It’s full steam ahead on the Pennsylvania online gambling front for Caesars.
Harrah’s Philadelphia was one of three casinos to have its license to offer online gambling approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) last week.
“We thank the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and look forward to continuing to work together on the next steps in bringing online gaming to Harrah’s Philadelphia,” said Harrah’s Philadelphia Senior Vice President and General Manager Chris Albrecht in a press release issued on Monday. “We see this as a great opportunity to bring new customers into our Total Rewards network and for all customers to play with us both online and at the property.”
Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE) is the only US operator with online gambling products in both Nevada and New Jersey. With the approval of Harrah’s Philadelphia interactive gaming license, the stage is set for CIE to expand its US online gambling operations into Pennsylvania.
“We’re very bullish on the offering online gaming provides our guests and are excited for the opportunity Pennsylvania presents,” said Melanie Gross, CIE’s vice president of online casino. “We have a wealth of knowledge and experience from our six years in the online gaming space in the US and believe we’ll be able to hit the ground running in Pennsylvania when online gaming commences in the state.”
The press release called the PGCB approval “the initial step in a process that is expected to see a trio of offerings launch for Pennsylvania residents and visitors including online slots, table games and poker.”
Further announcements will detail launch date plans.
Will Harrah’s Philadelphia have one or two dance partners?
One question the press release leaves unanswered is what online gaming platforms Harrah’s Philadelphia has partnered with.
It may not state it explicitly, but the press release does offer several clues that point to CIE using multiple partners:
- 888 for online poker
- Scientific Games/NYX for online casino
The biggest clue is the choice of brands.
According to the release:
“CIE will utilize its previous experience in Nevada and New Jersey to ensure a smooth and successful launch into the Keystone State when online gaming commences in the state. It is expected the Caesars Casino and World Series of Poker brands will be among those launching in Pennsylvania after satisfaction of all “go live” conditions.”
888 makes all the sense in the world for online poker
In both Nevada and New Jersey, WSOP.com is powered by 888. It would be shocking if this partnership wasn’t used in Pennsylvania.
If Pennsylvania decides to join the existing Multi-State Internet Gaming Association and pool its online poker players with other states, 888 is a critical component.
In addition to sharing players across its WSOP.com sites in New Jersey and Nevada, 888’s online poker sites in Delaware are also part of the MSIGA. Using another platform wouldn’t rule out interstate player sharing, but it would make it monumentally more difficult.
CaesarsCasino.com hints at NYX over 888
There’s a bit more uncertainty on the online casino front.
CIE uses two online casino platforms in New Jersey:
- 888 powers the Harrah’sCasino.com website
- Scientific Games/NYX powers the CaesarsCasino.com website
In its Pennsylvania press release, CIE makes it clear that it will roll out the CaesarsCasino.com brand (not HarrahsCasino.com) in Pennsylvania.
Further, external links and pictures sent with the release show the SG/NYX platform from New Jersey.
The final hint is the expected online casino offerings listed in the release:
- Roulette (both American and European-style)
- Video poker
- Video slots – a whole host of slot content from the best in the business, including some of the most popular games and others you will surely enjoy
888’s HarrahsCasino.com in NJ doesn’t appear to offer video poker games (there is a video poker tab, but there aren’t any video poker games in the full game list).