In September 2018, NetEnt announced it applied for a license with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to supply local operators with their awarded online casino games. In preparation to the new regulated market in Pennsylvania, NetEnt started to sign contracts including a deal signed with Penn National Gaming in October while this month a deal has been closed with Parx Casino.
NetEnt’s adventure in the American iGaming market so far
What was once the largest iGaming market in the world, turned its back to online gambling 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) passed into law, having big consequences for legal online gambling in the United States.
It was because of the UIGEA that many iGaming companies abandoned the US market in 2006, to return gradually after the US Department of Justice publicly reversed its position on the scope of the 1961 Wire Act in December 2011. This while many unsuccessful attempts have been made to introduce one all-encompassing federal law involving online gambling. Because this didn’t work out, US states started to introduce intrastate regulations.
So far, this resulted in eight US states legalizing some form of online betting with Delaware being the first in 2012. However, online casino gaming is only allowed in Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
It was halfway 2014 that NetEnt announced its expansion into the upcoming North American iGaming market with an initial focus on New Jersey.
It was in November 2013 that New Jersey started to offer properly licensed and regulated online casino and betting sites, but it was in 2015 that NetEnt applied for an online casino license in the state. Until today, that casino license haven’t been approved, but the company is operating in the state with several temporary licenses (so-called transactional waivers).
It’s thanks to these transactional waivers that NetEnt has been able to distribute its awarded casino games to several operators in the state, while their license application is still under review. Since the start of their journey in New Jersey in 2015, NetEnt managed to sign customer agreements with a great number of operators including bwin.party, the Borgata brands, Caesars, Golden Nugget, Resorts Casino, PokerStars, Tropicana, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
As a leader in regulated online casino markets, NetEnt has a habit to closely monitor and evaluate the developments in non-regulated markets. After Governor Wolf signed the bill into law end of October 2017, and Pennsylvania officially became the fourth US state to legalize online gambling, NetEnt believed the prerequisites and timing were right to intensify its efforts to enter another state!
Erik Nyman, Managing Director NetEnt Americas LLC, comments: “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.”
NetEnt’s entry into Pennsylvania’s iGaming market
In September 2018, NetEnt announced it filed the application in order to receive the necessary casino licenses from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). NetEnt is still waiting for their casino licenses to be approved in order to be able to deliver its award-winning online casino games to the Pennsylvania casinos for their online casino operations.
In preparation to NetEnt’s entry into the regulated online casino market in Pennsylvania, the company is signing their first customer agreements already. A first deal was signed in October 2018 with Penn Online Entertainment, LLC, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming’s Penn Interactive Ventures. The deal will involve the distribution of the NetEnt Games to their online Pennsylvania casino HollywoodCasino.com.
There are currently 12 casino gambling properties in the state of Pennsylvania and one of them was signed by NetEnt in October. This, most probably, leaves another 11 deals to be signed and it was last week that NetEnt signed a second partnership, this time with Parx Casino which is allowed to offer the highest maximum of approved slot machines in the state.
“Parx is a household brand in the gambling community in Pennsylvania. I am very excited that we have secured this important agreement ahead of market opening. I am certain that Parx player’s will enjoy our games and unique features and that our tools will help Parx grow their business within online casino”, says Erik Nyman, Managing Director NetEnt Americas LLC.
NetEnt’s agreement with Parx Casino
With the expectation for the sites to be up and running early 2019, NetEnt started its preparations as soon as their application for the casino licenses was filed. Part of their preparations to enter the regulated market in Pennsylvania once it opens, a second deal was signed with Parx Casino to deliver a broad range of NetEnt’s portfolio of slot games and table games.
The NetEnt games will be delivered via the GAN platform, which also enables free spins and the free spin widget.
Parx Online is operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc, who also operate Parx Casino, a horse racing venue, and the largest casino gaming complex in Pennsylvania.
“We are looking forward to expanding the Parx Casino offerings into the online world. As part of this, we’re excited to be able to offer NetEnt’s outstanding suite of game content as part of our online casino launch in Pennsylvania”, says Matthew Cullen, SVP iGaming & Sports, Parx Casino.