wonder if that will be the case in Pennsylvania as well.
So far, a mobile PA sports betting platform by Penn National is nothing more than a rumor. Although the company's application to the PGCB included plans for launching such an online platform, Hollywood Casino VP Dan Ihm has not confirmed those plans.
Given IGT and William Hill's major roles in online sports betting in New Jersey and Nevada, it's reasonable to expect the same fate for Pennsylvania.
IGT works with MGM as the sole power behind 10 of their Las Vegas sports betting venues, but is no stranger to mobile platforms, since signing a deal with FanDuel NJ.
Hollywood Casino’s online platform seems to be in good hands. Between IGT’s large selection of casino games and the smooth algorithms behind their PlayCommand platform, there’s no reason to believe the online version of the Hollywood Casino won’t be just as good as the real deal.
Let’s not forget there’s also a third partner in the mix, and NetEnt have their own portfolio of online games to add to Pennsylvania’s upcoming online casino. All in all, the list of services for customers to enjoy is long, and should mobile PA sports betting become a reality, it could become even longer.
NetEnt’s influence in the US gaming world is not to be underestimated. They may not be an industry giant as IGT, but the company employes over 1,000 people and runs over 40 billion transactions annually.
Examples of these transactions are any of NetEnt’s 200 games available on Betfair Casino, Golden Nugget, Caesars, PokerStars Casino, Virgin Casino, Tropicana and 888 Casino.
What do all the casinos in the list on top have in common? They all operate from the state of New Jersey. The partnership with Penn National is a big deal for NetEnt because it allows them to make a mark in Pennsylvania next. The best thing that could happen to the company right now is a domino effect across states.
Erik Nyman, NetEnt’s managing director, shares the excitement of the company’s first Pennsylvania partnership and is glad Penn National are the ones sitting across the table.
Now, there’s only one thing left to discuss, a release date. Nothing is certain yet, but something tells us we won’t have to wait longer than the start of 2019 to see the launch of HollywoodCasino.com.