The Kindred Group and the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino in Pennsylvania will work together to bring online sports betting and casino games to players in PA.
Under the Unibet brand, Kindred will bring a sports betting lounge to life within the casino walls as well as offering customers an online sportsbook and casino experience.
“We are excited and proud to extend our US footprint into one of the largest US states to regulate both online sports betting and casino,” said Manuel Stan, SVP Kindred US in the recent press release. “Finding a strong partner who shares Kindred’s dedication to customer experience and values has been critical, and I am delighted that we have found just that in Mohegan Sun Pocono. I am confident that Kindred and Mohegan Sun Pocono will offer customers in Pennsylvania a truly great online sports betting and casino experience.”
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The Mohegan Sun will still have to obtain for an online sports betting license via the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) that comes with a price tag of a cool $10 million if they want to progress with their sports betting plans.
The partnership between Kindred and Mohegan Sun will be for five years with the option of extending the deal for two additional five-year terms if both parties agree.
“We’ve aligned with one of the best online casino and sport book operators in online regulated markets which will allow us to offer best in class experience to our existing customers as well as attracting new ones,” Aviram Alroy, VP Interactive Gaming at Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment went on to say. “Introduction of the Kindred offering to the market is a great positive for Mohegan Sun as well as the state of Pennsylvania.”
The Kindred Group has a secure footing across the pond in Europe and currently operates in the US state of New Jersey via its partnership with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The partnership to provide online sports betting to players in NJ was created back in the summer of 2018.
Like the partnership inked with Mohegan Sun, the deal over in Atlantic City is for five years with the provision to extend the partnership for longer if both parties agree.
Impact of the Wire Act
Although the announcement from Kindred and Mohegan is a promising step forward for players in Pennsylvania looking to make sports and gambling wagers, it will be far from smooth sailing.
Just after the New Year, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) revised its opinion on the Wire Act, throwing into jeopardy the future of online sports betting, daily fantasy sports, poker, casino games and other forms of online gaming whose data and communications cross state lines.
The PGCB has since issued notice to all of their online gambling licensees saying that they will need to comply with the new interpretation of the Wire Act to offer online gambling in PA.
“While we fully recognize that this change may alter the plans of licensees in implementing expanded gaming offerings, “it is a change not of the Board’s making but one commanded by the changing interpretation by federal law enforcement authorities,” said PGCB Director Kevin O’Toole at the time of the DOJ announcement. “It is your obligation to comply with the federal law in all respects in establishing your gaming operations which must now be entirely ‘intrastate’.”
No one quite knows what enforcement guidelines will be put in place by the DOJ, with many questions as to how the Wire Act will now impact operations still up in the air.
The Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey markets are also at risk under the new DOJ ruling—leaving the expansion of online gaming that depends on large player pools, such as poker, in a state of confusion.