UK-listed online gambling operator 888 Holdings has inked a prospective online gambling tie-up with Pennsylvania’s Mount Airy Casino Resort.
On Wednesday, eGR North America reported that the deal would be done via the All-American Poker Network (AAPN), the joint venture of 888 and hedge fund Avenue Capital, which is currently in operation in neighboring New Jersey. 888 is the only operator currently doing business in all three US regulated online gambling states, supplying technology for Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s WSOP.com site in Nevada and also for the Delaware Lottery.
AAPN executive chairman David Licht told USPoker.com that the deal had been in the works for over a year. Licht said Mount Airy’s management and ownership were “very supportive” of online gambling, which made the marriage “a very easy match.”
888’s latest partnership is contingent on Pennsylvania politicians passing the necessary legislation. There are currently four online gambling bills seeking attention in the state legislature – one poker-only, two poker and casino, and one that seeks to kill online gambling in the womb.
The state’s House Gaming Oversight Committee held a hearing on Tuesday at Mount Airy, the subject of which was ways to keep the state’s gaming industry competitive. Online gambling loomed large in the discussion and Licht was on hand to encourage skittish legislators and casino operators to dip their toes into the pool.
The Times-Tribune quoted Licht saying the New Jersey market had demonstrated that online gambling doesn’t cannibalize brick-and-mortar revenue. Licht said 70% to 80% of the state’s online gamblers were new casino customers who individually generated “enormous” revenue. Licht noted that Pennsylvania’s population was 45% greater than New Jersey’s and thus the online revenue returns were likely to significantly outperform the Garden State.