Harrah’s Philadelphia and Caesars Interactive Entertainment Receive Pennsylvania’s First Online Gambling Approval
Caesars Entertainment-owned casino property Harrah’s Philadelphia and Caesars’ online subsidiary, Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE), have jointly announced they have been awarded Pennsylvania’s first internet gaming certificate, and are thus approved to offer online gambling to the state’s residents once gaming software and other interactive elements are tested and approved.
According to a corporate statement from the Caesars entities, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) “approved internet gaming applications for the first time on Wednesday, granting approval of the conduct of operations across three game categories – slots, table games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, etc.) and poker.” Harrah’s Philadelphia, the licensed casino property, was one of nine Pennsylvania casino properties that completed a $10 million licensing application, to cover all three categories — online poker, online casino games such as slots, and online sports betting.
The Caesars presser notes that the PGCB’s approval means Caesars Interactive, technically the software partner, can move forward with the next steps of the regulatory process, which involves testing and verification for CIE’s online-gaming software suite.
The issuance of the licensing certificate is the first such approval granted by the PGCB. Several more applications from other Pennsylvania casino properties are under PGCB review, with most or all of those properties likely to join the approved category in the coming weeks.
Caesars hopes to offer two online platforms under the Harrah’s Philadelphia branding umbrella, referring to WSOP.com and CaesarsCasino.com. Pennsylvania’s online-poker regulations allow for the state’s player to be pooled with those in other legalized jurisdictions, with that traffic to be combined inside the WSOP.com platform. Caesars offered this brief overview of the gaming content likely to be available to Keystone State gamblers:
WSOP.com: At launch, the WSOP.com real-money poker offering powered by Harrah’s Philadelphia will be available both via mobile and PC. Guests are expected to enjoy:
- Cash games, Sit & Go’s, Satellites and Multi-table Tournaments
- Buy-ins for cash games that start as low as 1¢-2¢ and tournaments that start at $1.10
- Freeroll tournaments for players of all levels
- Limit and No-Limit Hold’em with full table and short-handed games, plus the popular Omaha variant including Omaha Hi-Lo, as well as Seven Card Stud.
CaesarsCasino.com: Just like at Caesars Atlantic City or Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, guests signing up to CaesarsCasino.com will find a wide variety of their favorite table games and slots to choose from. Among the expected action guests will find on CaesarsCasino.com:
- Roulette (both American and European-style)
- Video Poker
- Video Slots
“We thank the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board and look forward to continuing to work together on the next steps in bringing online gaming to Harrah’s Philadelphia,” said Harrah’s Philadelphia Senior Vice President and General Manager Chris Albrecht. “We see this as a great opportunity to bring new customers into our Total Rewards network and for all customers to play with us both online and at the property.”
“We’re very bullish on the offering online gaming provides our guests and are excited for the opportunity Pennsylvania presents,” added Melanie Gross, CIE’s vice president of online casino. “We have a wealth of knowledge and experience from our six years in the online gaming space in the U.S. and believe we’ll be able to hit the ground running in Pennsylvania when online gaming commences in the state.”