How Hollywood’s Standalone Online Casino App Could Impact PENN’s Market Share

Written By Corey Sharp on May 3, 2024 - Last Updated on May 7, 2024
Fist breaking glass on impact. PENN Entertainment announced it will standalone Hollywood online casino app in early next year, which could improve performance in PA.

PENN Entertainment announced during its Q1 2024 earnings call the launch of a standalone Hollywood online casino app, which will be available in Pennsylvania early in 2025.

As of now, Hollywood Casino PA is accessible through the ESPN BET Sportsbook. Hollywood is one of the only major brands without a standalone app, which could improve the operator’s standing in Pennsylvania’s gambling industry.

PENN CEO Jay Snowden said on an earnings call on Thursday that there is a possible disconnect with predominant online casino players having to access the platform through ESPN. The standalone app should bridge the gap.

“When you’re talking about activating your land-based casino database and they’re sitting at a Hollywood property but they have to download ESPN BET in order to play the online casino, the messaging gets a little bit cluttered or confusing,” Snowden said on the call. “So that’s something that we know is going to be a real shot in the arm for us once we deploy our standalone iCasino app.”

Hollywood to launch online app in Pennsylvania next year

Snowden said the company is releasing a standalone online casino app in 2025.

“We’re probably the only major player that doesn’t have a standalone iCasino app at this point,” he said. “We will have that ready to go in very early ’25, hopefully a little earlier, but we’ll say early ’25.”

Despite the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board not breaking down PA online casino revenue by operator, Hollywood Casino PA is not DraftKings, FanDuel or BetMGM. However, it’s still a well-respected operator that performs well within the state.

For comparison’s sake, Hollywood offers an online casino in Michigan, which is the No. 2 market behind Pennsylvania. The Great Lakes State reports revenue by operator. Hollywood produced the following results this year:

  • January: $5.1 million
  • February: $4.9 million
  • March: $5.2 million

Michigan only has 15 iGaming sites, compared to 22 PA online casinos. Despite that, Hollywood’s performance in Michigan gives a good idea on its Pennsylvania totals, which are likely even higher.

Hollywood is partnered with its own brand in Pennsylvania, along with DraftKings, BetMGM and Fanatics. It has yielded $234.4 million in YTD revenue, which leads all licensees by far.

While it’s no secret DraftKings and BetMGM drive a majority of the revenue, Hollywood holds its weight, too.

A standalone app can potentially change the game for Hollywood.

Hollywood’s focus with new standalone online casino platform

Despite Hollywood’s online casino only being accessible through the ESPN BET Sportsbook app, PENN disclosed in an investors presentation the brand generated record handle and gross revenue, across all iGaming markets, in Q1 2024.

PENN has the luxury of owning and operating retail casinos across the country, including four in Pennsylvania:

  • Penn National Race Course
  • The Meadows
  • Morgantown
  • York

The operator is hoping to create an omnichannel ecosystem that successfully cross-sells Hollywood visitors into the new PA online casino app. Mohegan Pennsylvania is taking a similar approach after it launched its first online casino platform last week. The new iGaming site is offering a rewards program with promotions that can be redeemed on the online platform or at the retail casino.

PENN hasn’t released details on promotions or rewards, yet. However, a standalone online casino app should make Hollywood “highly incremental,” as the operator said in its presentation.

The Pennsylvania company is attempting to be a top player in both the sports betting and the iGaming space, and is making the necessary investments to show that.

Photo by Shutterstock
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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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