Casino Gambling Guide

Harrah's Approved For Online Play in Pennsylvania

Harrah's Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack was among three casinos in the state to be granted an online gaming license this week, while a fourth has finally taken up the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board's offer to apply for a sports betting license.

The PGCB awarded Interactive Gaming Certificates, or "iGaming" Certificates, to Chester Downs and Marina LLC, operator of Harrah's Philadelphia, as well as Parx Casino operator Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. and Mount Airy #1 LLC, operator of the Mount Airy Resort Casino.

"Once it's up and running, anyone can establish an account online," said PGCB spokesman Doug Harbach. "They can do it in the casino, but they can also establish an account online and they can participate in any casino game – table games, slots and even peer-to-peer poker."

Harbach added that the service will only be available to those 21 years or older and within state boundaries. Online gaming would allow someone from Delaware County to play the online table games offered by Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie without making the six hour drive, he said.

Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Mississippi already offer sports betting and West Virginia is expected to enter the game Sept. 1. Casino revenues in Pennsylvania are down 9 percent from this same time last year, according to PCLB figures for July. Harrah's took in more than $4.2 million last month, a 30 percent drop from July 2017, when it had about $ 6 million in revenues. It was also the first time revenues at the Chester location dropped below $5 million in a month since November, according to PGCB records.

Harbach noted he had seen reports of casinos signaling that they would be making the move to offer sports betting and setting up partnerships with technology companies to develop platforms.

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