In terms of which state is likely to follow in the footsteps of Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware to legalize and regulate online gaming, Pennsylvania is near the top the list. Now, in preparation for the possibility of iGaming entering the Keystone State, Stewart Darking of intergameonline.com is reporting that Parx Casino, which is located in Bensalem, PA, has struck a deal with gaming developer GameAccount Network (GAN) to offer a simulated online gaming experience.
“GameAccount has demonstrated its regulated gaming capability in New Jersey and the merits of simulated gaming when integrated with a casino management system,” said John Dixon, CTO of Greenwood Entertainment and Racing, which owns Parx Casino. “By deploying its system on-property, Parx Casino will have the opportunity to launch simulated gaming nationwide before year's end and be well prepared in the event regulation of real-money internet gaming emerges in the state of Pennsylvania.”
The simulated gaming experience, which will initially consist of casino slots, should be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2014, and will be available to players nationwide. If and when iGaming becomes legalized in Pennsylvania, the site will be able to immediately convert to real-money gaming.
A Pennsylvania iGaming study released early in May projected that full iGaming could generate $184 million for the state in the first year and grow to $307 million in subsequent years, while online poker would make up $77 million of that revenue in the first year and $129 million once the market is established.
Those numbers inspired State Sen. Kim Ward, who chairs the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee that ordered the study, to shift her neutral position to being a proponent of bringing online gambling to the state.
"Internet gaming, pensions and liquor are the big issues on our plate," Ward previously said in a phone interview with PokerNews. "iGaming hasn't been there in the past, but now that this looks like it could be a source of income it will probably become a prominent part of the discussion."
In June, a hearing was held to discuss the iGaming study, and most casino interests showed interest in moving forward with some form of online gambling in Pennsylvania, which is the second-largest casino market in the U.S. with 12 casino properties.
One of those who spoke at the hearing was Bob Green of Parx Casino and Racing. He revealed that their poker room had seen a decrease in business since neighboring New Jersey launched iGaming operations and he urged a cautious and slow approach to iGaming in Pennsylvania.
Parx may want to be cautious, but recent developments indicate they also want to be prepared.
Photo courtesy of VisitPhilly.com.