Hollywood Casino Vows to Launch Poker by End of 2019

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The Hollywood Casino sign over the property's entrance in Pennsylvania.
  • Hollywood Casino prepares end-of-year poker launch on the IGT network in Pennsylvania
  • Penn National won’t launch PokerStars in Pennsylvania
  • 888 and partypoker still not opening their card rooms in the state

Hollywood Casino is going to roll out its online poker powered by the IGT before the end of 2019, the casino has confirmed.

H2: Hollywood Casino Confirms Roll-out of Poker by End of 2019

Hollywood Casino was among the first to launch in Pennsylvania when the Keystone State rolled out its iGaming industry on July 15. The move followed months of delays occasioned by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Legal Council (OLC)’s decision to enforce a new Opinion on the Wire Act.

With this hurdle clear and almost killed by the U.S. Congress, even though momentarily, Hollywood Casino will join the properties to launch an online poker product before 2019 is out.

Operated by Penn National Gaming, which recently signed a milestone deal with multiple gaming providers and companies, Hollywood casino will be allowed to run all three gambling verticals:

  • Sports
  • Casino
  • Poker


The operator obtained the license in July, 2018, coughing up the solid $10 million for all three licenses, part of a promotion run by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) at the time.

Powering Poker at Hollywood

Penn National has secured important partnerships regarding the software it would use on its newly-launched digital skins. The main supplier for the company remains IGT, a tech giant which has been in business since 2012 and which has provided a number of operators around the world with state-of-the-art iGaming solutions, including:

  • Sweden’s Svenska Spel
  • Italy’s Lottomatica
  • The Canadian Poker Network

Penn’s brand will use IGT’s poker platform to provide Pennsylvanian residents with online poker options for the first time in the history of the state. Meanwhile, the recent partnership between Penn National and The Stars Group, the Canadian owner of the world’s largest poker room, PokerStars, charts an interesting course of interaction.

For starters, Hollywood would go ahead with the IGT’s poker network in PA whereas all other states, nine to be precise, will use Penn National’s PokerStars network license. This would create some internal strife between the company’s assets.

Pennsylvania, A Place for Poker Operators

So far as poker operators are concerned, Pennsylvania definitely holds a lead on the number of poker operators that are planning to make an entry in the state. PokerStars will be available in PA as part of Mount Airy’s poker offer.

Another heavyweight of the online poker industry, partypoker, is also making an entry in the Keystone State. The hopes are that the shared-liquidity between Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey and now Pennsylvania would come to rival what offshore operators offer.

Responding in a Tweet, partypoker confirmed that they had no exact date when players would be able to join the network.

More surprisingly, 888 has given no indication that the company would be interesting in making an entry into the state, despite being present in three states already. Here is what 888 had to say:

We continue to monitor the developments in Pennsylvania however our focus remains with New Jersey and other markets in which we operate at this time.

What’s Taking So Long?

Ultimately, one question seems to interest everyone, i.e. what’s taking so long? Presently, there are no real hurdles ahead of poker, but operators are taking a while before launching into the segment. GamblingNews believes that brands are just focusing on more lucrative segments, including online casino games.

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