Mohegan Sun Pocono To Launch Pennsylvania Sports Betting With The Kindred Group

The Mohegan Sun Pocono plans PA sports betting with the Kindred Group


The Mohegan Sun Pocono announced that its sports betting partner for Pennsylvania is the Kindred Group. The deal will last five years with the possibility of two five year renewals.

The press release is the first time that the Mohegan Sun has confirmed that it intends to get into the sports betting market.

In Pennsylvania that means a license application to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) and the payment of a $10 million license fee. To put that into context the fees for a similar license in neighboring West Virginia are only $100,000.

The partnership covers online and casino sports betting as well as online and mobile casino games. Online poker is probably not part of the package. After originally applying for all three interactive gaming licenses in Pennsylvania, the Mohegan Sun withdrew its poker license application at the end of November last year.

Pulling the license application saved an immediate $2 million. That’s a shame because it means Pennsylvania poker players won’t get access to Kindred’s excellent Unibet poker product. Unibet Poker has gained a very strong recreational player base. It offers a different environment from the big boys like PokerStars and is especially protective of new players.

What Pennsylvania gamblers will get is Kindred’s excellent sports betting and casino software.

Aviram Alroy, VP Interactive Gaming at Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment boasted:

“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. Introduction of the Kindred offering to the market is a great positive for Mohegan Sun as well as the state of Pennsylvania.”

Kindred is very big in Europe and wants to be big in the US

Kindred is a Scandinavian company focused on the Nordic countries, but also very popular in the rest of the EU. It is one of the ten largest online gambling operators in the world and is quoted on the Swedish Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.

Kindred and Unibet are relatively unknown in the US, but that will soon change in New Jersey. Kindred has a partnership with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City.

During the company’s Q3 earnings call, Kindred CEO, Henrik Tjärnström commented:

“Last year the Group decided to enter the US market and after the US Supreme Court ruled against PASPA in May this year, we applied for an online license in the state of New Jersey. The USA is the world’s largest gambling market and we see it as a great opportunity for Kindred.”

The deal is another step for Kambi and Scientific Games

The deal is obviously significant for Kindred, but it is also a positive move for Kindred’s own technology partners.

In New Jersey, Kindred is partnered with Scientific Games (SG). SG is also partnered with Caesars and is already running sports betting at four of Caesars’ casinos in New Jersey and Mississippi. In Pennsylvania, SG is powering the sports betting for the Caesars property, Harrah’s Philadelphia, which opened its doors last Thursday.

Kindred’s other major tech partner is Kambi. Pennsylvania observers will note that Kambi already powers the sports betting at:

  • The Rivers Casino
  • Sugarhouse Casino
  • Parx Casino
  • The South Philadephia Turf Club

Harrah’s uses SG and the sixth Pennsylvania casino that offers sports betting, the Hollywood Casino is partnered with William Hill and IGT.

In other words, Kambi has quietly established a large market share in Pennsylvania. Any role it plays in the Mohegan Sun/Kindred deal will only add to its reputation.

Pennsylvania will be the Mohegan Sun’s second online market

The Mohegan Sun already has an online casino app in New Jersey. Working with its partner casino, The Resorts, the Mohegan Sun has built a successful footprint in a very competitive market.

In New Jersey the online casino is powered by NYX software. NYX is now owned by none other than Scientific Games. The Kindred deal specifically says it is limited to Pennsylvania, so it doesn’t look like there’s any threat to the SG partnership in New Jersey.

In having two tech partners, the Mohegan Sun is neatly diversifying its risk. The Mohegan Tribes’ largest casino is in Connecticut. And Connecticut may well launch sports betting in 2019.

Sports betting is already legal following a 2017 law, but disputes between tribal and state licensed casinos have delayed implementation. If the legislature can get the issue resolved, the Mohegan Sun, CT will have a choice of excellent online partners to select from.

news image Joss Wood 01 Feb 2019 View more

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