PokerStars is planning to launch a comprehensive online gambling suite in Pennsylvania with partner Mount Airy Casino Resort. A group of websites will offer PA online poker, PA online casino games, and online sports betting.
The world’s largest online poker site’s parent company, The Stars Group, made the announcement via press release on Aug. 10.
Matt Primeaux, SVP Strategy & Operations, USA at The Stars Group, called the move a broadening of PokerStars’ presence in the US:
“We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States. In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”
An all-inclusive, engaging online gambling experience
According to the release, The Stars Group is promising to give its new PokerStars PA customers an all-inclusive, engaging online gambling experience by offering connected online poker, casino and sports wagering products.
In fact, it plans to allow PA customers seamless access to all its online gambling verticals using one account.
Mount Airy Casino Resort is one of nine PA casino license holders that applied for a $10 million online gambling license to operate online slots, table games, and poker last month. Apparently, it also intends to apply for a $10 million sports betting license with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.
The board has yet to reveal if any of the state’s 13 existing casino license holders have applied for a sports betting license. In the meantime, executives at a number of PA casinos have indicated the $10 million licensing fee and 36 percent tax rate on sports betting revenue make it near impossible to turn a profit.
Through online gambling software partner GAN, Parx Casino has also expressed an interest in launching a comprehensive online gambling suite that would include online poker, casino games, and sports betting.
PokerStars in PA
It seems like GAN, Parx, Mount Airy Casino Resort and PokerStars do not share the concerns of the other PA casino license holders.
In fact, Mount Airy Casino Resort VP of Marketing & Gaming Operations Vincent Jordan said Mount Airy is ready to do it all online:
“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings. Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”
When the site eventually goes live, Pennsylvania will become the second US state with a legal and regulated PokerStars site. PokerStars already runs an online poker site with a variety of casino games in New Jersey. It does so under partner Resorts Casino Hotel‘s internet gaming license.
The company also recently announced plans to offer online and mobile sports betting in NJ under the BetStars brand.
PokerStars’ PA plan is still subject to regulatory approval. No launch timetable currently exists.
Mount Airy Casino Resort
Despite is big plans for online gambling, Mount Airy Casino Resort is far from PA’s largest casino. The Pocono Mountains full-service resort features just 1,800 slot machines and 80 table games. The Poker Parlor at Mount Airy Casino Resort offers live poker on nine tables. It is open seven days a week and 24 hours a day.
In 2017, Mount Airy Casino Resort posted just over $50 million in table games revenue. It also posted $147 million in slot machine revenue. Numbers that make it sixth and ninth among the 12 existing PA casinos respectively.
The Mount Pocono casino resort is on the site where the famous Mount Airy Lodge vacation resort once stood. It is approximately 90 minutes from both Philadelphia and New York City.
The DeNaples family
Mount Airy is owned and operated by the DeNaples family.
The casino resort was built by Scranton, PA businessman Louis DeNaples. It first opened in October 2007. However, DeNaples turned over ownership of the property to a family trust in 2009. The turn over was part of an agreement to avoid criminal perjury charges. It is alleged DeNaples lied to the Gaming Control Board about ties to the infamous Bufalino crime family.
Mount Airy has had a partnership in place with leading online poker and gambling software company 888 Holdings since 2014. The partnership includes 888 providing software for the Play Mount Airy social casino site. Plus, there are links to the 888 Casino New Jersey online casino site on Mount Airy’s website.
Mount Airy could launch an 888 online casino or online poker skin, but has yet to announce such plans.
It will not offer an 888 sports betting product. PA allows multiple online gambling skins. However, it only permits one sports betting skin.