BetMGM and Golden Nugget, two of the largest online casinos operating in New Jersey, are now getting ready to launch in Pennsylvania. 

This makes the two operators the first in PA to have licenses in other states. When online casinos were legalized in the Keystone State, PA-based operators had the first choice at interactive gaming licenses.

There were a total of 39 licenses available, with 11 remaining in the end.

Afterward, operators from out of state (otherwise known as qualified gaming entities) were eligible to apply for licenses in PA. 

Golden Nugget dropped $8 million for slots and table games, while BetMGM paid $12 million for the entire package of slots, table games, and poker. 

The announcement of the two operators coming to Pennsylvania means a lot more than just two more online casinos in the state.

BetMGM is under ROAR Digital and owned/partnered with GVC Holdings and MGM Resorts International. ROAR operates partypoker in New Jersey and plans to do the same in PA. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has been testing the poker platform while working with MGM and wants to see its launch by the end of 2020. 

In a statement given by Doug Harbach, the Communications Director for the PGCB, he says they have been working closely with the iGaming company to ensure the launch of BetMGM in PA includes casino table games, slots, and poker. 

BetMGM has also formed a partnership with Evolution Gaming and is expected to bring live gaming to the state as well. 

The Vice President of Gaming for BetMGM, Matthew Sunderland, said in a statement: 

"Evolution offers everything we need to enable our brands to roll out an extremely rich, world-class online live gaming experience across the US and their new state launches roadmap is very much in accord with our own alongside building on our current leadership position in gaming in New Jersey."

Golden Nugget was also the first operator to offer live casino games in NJ, so like betMGM, will also have a live platform available at launch in PA. 

Does Gaming Experience in New Jersey Matter? 

BetMGM and Golden Nugget are both extremely popular and big over in New Jersey. Online gambling has been legal in NJ since 2013, with the majority of casinos now operating for years.

Golden Nugget has over 500 games in its NJ library, while the largest PA online casino barely breaks 200 titles so far. 

If we take a look at the numbers that Golden Nugget brought in revenue for the Garden State in 2019, it's substantially higher than its competition. Both casinos are expected to bring in a total of $20 million in revenue for PA. 

Even though BetMGM and Golden Nugget are very successful in NJ, they could face potential issues in PA. The state is much larger in population than NJ and most of the PA-based online casinos have been operating for nearly a year now (2020).

Top PA casinos like SugarHouse and Hollywood will most likely have new games and promotions ready to roll out as BetMGM and Golden Nugget get closer to joining the party. 

Both operators had plans to launch in Pennsylvania by the late summer but due to COVID-19, the plans have been pushed to late fall.