The dawn of online casinos in Pennsylvania is drawing ever so near. This Monday July 15, the launch of the soft phase for online testing for Parx and Penn National will begin. Testing is normally required for several days between set time windows, after which if all goes well, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) will give the green light to expand the services to 24/7.
Along with Parx and Penn National, there are several other Pennsylvania licensed real money gaming operators who are working around the clock to prepare for soft launch. It is rumored, that Rush Street Gaming is the third licensed operator in line and is waiting for PGCB approval to soft launch.
The advent of online casino gaming will add a new dimension to the battle ground of market share among casino operators. Previously casino gaming being land based only, those casinos geographically based in the most strategic of positions had the competitive advantage. But now with online real money gambling, any casino operator whether large or small has the opportunity to be just as competitive as another. How this will play out, is an interesting dynamic. Normally, the first to market will have the competitive advantage in the online casino world, hence the flurry of activity for licensed real money casino operators to launch as soon as possible.
Coupled with the activity in preparing for soft launch, is a law suit among casino operators against the Pennsylvania lottery regulator, iLottery. It is argued that iLottery has issued games which expand beyond their scope of permitted gaming, i.e. games that reflect online casino games hence potentially stealing the market from online real money casinos whom have purchased a gaming license from the PGCB. iLottery has invested significantly in game development, and at first glance the games on offer do resemble that of an online casino. How this would make change the landscape of the online casino market is anyone’s guess at the moment.