Could Hard Rock Be Eyeing The Keystone State Online Casino Market?

Written By Corey Sharp on March 28, 2024
Man looking through binoculars that are focused on the Pennsylvania state flag. He has a Hard Rock online casino logo on his suit. The online casino market has been booming as of late, especially in the Pennsylvania market. Several new operators have entered the Keystone State since 2022 and have found success. Industry expert and the author of Straight To The Point newsletter, Steve Ruddock, believes another prominent online casino operator is primed for expansion and should target the PA online casino market. Hard Rock could be next to expand to the Keystone State Hard Rock Digital is one of the more well-known entertainment establishments with a presence both in the retail and online vertical. The company recently bought the assets of Sports Illustrated’s online brand, 888, according to a press release. Sports Illustrated had been operating in Michigan for about a year. The move by Hard Rock is a clear indication the operator plans to expand its online footprint. Ruddock mentioned the Keystone State as a destination for Hard Rock. He said in his newsletter on Thursday: “After the conclusion of its ‘strategic review,’ 888 announced that it is selling its US B2C business to Hard Rock Digital, giving the latter a pathway into the online casino states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.” Hard Rock isn’t too far from Pennsylvania to begin with. It launched an online casino in neighboring state New Jersey in August 2023. It also has an online sportsbook in the Garden State and in Florida, too, which went live earlier this year as the only platform. Pennsylvania does not have a limit on the number of casino operators that can join the state. Since Hard Rock does not have a retail location in the Keystone State, it would have to partner with another land-based option or enter as a Qualified Gaming Entity (QGE). Newest Keystone State online casinos finding success Since the start of 2022, there have been five online casino operators joining the Pennsylvania market. Those include: Tropicana Casino Golden Nugget Bally's Jackpot City Fanatics Casino Each of these operators have experienced success, albeit at varying degrees. Tropicana is another Caesars skin, partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, and produced $10 million or more in revenue in two of the last three months. Harrah’s Philadelphia is becoming a top licensee within the state. Since launching in late August, Golden Nugget has amassed more than $32 million in lifetime earnings, averaging $4.6 million in monthly revenue. Having merged with DraftKings in 2022, Golden Nugget figures to be a strong operator for the foreseeable future. Bally’s went live in Pennsylvania just before Golden Nugget did. The operator reported its best months ever in January and February, recording $3.4 million and $3.9 million, respectively. Fanatics, partnering with Hollywood Penn National, helped the licensee jump nearly 30% in month-over-month revenue in February. The new operator already has significant brand awareness for its merchandise and expects to further improve its gambling stature. If all of the above operators are able to succeed, there’s no reason why Hard Rock can’t, and shouldn’t be looking to enter the Pennsylvania market.

The online casino market has been booming as of late, especially in the Pennsylvania market. Several new operators have entered the Keystone State since 2022 and have found success.

Industry expert and the author of Straight To The Point newsletter, Steve Ruddock, believes another prominent online casino operator is primed for expansion and should target the PA online casino market.

Hard Rock could be next to expand to the Keystone State

Hard Rock Digital is one of the more well-known entertainment establishments with a presence both in the retail and online vertical. The company recently bought the assets of Sports Illustrated’s online brand, 888, according to a press release. Sports Illustrated had been operating in Michigan for about a year.

The move by Hard Rock is a clear indication the operator plans to expand its online footprint. Ruddock mentioned the Keystone State as a destination for Hard Rock. He said in his newsletter on Thursday:

“After the conclusion of its ‘strategic review,’ 888 announced that it is selling its US B2C business to Hard Rock Digital, giving the latter a pathway into the online casino states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.”

Hard Rock isn’t too far from Pennsylvania to begin with. It launched an online casino in neighboring state New Jersey in August 2023. It also has an online sportsbook in the Garden State and in Florida, too, which went live earlier this year as the only platform.

Pennsylvania does not have a limit on the number of casino operators that can join the state. Since Hard Rock does not have a retail location in the Keystone State, it would have to partner with another land-based option or enter as a Qualified Gaming Entity (QGE).

Newest Keystone State online casinos finding success

Since the start of 2022, there have been five online casino operators joining the Pennsylvania market. Those include:

  • Tropicana Casino
  • Golden Nugget
  • Bally’s
  • Jackpot City
  • Fanatics Casino

Each of these operators have experienced success, albeit at varying degrees. Tropicana is another Caesars skin, partnered with Harrah’s Philadelphia, and produced $10 million or more in revenue in two of the last three months. Harrah’s Philadelphia is becoming a top licensee within the state.

Since launching in late August, Golden Nugget has amassed more than $32 million in lifetime earnings, averaging $4.6 million in monthly revenue. Having merged with DraftKings in 2022, Golden Nugget figures to be a strong operator for the foreseeable future.

Bally’s went live in Pennsylvania just before Golden Nugget did. The operator reported its best months ever in January and February, recording $3.4 million and $3.9 million, respectively.

Fanatics, partnering with Hollywood Penn National, helped the licensee jump nearly 30% in month-over-month revenue in February. The new operator already has significant brand awareness for its merchandise and expects to further improve its gambling stature.

If all of the above operators are able to succeed, there’s no reason why Hard Rock can’t, and shouldn’t be looking to enter the Pennsylvania market.

Photo by PlayPennsylvania
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Corey Sharp

Corey Sharp is the Lead Writer at PlayPennsylvania bringing you comprehensive coverage of sports betting and gambling in Pennsylvania. Corey is a 4-for-4 Philly sports fan and previously worked as a writer and editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer and NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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