Pennsylvania has been in a position of housing legal online gambling companies for a number of months now. However it had appeared that casinos were dragging their heels in creating an online gambling solution to compliment their retail offerings.
After all, it is an added expense and a substantial one at that. Licenses, design, development, maintenance and tax costs all need to be considered and measured against the long term gains.
Partnerships gained with online companies
The casinos seemed more than willing on taking a punt with the potential growth it could bring. This was made quite clear by many of the casinos openly partnering up with online gambling partners. This is a win/win for both parties involved. The casinos get an already established and credible platform to offer their services and it also provides the opportunity for the big online gambling specialists to legally enter the marketplace.
With Sports betting in retail casinos going live back when the 2017 Act 42 was passed, it seems like it is taking forever for the online gambling sector to get up and running. However progress has been made and casinos are now in the process of rolling out test versions of their online service across the state.
Online gambling tests in progress
Tests have been carried out yesterday and will continue today and tomorrow by Hollywood casino and Parx casino. These tests are constantly monitored and broken down in to time periods to allow data to be collected and compared against expectations. If tests are successful the relevant casinos will then be in a position to push out their apps and online services right across the state.
Playsugarhouse are also gearing up towards a test period on Wednesday, again with the intention of launching a full release, pending a successful outcome. Playsugarhouse already have an established app operating in New Jersey. Hopefully this should translate straight over to the Pennsylvania market.
Personally I’m not holding my breath for an immediate launch after the tests have concluded. Tests on this sort of scale do normally identify bugs and glitches that have been initially overlooked on a micro-level.
On a more positive not it does appear as though online gambling is imminent, with sports betting and casino/slots being the first services to go live. We expect poker services to also emerge later this year or early 2020.
The process of creating a gambling state was always going to be a long winded and complex journey. This has proven to be the case. At least things seem to be heading in the right direction and the fact tests have gone ahead indicates it is now only a matter of time.
Test phase ultimately beneficial
These tests may frustrate some and seem like it is just lengthening the process more than what is necessary. However, from working with betting apps for some time, I see this as a crucial part of the project.
With gambling being a brand new experience for many, confidence will be needed in the apps and online services these casinos provide. That will not be done with an app that crashes frequently and fails to function in the way it is supposed to.
I have seen enough credible companies fail with their app launches, purely because it was rushed out. Therefore, I find it quite reassuring that the casinos are going out of their way to properly test and measure performance on a big scale, prior to an official release.
It is looking like initially there will only be a native app release for Android users. iPhone and iPad users will have to make do with the mobile optimised websites in order to benefit from the services available.
Anyhow this news should be encouraging to those PA residents who are looking to place sports wagers direct from their cell phone, tablet or laptop. We’ll keep you updated on the tests once the casinos release their findings.