PA Online Gambling Forecast: Mount Airy And PokerStars

Martin Derbyshire August 22, 2018
Pocono NASCAR race

Mount Airy Casino Resort is a full-service resort in the Pocono Mountains with a relatively small casino and big plans for online gambling across Pennsylvania.

Its initial online gambling plan became clear on Aug. 10, 2018, when The Stars Group, the parent company of PokerStars, announced it would soon be launching online poker, online casino games, and online sports betting sites in partnership with Mount Airy Casino Resort.

Online casino, poker, and sports betting

Mount Airy Casino Resort is one of the nine PA casino license holders that applied for a $10 million online gambling license to operate online poker, online slots, and online table games. It did so just ahead of the state’s the July 16, 2018 deadline. The announcement from The Stars Group now makes it clear it also intends to eventually apply for an additional $10 million license to operate retail, online, and mobile sports betting as well.

The plan is to offer PA customers an all-inclusive, engaging online gambling experience. It will do this by allowing gamblers seamless access to its online poker, casino, and sports wagering verticals with just a single account.

In a press release, Mount Airy Casino Resort VP of Marketing & Gaming Operations Vincent Jordan described the plan as a diversification of the property’s casino offerings:

“As one of Pennsylvania’s leaders in entertainment, offering internet sports wagering and gaming and partnering with The Stars Group is the obvious next step for us to continue diversifying our casino offerings. Introducing internet gaming through The Stars Group will provide compelling opportunities for our customers, particularly our younger customers, who are ready to experience the next gaming challenge.”

The world’s leading online poker site

Pennsylvania poker players will undoubtedly be familiar with PokerStars and its online poker software. PokerStars had already grown into the world’s leading online poker site when it was forced out of the US in April 2011. It returned to the US in the fenced-in New Jersey market in 2016 with a PokerStars NJ product using the same high-quality software the company built its reputation on. It operates under partner Resorts Casino Hotel‘s internet gaming license.

Since then, the company added popular slots and electronic versions of various table games to the mix. Plus, The Stars Group launched a BetStars branded online sportsbook in jurisdictions where it is legal. In mid-2018, The Stars Group also announced plans to offer online and mobile sports betting in New Jersey under the BetStars brand.

Mount Airy and 888

What is surprising about its initial online gambling plan is that it involves PokerStars, not 888 Holdings. That’s because Mount Airy Casino Resort has had a partnership with 888 since 2014.

The partnership includes the Play Mount Airy social casino site running on 888 software. Additionally, the Mount Airy Casino Resort website links directly to the 888 real-money product in New Jersey.

Since PA casinos are free to launch multiple online gambling skins, Mount Airy Casino Resort can still launch various 888 online gambling verticals. It recently indicated plans to launch products with both 888 and PokerStars.

Mount Airy Casino Resort

Mount Airy Casino Resort opened up in 2017. It sits on the same site where the Mount Airy Lodge vacation resort once did. It is just 90 minutes from both Philadelphia and New York City.

Pennsylvania’s first AAA Four- Diamond casino resort features a lodge with 188 upscale guest rooms and suites. Signature restaurants on the property include celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Mt. Pocono Kitchen. Mount Airy Casino Resort also features a lakefront 18-hole golf course and a 16,000-square-foot spa, salon and exercise facility. Plus, there is a $5 million, luxury indoor/outdoor pool and entertainment complex on the property.

Mount Airy Casino Resort announced plans in April 2008 for a multi-million dollar expansion. The expansion includes the addition of 100 new guest rooms and a 16,000 square-foot ballroom and events center. Plus, a 27,000 square-foot Outdoor Concert Pavilion that is already open.

The casino on the property is mid-sized by PA standards with over 1,800 slot machines and 80 table games. It also features The Poker Parlor with live poker on nine tables.

In 2017, Mount Airy Casino Resort posted just over $50 million in table game revenue and $147 million in slot machine revenue. These numbers make it sixth and ninth among the 12 existing PA casinos respectively.

The DeNaples family owns and operates the property. It was originally built by Scranton, PA businessman Louis DeNaples.

However, DeNaples turned over ownership of the property to a family trust in 2009. The turnover became part of an agreement to avoid criminal perjury charges. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board accused DeNaples of lying about ties to the Bufalino crime family.