Online Casinos Win-Win in New Jersey and Pennsylvania
By Ken Edwards, 11 November 2018
However, rather than seeing it as a threat to their new businesses, several Atlantic City casinos and their parent companies are looking to create win-win outcomes by hedging their bets and competing in both states simultaneously. It is a move that has taken some betting industry experts by surprise. It may however, produce long-term positive effects for operators-and-gamblers alike in the neighboring states.
Pennsylvania’s first online gambling sites will be ready to launch in the fourth quarter of 2018 (perhaps even as early as late November). There are indications they will be an even greater success than they have been in New Jersey’s record-setting market, operators are jockeying to compete across multiple markets.
NJ Companies Looking to Compete in PA
Owners of Atlantic City’s Borgata, MGM, and the Golden Nugget, are among companies looking to apply for online gambling licenses in Pennsylvania once the practice begins in the Keystone State.
On the flip-side, a leading PA casino, SugarHouse, offers online casino services in New Jersey through a licensing agreement with Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget.
In further evidence of the cross-border nature of the evolution of the gambling industry, Pennsylvania gaming regulators recently granted a sports betting license to Harrah’s Casino, owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment, operator of three Atlantic City casinos in New Jersey.
How the Gaming Win-Win is Developing
The director of the University of Las Vegas Nevada’s Center for Gaming Research, David Schwartz, explains that gambling companies are almost compelled by the triple factors of profit-making, geo-locators and mobile accessibility to its clients to blur the lines between states where online and sports betting are legal.
“Regional diversification is a sound strategy, particularly in the online arena,” Mr Schwartz said. “In this market, convenience is a major factor, so the ability to gamble at home rather than traveling across state lines is a major factor. In that case, licensure in multiple jurisdictions makes a great deal of sense.”
Senior vice president and general manager of online gambling for the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thom Winter, called the State of Pennsylvania; “a natural next step for us.”
“We take a long-term approach to online gaming and believe that we can replicate our New Jersey success in other jurisdictions,” he added.
Since the introduction of online gambling in New Jersey in 2013, and sports betting in June 2018, both have reinvigorated a sluggish Atlantic City gambling market providing new revenue streams to assist in regenerating the state’s gambling industry.
Legal sports betting is booming in New Jersey since its introduction (and online is becoming the preferred method – in the first 3 months of operation, state sportsbooks handled $184.9 million in sports wagers, with $104.8 million of that total coming online).
With 5 sports betting licenses already approved, Pennsylvania’s first legal sports bets will be placed sometime before the end of 2018