Bwin.party CEO Norber Teufelberger recently revealed that the company had secured a casino partner in Pennsylvania in order to be first in the queue when Keystone State lawmakers approve online gambling legislation and launch.
The CEO chose not to name its new partner, leading to those who find fun in making predictions to guess which casino may have joined forces with Bwin.party. Those prognosticators can scratch Parx Casino off the list, as several media reports indicate that honchos at Parx have denied any alliance.
Parx and the Bethlehem Sands are out of contention, as the latter is run by Sheldon Adelson, the puppet master pulling the strings of the proposed RAWA legislation that is set to get a look-see by the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on March 25. Adelson’s Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling continues to be a thorn in the side of online poker and gambling proponents, but his influence and money have not stopped igaming progress in Pennsylvania, a state where the billionaire runs one of the top casinos.
Slow But Steady Progress
That progress was solidified last year when a gambling study by Pennsylvania’s Legislative Budget and Finance Committee found that online poker and gambling could collectively produce revenue of $300 million annually. Further progress was made last week when the Gaming Oversight Committee in Pennsylvania held public hearings at both the SugarHouse Casino and Harrah’s.
Underage gambling and the security of player information were key topics that the committee pondered. As was another study that was in agreement with the 2014 research regarding revenue totals. More hearings are scheduled, putting Pennsylvania on course to possibly be the fourth state to enact igaming legislation.
Next on the committee’s docket are hearings that will look into “Definitions of Games of Skill vs. Games of Chance” and “Internet Gaming and Mobile Gaming.” The first is set for April 1, while the latter is scheduled for April 16.
List Gets Shorter
Teufelberger stated that the collaboration with the unnamed partner has been entered into with one of Pennsylvania’s “leading casinos,” shortening the candidates among the state’s remaining 10 land-based gaming establishments to a handful. The Rivers, Penn National, SugarHouse, Harrah’s and Mohegan Sun now top the list of likely partners.
The Rivers and SugarHouse are owned by Rush Street Gaming, leading to rampant speculation that Bwin.party has hopped into bed with that entity. The Rivers also comes in third in terms of gaming revenue in the state, making it the top casino not named Sands or Parx. Rush Street also operates casinos in Illinois and New York, two other states often mentioned as possibilities for regulated igaming.
Although the name of the casino remains a mystery, the partnership can also be placed under the category of progress. We will likely see more such alliances in the future considering that the Keystone State is moving forward with regard to online poker and gambling legislation.
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