Two legal online casinos went live across Pennsylvania on Monday, when HollywoodCasino.com and officially launched the state’s first real money iGaming options. More Pennsylvania online casinos are expected to follow suit following Monday’s exciting launch.
The online / mobile wing of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, the HollywoodCasino.com platform, was the first to begin accepting wagers at 1:00 p.m. local time.
ParxOnline.com followed suit at 3:00 p.m. local time, representing Parx Casino in Bensalem as the Keystone State’s second online / mobile casino operator. Coincidentally, the Parx online / mobile sportsbook became Pennsylvania’s second entrant into that newly launched gambling market three weeks ago.
Pennsylvania’s sprawling gambling expansion package – which permits legal Pennsylvania online casinos, sports, and poker – was signed into law in October of 2017. And while it took more than 620 days to reach a launch date, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) spokesman Doug Harbach recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that integrating online / mobile casino functionality will be well worth the wait for players and operators alike:
“I think most people believe moving these games online is certainly something that fits very well into a younger demographic, who does so much of their business and hobbies online.”
Harbach also addressed the absence of online / mobile poker platforms from the July 15 launch which added Pennsylvania to the short list of legal iGaming states:
“There’s still some issues to be worked out. It’s a totally different game, because it’s player to player – or peer to peer, as we call it – rather than the player [competing against] the house.”
And when any of the state’s six licensed online / mobile poker operators – which include global industry leader PokerStars via the company’s partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort – eventually go live, Pennsylvania will join New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada in that regard.
As far as the online / mobile casino vertical, HollywoodCasino.com and ParxOnline.com will be joined by PlaySugarHouse.com on Wednesday, July 17.
Richard Schwartz – president of SugarHouse Casino parent company Rush Street Interactive – issued a statement thanking the PGCB for approving its dual online / mobile sportsbook and casino product:
“We thank the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, for authorizing us to be a part of history this week in bringing our online sportsbook and casino to gaming enthusiasts in the state of Pennsylvania. We are also proud to become the first gaming operator to offer the same online brand in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey so players who live or work across the border of these states can bet on PlaySugarHouse.com in either state.”
As part of the site’s “soft launch” period, HollywoodCasino.com offered a slimmed down menu of 40 slot machine games, plus Game King video poker and baccarat.
The slot menu – powered by International Game Technology (IGT) software – will eventually be expanded to include hundreds of titles, but for now players have access to popular slots like those listed below:
Crown of Egypt
Da Vinci Diamonds
Wheel of Fortune: Triple Extreme Play
The Game King video poker menu includes nine unique variants, including Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild among others.
In contrast to HollywoodCasino.com’s streamlined launch menu, ParxOnline.com currently spreads 191 different slot games.
And as promised by a banner ad presented to players who visit the site, ParxOnline.com’s partnerships with software providers GAN and Kambi will eventually see those offerings double at the very least:
ParxOnline.com also has the inside track on table games, with three versions of blackjack, European single-zero roulette, Hi Lo Solitaire, and a Texas Hold’em-based table game called Poker Bet.
The site’s video poker selection is also more expansive with 14 unique variants on tap.