NetEnt announced on Thursday they had signed a partnership with Penn National Gaming.
Announced early on Thursday was a deal that gives NetEnt access to the Pennsylvania market through Penn Online Entertainment. The deal will allow Penn National to use NetEnt games in their new online casinos.
Erik Nyman, Managing Director NetEnt Americas LLC:
“This deal marks NetEnt’s first customer signing for Pennsylvania and is an important step in our growth strategy in North America. I look forward to our collaboration with Penn National and believe that our entertaining online games will be much appreciated by players in Pennsylvania.”
Chris Sheffield, Managing Director of Penn Interactive Ventures and Sr. Vice President of Penn National Gaming:
“We are pleased to offer NetEnt’s portfolio of online games to our HollywoodCasino.com customers and look forward to partnering with NetEnt to launch online gaming in Pennsylvania.”
The partnership adds a powerful partner to Penn National’s upcoming online casino. With a permit to open an online casino already approved, Penn National will have an extra boost over their competition when online casinos launch later in 2018.
The partnership with Penn National is the first result of NetEnt’s announcement last month that they intended to enter the Pennsylvania market. In September, NetEnt released a statement saying they would be applying for a license to deliver their portfolio of games to local operators for online casinos in Pennsylvania.
Nyman said at the time:
“We are excited to continue our strategic expansion in the US. We have enjoyed success in New Jersey and believe that this will continue in Pennsylvania. We will launch with a mix of our table games, video slots, jackpot games and unique features like free spins that have been greatly appreciated by our customers and their players. Our ambition is to be live in Pennsylvania as soon as the market opens.”
The idea at the time was to open their games up for possible casino partners to see the portfolio that NetEnt had to offer. One month later, it appears to have been a successful venture.
The state passed regulations for online gambling in last 2017, but has not yet had any casinos go live. Out of the original 13 licenses available, there are seven licenses taken by various gaming companies. Harrah’s, Hollywood, Mount Airy, Parx, and Sugarhouse all were approved before October. Early in the month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded two more to Sands Bethlehem and Valley Forge.
Interestingly, Sands itself has no intention of opening an online casino, but only because they’re in the process of being acquired by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI Gaming). While Sands has no intention, PCI does have plans to venture into online gaming, so Sands offered to apply for a license while the acquisition is finalized.
Valley Forge, on the other hand, definitely intends on entering online gaming. The Boyd Gaming-owned brand came forward with partnerships and platforms for their presentation to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. With IGT providing their platform, Valley Forge will also look into sports betting through Boyd’s partnership with the Betfair-owned brand FanDuel.