Thu, Jul 18, 4:53am by Staff Writer
Two Pennsylvania casinos have soft-launched their online casino sites, with a third preparing to go live later this week.
As promised, Monday brought the long-awaited debut of online casino gambling in Pennsylvania, with two casinos soft-launching their products for eight-hour periods under the watchful eye of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Calvin Ayre reports.
The launch came 21 months after the state approved the necessary legislation in October, 2017.
Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino went into the history books as the Neil Armstrong of Pennsylvania’s regulated online casino market, launching at 11am local time.
The site immediately dealt with some software chinks that prevented people from registering, leaving customers feeling like Apollo 11 pilot Mike Collins, just spinning around the moon, waiting while other people made history.
The Parx Casino in Philadelphia played Pennsylvania’s online gambling Buzz Aldrin, coming online a few hours after Hollywood’s debut.
But Parx thought to include blackjack and roulette games to compliment its slots portfolio.
Due to Apple’s recent ultimatum concerning native gambling apps, both of Pennsylvania’s current online casino options are only accessible via desktop or Android devices.
Also, none of the sites offer online poker, because of the PGCB’s views that the game as a more complicated testing environment.
Apple threw up a major hurdle for anyone looking to offer rela-money gambling to iOS users with updates to its App Store in June.
It said that HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries or charitable donations and may not support digital commerce.
This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple.
In short, Apple is saying that companies who want to release a gambling app for iOS devices will have to develop a dedicated iOS-native app.
Win real money playing slots, blackjack and more online as Hollywood Casino launches Pennsylvania's first virtual casino. https://t.co/fFkkPvcfiE
— The Evening Sun (@theeveningsun) July 15, 2019
Since native apps are focused on a single device, they traditionally offer more functionality and are faster-loading, but they also take longer to develop, which costs more.
Rush Street Gaming’s SugarHouse casino in Philadelphia is promising to commence a test of its online casino product on Wednesday.
The land-based venue is in the process of rebranding as Rivers Casino later this year, a switcheroo that the online product will presumably mimic, but for now the focus is apparently on just making it to the online starting gate.
Pennsylvania now officially joins Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey on the list of active online gambling states.
West Virginia approved online casino and poker legislation in March, although when the state’s sites might launch remains an open question.
Governor Jim Justice approved the West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Act in March, which was approved by both of the state’s legislative chambers earlier this month.
The bill will allow the state’s five land-based gaming licensees to offer online poker and casino products to state residents.
Justice waited until the last possible day to either sign or veto a raft of bills approved in the legislative session that concluded earlier this month.
There were concerns that he might follow the lead of former Michigan Governor Rich Snyder, who in December issued a last-minute veto of his state’s online gambling legislation after the legislature had adjourned for the year.
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