When the online gambling expansion law first passed in Pennsylvania, no one thought Presque Isle Downs would be much of a contender. The racino in Erie, PA is only 10 years old. It is also one of the smaller casinos in Pennsylvania. The property features over 1,500 slot machines and around 40 table games.

That all changed in March of 2018 though. That was when Kentucky company Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) acquired Presque Isle Downs in a deal for two casinos in exchange for $229.5 million.

When speaking about the acquisition Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen was abundantly clear about why the company was moving into the Keystone State:

“We are excited about welcoming both of these properties to the Churchill family.  Presque Isle will give us a foothold in Pennsylvania which has recently passed legislation authorizing real money online gaming.”

CDI is a huge gambling company with a successful wagering program in TwinSpires. However, it does not have any online casino partnerships, nor does it seem to have a workable in-house product for Pennsylvania’s launch.

However, with CDI ready to take advantage of the opportunity in PA, the company is likely investing big in PA with hopes of expanding elsewhere in the United States if online gambling passes elsewhere.

Presque Isle Downs online casino platform

As mentioned, Churchill Downs does not have a partnership with a real-money online casino. However, should the federal laws regarding sports betting change, it would be in good shape on that front thanks to its TwinSpires product.

When it comes to casino and poker though, CDI perhaps abandoned ship too quickly on its earlier efforts in those arenas.

In 2011, CDI purchased BLUFF Media, a poker-centered magazine and website. The plan at the time was to leverage the BLUFF name should the online poker market open up. Since then, the company shuttered all but a bare-bones version of the site though.

The company also invested in the social games space by acquiring Big Fish Games. The company sold off Big Fish for $1 billion last December.

With so much uncertainty, there is not much to do but guess what Churchill Downs will offer on Presque Isle Downs online casino.

Browser and mobile-based play

In the regulated New Jersey online casino market, most every online casino offers both a browser-based version of its online casino and a mobile app.

On both versions, there are certain identification measure to ensure the player is over the age of 21. Additionally, there is geolocation technology which verifies players are within the state. These players do not have to be residents though, all they need to be is physically located within the state.

Given that Pennsylvania regulators talked extensively with New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), expect similar standards in PA and on a Presque Isle Downs online casino.

Games at Presque Isle Downs online casino

Presque Isle Downs online video poker

Most online casinos offer at least a couple of versions of video poker. How many varieties a site like Presque Isle Downs’ offers depends on its partnerships with online gaming software providers. For example, a partnership with IGT would result in offering all of the Game King versions of video poker.

Blackjack at Presque Isle Downs online casino

Given its status as the most-popular table game, Presque Isle Downs will almost certainly offer Blackjack. Moreover, online table games are taxed at a substantially lower rate than slots, so CDI will certainly try to generate as much table game revenue as it can.

Presque Isle Downs may not offer quite the bells and whistles a player may find in New Jersey though. Side bets and other elements of Blackjack, like insurance, vary based on state regulations.

In brick-and-mortar casinos in Pennsylvania, the Blackjack rules favor the casino much more than they favor the player, so expect a tighter game online.

Presque Isle Downs online casino slots

The taxes are high on online slot games in Pennsylvania, 54 percent to be exact. With such a high tax rate, slots may not play as big a role in gaming revenue as in New Jersey. Slots players in land-based Pennsylvania casinos can also tell you that PA slots are some the tightest in terms of return to player (RTP) in the country.

Other games at Presque Isle Downs online casino

As mentioned, Presque Isle Downs could be a major player on the app front if sports betting law changes in the US. Online poker is also a venue CDI’s past would indicate is a possibility.

Presque Isle Downs online casino rewards program

Presque Isle Downs Casino has a customer loyalty program for customers called One Club. With an online casino, it is likely the casino will incorporate One Club into the interface, linking the live and online casino rewards systems.

Given its affiliation with CDI now, there could also be integration with other racetrack properties, though CDI does not have any sort of player rewards system as of now.

Banking options at Presque Isle Downs online casino

Deposit options

A Presque Isle Downs online gambling site should be ready to accept:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Prepaid Cards
  • Neteller
  • Electronic checks
  • Bank wire
  • Check
  • PayPal
  • Cash at the Presque Isle Downs cage

Withdrawal options

Players should be able to receive payouts from Presque Isle Downs online casino the same way they make deposits. The most likely withdrawal options are electronic checks, wire transfers, traditional checks, Neteller, PayPal, and cash payouts at the casino cage.

Presque Isle Downs online casino customer service

When it comes to customer support, the ideal for Presque Isle Downs would be to offer all three channels for players to reach out 24/7. At the very minimum, expect prompt email support.

  • Email
  • Toll-free phone number
  • Live chat

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