888 Holdings has punted a little early on the possibility that Pennsylvania will pass an online gambling legislation.
Several news outlets reported on Tuesday that the gambling company recently rolled out a promotional campaign in the state. The campaign, which was launched quietly, was a cross-promotion between 888 and its land-based online gambling partner, Mount Airy Casino Resort.
According to Online Poker Report, players that sign up to 888 Casino NJ via the casino’s website will receive $25 “no deposit” bonus, which they can redeem as soon as HB 2150 is passed by the Senate.
The offer comes with several caveats: the bonus does not apply to 888 Poker and only players located in the state of New Jersey are eligible for the offer.
There’s just one thing—gambling is still illegal in the Keystone state.
In June, the Pennsylvania House of Representative voted 114-85 in favor of the HB 2150 legislation, which was amended to allow the state’s dozen brick-and-mortar casino operators to partner with approved online gambling technology providers to offer online casino and poker games to state residents.
Under the bill, casinos looking to go online will have to pay an upfront fee of $8 million for a five-year license, with renewals costing $250,000, while their online technology partners will have to pay $2 million upfront, with renewal fees of $100,000 in five years’ time.
The bill, however, failed to pass in the state Senate. Patrick Browne, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the gambling legislation would not be included in any revenue plan passed this week. The legislation will have to wait until the fall, according to the senator.
At any rate, there’s still the possibility that 888’s “no deposit” bonus offer will compel New Jersey residents to visit Mount Airy casino, which is located only about 10-15 miles away from the Garden State border. As Online Poker Report’s Robert DellaFave pointed out, “it makes sense to aggressively promote NJ online gambling in Pennsylvania,” especially if the state’s casinos get their biggest chunk of foot traffic from New Jersey.