888 Holdings has always held a strong position in the online gaming market. Now it seems that 888 will try to compel the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) to make some bold decisions. The company has come up with an innovative idea to change online casinos. It views its appeal as a way to attract customers.
Recently, the CEO of 888 casinos USA, Itai Freiberger, wrote a letter to the PGCB. In this detailed letter, he made a clear proposition to amend gaming regulations and let online casinos offer multiple skins. In other words, it meant that multiple domains have to cater to different types of gamblers. Currently, these casinos cannot offer any such provisions. He believes that allowing online casinos to use multiple skins will benefit the casinos and customers alike. For example, New Jersey already has a multiple skins iGaming industry, and their business model is extremely successful.
Not every Pennsylvania casino is convinced of a multi-skin approach, and both Parx and Penn have sent letters to the PGCB asking for one site per casino.
Parx And Penn Take The Opposite View
While 888’s argument was pretty convincing, Parx’s petition was compelling enough. The “skin” debate for online casinos has created much hype in the industry recently, and now, 888 Holdings, the umbrella firm covering the 888 Poker and 888 Casino, has shown its clear stance. However, two other well-known casinos, Penn National and the Parx Casino, clearly oppose 888’s proposition. According to Parx and Penn, allowing multiple skins will affect the gaming industry in several ways. The key points of their arguments (as described in this email) include:
- Permitting licensed casinos to use several skins will give rise to a new sub-licensing system that’s contrary to current laws.
- As gaming laws restrict the number of gaming licenses to a certain number, having multiple skins would undoubtedly be a way to bypass this law.
- The casinos believe that the equipment and servers needed, if any, should be located within the state of Pennsylvania.
- Online gaming should be the same as that of the primary license holder.
- They also said that the staff running the online game services should be in Pennsylvania to increase the employment opportunities.
In addition to the above, there were a lot of other points in their responses, including their apprehension of being cannibalized by the new services.
888 Remains Strong On Its Appeal
Freiberger gave a point-by-point response to all the concerns raised by Parx and Penn. He began his answers by first highlighting the credible position of 888 Holdings in the online gaming industry. Indeed, we can consider this step as a way to add weight to his replies.
He insists that allowing the multiple skins will bring benefits to its casinos and its customers. He says that 888 always respects and supports online gaming regulations. Hence, its standpoint towards the matter of multiple skins clearly hints at some beneficial aspects.
Here Are His Main Points:
- He started by taking 888’s credentials as one of the trustworthy advisors on the skin’s issues:
“888 is presently the only operator licensed to provide its services in all three regulated US jurisdictions (Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware), and operates the only US inter-state poker network.”
- He also pointed out that online gambling is a complex process and to provide players with an incredible online gaming experience, licenses will need a proper human and technological structure. Moreover, they will also need qualified and experienced staff who know about marketing, fraud prevention, and more.
- Online casinos need exceptional gaming offers, licenses, and human staff to improve their infrastructure. More gaming brands will help casinos expand their business. Offering multiple skins will provide them a safe way to appeal to different demographic zones.
- From a broader aspect, a noteworthy addition to the licensing fee for casinos for offering online games will create a barrier for some brands to enter the gaming market.
“This, we believe, will have an overall adverse effect on the rapid development of a Pennsylvania online market.”- Freiberger
- In the end, he rules out the concern of cannibalization raised by Parx and Penn. He says that according to the evidence from New Jersey, the online offerings of both non-local and local brands have an overall positive impact on the revenue of the licenses.
What Should We Expect From Regulators?
Freiberger’s response sufficiently addressed the arguments raised by Parx Casino without discrediting its position. Now it depends on how gaming regulators view both sides of the debate.
If we look back, we see that 888 Holdings is not the first to raise such an appeal to the PGCB. Earlier, a similar kind of appeal for allowing online casinos to offer multiple skins was made by iDEA Growth. Thus, this sort of argument is certainly not new for PGCB regulators.
The PGCB is now required to weigh the opposing arguments and settle the issue fairly. Both the sides have made their significant points.