All-American Poker Network (AAPN), the online poker joint business venture between UK’s 888 Holdings and Delaware’s Avenue Capital Group, has landed an iGaming deal with Pennsylvania’s Mt. Airy Casino Resort. Although the newly inked agreement is contingent upon the legalization of Internet-based gambling in the Keystone State, it nevertheless gives AAPN assurance of a foothold in Pennsylvania’s prospective online gambling landscape.
David Licht the Executive Chairman of AAPN revealed the deal during the “How to Keep PA’s Casinos Competitive,” hearing, held last Tuesday by the House Gaming Oversight Committee in Mount Airy Casino. Mr. Licht disclosed that the partnership deal has been in the works for more than a year. He described the partnership as a very easy match, since the management and owners of Mount Airy Casino Resort are supportive of the online gambling business.
When asked about Mount Airy Casino Resort as AAPN’s choice of land-based casino partner for a possible Pennsylvania online gambling venture, Mr. Licht said that they consider Mount Airy as a first-in-class establishment. Moreover, the Pennsylvania casino company’s view about online gambling was quite similar to AAPN’s.
The revelation though, initially came as a surprise to many since Mount Airy Casino Resort was the only unrepresented Pennsylvania casino, in an online gambling hearing held in 2014 by the State Senate Committee on Community, Economic, and Recreational Development. In last Tuesday’s meeting, the AAPN Executive Director said he attended the committee inquiry to give opinion based on his experience in New Jersey’s online gambling industry. As it is, AAPN along with 888, are the only web-based gaming-operators, licensed to offer online gambling products and services in the three U.S. Internet gaming states of Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada.
Mr. Licht’s take on the meeting held at Mount Airy Casino Resort is that the proceeding was definitely focused on fact-finding. He perceives that the proposed introduction of regulated iGaming as a way to keep Pennsylvania casinos competitive, made a positive impression during the discussions. He added that he was able to drive home some important points that PA state lawmakers could consider once they deliberate on whether online gambling should be legalized in the state:
• There is no reason to doubt the potential success of online gambling in the Keystone State, since its population is forty-five percent larger than that of New Jersey.
• Online gambling operators would have gained useful experience in promoting for customer acquisition and therefore likely to produce better results.
• TV advertisements could be more effective and economical in Pennsylvania because of the state’s natural make up; as opposed to New Jersey’s need to include New York and Pennsylvania for their TV add buy-ins.
• Geo-location verification in Pennsylvania would prove to be easier than, and as equally successful as that of New Jersey.
Actually, AAPN’s contingent partnership with Mount Airy is already the third PA online gambling partnership agreement, made in anticipation of the possible legalization of real- money Internet-based gaming.