Since online casino gaming was legalized in the state of Pennsylvania almost two years ago, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind to figure out when players will be able to bet online. It looks like we finally have our answer as a number of books are on the cusp of opening up the doors next week.
If you’ve been patiently waiting, it looks like your wait might finally be over. According to the companies and various sources, Parx Casino and Penn National are expected to launch their online casino gaming products on Monday in what is being called a soft launch.
What this means is that the casinos will be operational for a period of time throughout the day (limited hours) so that the companies can iron out any kinks in the software. If everything goes smoothly – as expected – then the casino will move to fully be open 24/7, just like the brick-and-mortar locations.
While we know that Parx and Penn are the first two who will be giving this a go, it's possible that a third casino will be doing the same. As of now, the signs point to Rush Street Gaming being that third operator (they own Rivers and SugarHouse casinos).
It appears that one of the known issues is that users will not be able to game from any Apple devices. That means no online casino gaming for iPhone or iPad users. The reason is that iOS is very restrictive with gambling apps and is forcing new entries into the app story be coded natively in iOS.
It can’t be a port of an HTML web app or a spin-off of a mobile website. None of the big players in the market right now are compliant yet.
The Google Play store also is restrictive with gambling – it doesn’t allow gambling apps at all – but the Android mobile operating system is an open system, so users are able to download the app directly from the operators’ site as long as they confirm that they understand the risks.
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Now that we know that Parx Casino – and others – will be up and running shortly, we also have an idea of what games will be available to play.
Players will be able to get into the action with slots, blackjack, roulette, video poker, live dealer games, craps and baccarat. In terms of the slots, there will be a variety in the hundreds with all sorts of variations of themes, paylines and jackpots.
All styles of roulette and blackjack will also be offered, and live dealer games will add a bit of a flavor of playing with a human, rather than software.
For the most part, the main offerings from the brick-and-mortar casino will be available to players right from the palm of their hands. It’s an exciting time for gaming in Pennsylvania. With reports that slot revenue is up this past year, online casinos should make for a much better consumer experience.
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