It’s been a busy month in a busy year for operators of Mount Airy Casino Resort. Recently, they announced a partnership with the Toronto-based gaming company the Stars Group to bring online gaming to the Pennsylvania market. The Canadian company already has a U.S. online gaming presence in New Jersey and will soon offer Pennsylvanian’s a package of online gaming opportunities including online poker, table games, slots, and sports betting.
The Stars Group is a solid choice. They are an international player in gaming technologies, operating in 19 jurisdictions and owning/licensing/operating a wide range of online gaming brands including PokerStars, BetStars, Full Tilt Poker, Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Poker, and many others. Their PA operations will almost certainly be under the BetStars and PokerStars brand, seeing as these are already familiar to American residents. As further evidence, recently the Stars Group extended their partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel in New Jersey to continue operating under the BetStars brand.
Mount Airy and the Stars Group may be ready to go, but one final legal obstacle remains before them. Mount Airy has applied for one of the state’s new online gaming licenses, but the license hasn’t been issued yet. There are no anticipated problems with Mount Airy’s license bid, but it is unknown when any of the nine pending online gaming licenses will be issued by Pennsylvania.
A good deal for all concerned
This announced partnership is a big win for the two gaming operators and also for Pennsylvanians who have been waiting patiently for online gaming to be legally offered in the state.
The Stars Group has been loudly claiming its desire to once again operate legally in the U.S. in general, and Pennsylvania specifically. This move solidifies their presence in the American market, proving their presence in New Jersey was no one-off deal. Clearly, the Stars Group wants to regain the prominent place they had in the States prior to being shut down by the U.S. Justice Department on online poker’s “Black Friday” in 2011.
As Matt Primeaux, SVP of Strategy & Operations, The Stars Group, USA said:
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.”
This move is a big win for Mount Airy as well. They are located in the Pocanos as part of a beautiful resort, but compared to other Pennsylvania casinos, they are somewhat small. This early move into online gaming combined with their recently announced mini casino in western Pennsylvania expands their presence significantly and moves Mount Airy up the ranks of the PA casino hierarchy.
Said Vincent Jordan, Mount Airy VP of Marketing & Gaming:
“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.”
PokerStars is big – BetStars is bigger
Americans are probably more familiar with the PokerStars brand from their years of activity providing online poker to the U.S. market. Despite this, it’s BetStars that is sure to be the big player in the new PA online gaming market. For example, the press release announcing this partnership focused most of the copy on sports betting. As popular as poker is in America, the potential sports betting market dwarfs it.
Online gaming of all kinds are headed to Pennsylvania. Mount Airy and the Stars Group are positioning themselves to get their share of the pie. More casino operators and their tech partners are sure to follow. Who will be next?