Mount Airy formalized its long-rumored partnership with The Stars Group on Friday. The casino and the company will work together to offer online versions of casino gambling, poker, and sports betting.
So far, Parx is the only other casino in the state that seems certain to pursue wagering. The Philadelphia-area casino confirmed its partnership with GAN in July.
The Stars Group found its way into PA
The deal is huge for both groups. For Mount Airy, it gives one of the smaller casinos in the state major online gambling firepower. Moreover, the property can leverage the PokerStars brand to assert credibility as a big PA online gaming player.
Mount Airy Vice President of Marketing & Gaming Operations Vincent Jordan elaborated in the press release:
“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings. Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”
As for The Stars Group? Well, this time last year, it looked like the gambling expansion package could leave the company on the outside looking in. Now the company has access to what will soon be the biggest US online gambling market without having to purchase a Pennsylvania casino to get there.
Nonetheless, The Stars Group was confident it would not only make it into Pennsylvania, but it would also be one of the first to launch.
SVP Strategy & Operations, USA at The Stars Group Matt Primeaux alluded to the company’s enthusiasm about expanding beyond New Jersey:
“We’re excited to take this next step as The Stars Group looks to broaden its presence in the United States. In partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort, we believe we’re well positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the Commonwealth by bringing our world-leading offerings to Pennsylvania players.”
BetStars has a New Jersey deal as well
In the announcement, the two companies did not specify what specific brands will be used in the Pennsylvania market. However, based on recent news out of New Jersey, the safe bet is BetStars.
While the company recently acquired Sky Sports, the brand is better known in Europe than in the States. BetStars is a European brand too, but it is connected to the worldwide PokerStars brand.
With that in mind, Resorts Casino in Atlantic City will soon launch BetStars as a mobile sports betting offering. The casino already operates PokerStars NJ online poker site as well as PokerStars online casino.
It is unclear how this new partnership will affect Mount Airy’s older deal with 888 Holdings worked as promotional partners.
PokerStars might be the also-ran in this deal
It is worth noting that the press release announcing the partnership devoted the bulk of the text to sports betting. Understandable when you consider how big the market is expected to be.
Sure, PokerStars is an important and established brand, but online poker is going to be chump change by comparison. In Nevada and Delaware, the markets are too small to generate much money. Even in New Jersey, online poker makes up less than $2 million a month in revenue. Plus, that number is shrinking every day.
In other words, while some may be excited about PokerStars PA on the horizon, even The Stars Group seems much more interested in how BetStars will fare.