[toc]Amid all the news of Pennsylvania’s recently-passed online gambling bill is a development that could significantly impact Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the years to come.
In a recent article from New Jersey 101.5, industry expert Roger Gros spoke at length about the future of iGaming in Pennsylvania. He specifically opined that New Jersey-Pennsylvania player pooling is highly likely.
“Atlantic City and New Jersey have an advantage right now because we have branded casinos that people understand and they know,” Gros said in the interview. “People are going to want to gamble on the Atlantic City sites more so, I think, than the new Pennsylvania sites.”
What Gros is proposing is nothing new for New Jersey, which recently signed an agreement with Delaware and Nevada to share online poker players across all three states.
More players, more opportunity
Gros’ assertion that gamblers will be drawn to NJ gambling sites because of Atlantic City’s reputation isn’t all that far-fetched. For players in parts of PA far away from a casino, getting an Atlantic City experience from the computer sounds pretty amazing.
From Pennsylvania’s perspective, there’s a lot of opportunity available in the quarter of a billion dollars in revenue New Jersey’s online gambling brings in each year.
The online poker axiom is appropriate here: The bigger the player pool, the more success.
Which NJ online poker sites will operate in PA?
Early speculation about PA operators include the major players: PartyPoker, PokerStars, and 888/WSOP. Some experts have speculated that newcomers like Playtech and Unibet might take a crack at the PA market, too.
But all of this is in flux right now as regulators are in the early stages of working out the landscape. There’s no telling exactly how long it will take for casinos to apply for licenses, meet the various regulations, and launch their sites, though it is likely to be 6-9 months. Amongst online poker players anticipating a much more active US market, excitement is mounting.
That said, not everyone is high on PA online gambling. A recent report from Moody’s claims Pennsylvania’s satellite casinos and online gambling will cannibalize existing brick-and-mortar casinos.