Hollywood’s PA Online Casino Closer To Launch After Two New Deals

Written By Joss Wood on October 26, 2018 - Last Updated on November 8, 2022
rocket preparing to launch

Hollywood Casino owner Penn National just signed deals with two major gaming suppliers, NetEnt and IGT.

At its Sept. 12, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) authorized Penn National’s interactive gaming license application.

That clears the way for the company to launch online gaming as soon as it can get the technology up and running.

IGT has experience in over 100 countries worldwide

William Hill is Penn’s platform partner for sports betting but until now only rumors have pointed to IGT as the platform provider for its new online casino business. The rumors were right.

Under the new deal, IGT will provide:

“a full suite of digital gaming products, including the platform, and services for the newly regulated Pennsylvania online gaming market.”

The “full suite” includes online poker and bingo:

“IGT’s digital gaming platform, PlayCommand™, will enable online gaming for Penn National’s Pennsylvania-based customers via its online gaming portal – HollywoodCasino.com. Penn National will also leverage IGT’s PlayCasino to provide its players with an expansive library of player-favorite slot games such as Wheel of Fortune®, Elephant King®, Ocean Magic® and Cleopatra® slots. Additionally, Penn National agreed to deploy IGT’s PlayBingo and PlayPoker online solutions.”

Penn National is spreading its risk

IGT is a global gaming technology company with operations in over 100 countries. It is also regulated and active in several US markets.

In New Jersey not only is IGT behind several online casino operations, but it is also powering sports betting for FanDuel and MGM.

Penn National looks to be taking a measured approach to its new business opportunities. IGT could easily run the Hollywood Casino’s PA sports betting operations as well.

In choosing William Hill for that part of its business, if nothing else, Penn National is spreading the risk of its new ventures.

As it happens, IGT and William Hill are old friends. They previously struck a partnership deal themselves to offer sports betting to state lotteries. The first to market will be the Rhode Island state lottery although no launch date has been set. Plus, they appear to be running behind schedule.

No news as to whether mobile is on the table

Hollywood Casino’s Vice President and General Manager Dan Ihm told the PGCB that it had not yet decided on mobile sports betting. However, when Penn National submitted its sports betting application, it admitted mobile was a large part of the plan.

Both IGT and William Hill have mobile sports betting technology in place in New Jersey and Nevada.

IGT powers sports betting at 10 of MGM’s Las Vegas Strip properties. It also has a deal with FanDuel for online and mobile sports betting in New Jersey. William Hill has its own branded mobile sports betting app in New Jersey and Nevada.

NetEnt will provide its casino games suite

Penn’s deal with IGT includes using game content from IGT’s library of casino games. Managing Director of PIV and Sr. Vice President of Penn National Gaming Chris Sheffield explained:

“The flexibility and reliability of the PlayCommand platform, coupled with the proven game library within IGT’s PlayCasino, give us confidence that HollywoodCasino.com will deliver the same caliber of world-class gaming entertainment that our players have come to love in our land-based casinos.”

Penn’s deal with NetEnt extends the range of content that HollywoodCasino.com will be able to offer.

Sheffield said of the NetEnt deal:

“We are pleased to offer NetEnt’s portfolio of online games to our HollywoodCasino.com customers and look forward to partnering with NetEnt to launch online gaming in Pennsylvania.”

So IGT platform and games, plus additional games from NetEnt.

NetEnt also has a large US footprint

NetEnt is much smaller than IGT, but it still boasts over 1,000 employees and handled 41.2 billion gaming transactions in 2017.

It has a proprietary game library of over 200 games. In New Jersey, NetEnt offers games via most of the major online casinos, including:

This deal is a big step for NetEnt marking its first sale in Pennsylvania.

If it can replicate its success in New Jersey NetEnt will establish itself as an essential part of the US online gaming landscape.

Managing Director NetEnt Americas, Erik Nyman said:

“This deal marks NetEnt’s first customer signing for Pennsylvania and is an important step in our growth strategy in North America. I look forward to our collaboration with Penn National and believe that our entertaining online games will be much appreciated by players in Pennsylvania.”

Penn National could make it to market with its online casino by the end of this year. If not launch will definitely be early in 2019.

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Joss Wood

Joss Wood has a master’s degree in organisational development from the University of Manchester as well as an English degree from the University of Birmingham and also earned. His writing primarily centers on international online gambling markets, though he also writes about the legal US online gambling industry in addition to sports betting and esports gambling.

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