- Number could go from 10 to 11 pending sale of Sands Bethlehem
- Parx Casino and Racing the most vociferous opponent of legalization
The likely sale of Sands Bethlehem Casino Resort to the pro-online gambling MGM Resorts International is likely to see all but one casino in the state to be in favour of a change in the law.
The last of the establishments to holdout would be Parx Casino, currently the state’s largest casino gaming complex, which would stand alone in its opposition to the introduction of legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Casinos voice emphatic support
A legislative hearing last week saw six of the casinos voice emphatic support for allowing online gambling< in the state. Mount Airy, Valley Forge, Lady Luck, Caesars and Rush Street Gaming, the owner of SugarHouse and Rivers casinos, all announced their support at the hearing. Penn National, Meadows, Presque Isle and Mohegan Sun, which did not speak during the hearing, have nonetheless all recorded their support for legalization in the recent past.
“I hope you will consider allowing internet gaming in the Commonwealth. Pennsylvania has an opportunity to be among the first in what will be a significant growth opportunity for the industry moving forward.”
Valley Forge Casino President and CEO Eric Pearson
Pearson continued: “As we can see from our neighboring state to the east, once the internet gaming market is established, then a real opportunity for consistent healthy growth exists. If internet gaming is considered here in Pennsylvania, then I ask that it not discriminate against Category 3 casinos and allow us to participate in this exciting new area.”
Whether the support from the vast majority of casinos in the state will be enough to force a legal change remains to be seen, but with the tide turning in the industry itself, it’s only a matter of time until calls for legalization grow louder.