One of the wild cards in the Pennsylvania online casino market is Valley Forge Casino. As early as 2015, the property started publicly supporting online gaming in the state. It is a smaller casino, one of two Category 3 resort casinos in the state. The five-year-old property features 600 slot machines and 50 table games.
Around that time, it also seemed like Valley Forge quietly obtained an online casino partner in bwin.party. While the European-based company admitted it had a PA partner, it was coy about who that partner was.
The best guess was that partner was Valley Forge, but there was never confirmation from either side that a partnership existed.
To make this sticky situation even more complicated, Boyd Gaming acquired Valley Forge Casino at the end of 2017.
Now the questions are twofold:
1. Does a partnership between Valley Forge and bwin.party (now GVC) still exist?
2. Does Boyd’s involvement change anything with the rumored partnership?
Those answers are not clear yet. What seems to be clear is that Valley Forge plans to be online and that Boyd Gaming is one of several companies trying to get into the PA iGaming market on the ground floor.
Valley Forge online casino platform
If Valley Forge still has a deal with GVC, we don’t have to hypothesize much about what an online casino product would look like. After all, we need to look no further than BorgataCasino in New Jersey. That is exactly what a GVC platform currently looks like because it is a GVC platform.
Boyd, in the meantime, does not have any in-house online casino team as of now, nor does it have a partnership with any online casinos.
The Borgata platform features 74 slot titles as well as several online table games.
Browser and mobile-based play
In the regulated New Jersey online casino market, almost every online casino offers both a browser-based version of its online casino and a mobile app. BorgataCasino is no exception. In fact, what makes the site unique is that there is actually a downloadable casino client, which is rare for the Garden State.
One thing Valley Forge could improve upon if it does move forward with GVC is a mobile casino app. The Borgata app is limited to just a couple dozen games rather than the whole platform.
Browsers, clients, apps, or whatever Valley Forge comes up with will need to meet certain ID and geolocation requirements. When signing up for an account, players will need to verify they are at least 21 years old. There will also need to be opt-out technology to help problem gamblers self-exclude.
Finally, these online casinos will all need geolocation technology to ensure real-money play is only taking place within Pennsylvania state lines.
Valley Forge mobile app
If we assume that Valley Forge Casino counts bwin.party (and therefore GVC Holdings) as partners, it has plenty of potential in the mobile arena.
The nearest example of a regulated US mobile casino app we can give you is New Jersey’s Borgata. Another partner of GVC, Borgata Casino, has native apps for iOS and Android devices.
If Valley Forge can replicate this, it would already put it ahead of many of Pennsylvania’s leading online casinos. With the market being in an embryonic stage, the default option for most operators is mobile-optimized websites.
While there’s nothing wrong with these, apps are a lot slicker. Therefore, if Valley Forge can follow Borgata, it would already have the edge on some of its peers.
Potential mobile app features
Taking a look at what these GVC-powered apps may contain, we already know that Borgata Casino hosts six progressive jackpots, live dealer tables and 200+ virtual casino games.
On top of its gaming options, Borgata mobile also features a $20 no-deposit bonus and up to $600 in free credits when you make your first transaction. Overall, that’s an impressive package. However, we can delve a little further into the mix if we take a look across the Atlantic.
Because GVC also owns European brands such as Ladbrokes and Coral, and their mobile apps may also give us some clues as to what we can expect from Valley Forge.
Ladbrokes, for example, offers fingerprint login on iOS devices. This means you can swap your text password and use your fingerprint instead. As well as being more convenient, this method is a lot more secure.
Alongside added security, GVC has access to a network of sports betting technology. Indeed, if you look at Coral’s app, the menu allows you to switch from casino games to sports in less than a second.
This level of diversity is something Valley Forge could incorporate given time. In fact, if it can do that, it could quickly become one of Pennsylvania’s leading mobile gaming brands.
Games at Valley Forge online casino
Online video poker
Looking at BorgataCasino to get an idea of what kind of online video poker offerings Valley Forge might offer, the sky seems to be the limit. Thanks to a partnership with IGT, the long list of games Valley Forge could offer on a GVC platform is as follows:
- Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Jacks or Better
- Deuces Wild
- Deuces Wild Elite
- Regal Poker
- Double Regal Poker
- Double Double Regal Poker
- Five-play Poker
- Jester Poker
Not only are the video poker offerings on GVC robust, there are eight different Blackjack varieties to choose from as well. Now, that is in the New Jersey market, which has different regulations than Pennsylvania. In general, Pennsylvania gaming regulation is more stringent than other states.
As such, the varieties and side bets that are incredibly common online in New Jersey might not meet the regulations set forth for Pennsylvania online casinos.
As one of the smaller casino operators in the Keystone State, Valley Forge needs a way to make itself known. With the help of GVC, it could do that.
As well as developing some of the top online casino games in the business, it likes to endow its platforms with exclusives. Indeed, if we take another look at New Jersey’s Borgata online casino, you’ll see that it has 22 unique slots.
While there are other sites with exclusive slots, Borgata has one-upped its peers by offering a combination of video and progressive jackpot slots.
In most situations, NJ online casinos typically have a handful of progressive jackpot slots they refer to as “exclusive.” In practice, that’s great because progressive games give you the chance to turn small amounts into lucrative payouts.
However, seasoned spinners appreciate that the return to player (RTP) on these games is often lower than video slots. Therefore, if Valley Forge Casino offers a mixture of both like Borgata, it could attract every type of player and not just those who focus on dollar amounts.
One slight negative we’ve found reviewing GVC sites is that they tend to exclude MicroGaming slots.
NetEnt casino games are often available. Regarded as the best progressive jackpot slot out there, Valley Forge could host NetEnt’s Mega Fortune and Divine Fortune with the help of GVC. These games often have jackpots topping seven figures.
Finally, if you’re a fan of video slots, free-play and real-money options will abound. As well as custom creations such as Gonzo’s Quest, Borgata offers movie, music and TV-themed slots, including:
These games are greatly entertaining and will make Valley Forge Casino the perfect destination for slot fans.
Away from slots, Valley Forge can mirror Borgata and offer live and virtual casino games from as little as 10 cents per round. At that level, players of all persuasions will have the chance to compete for real-money payouts.
Of course, demo tables are also going to feature in the mix, simply because they’re the perfect introduction into casino gaming. Regardless of whether you play for free or real money, Valley Forge is likely to feature the following:
- Roulette: American and European roulette will be the standard offerings when Valley Forge online casino goes live. If we’re assuming that Borgata is the blueprint here, the one disappointment will be the lack of creative offerings such as multi-wheel and bonus roulette. However, there’s nothing to say Valley Forge won’t incorporate these games.
- Craps: In the online casino world, craps doesn’t come as standard. However, Borgata NJ has it, which leads us to believe Valley Forge could offer it as well. If that’s the case, it will help this operator carve out a niche for itself. Indeed, because seasoned casino players favor the game, it could make Valley Forge the destination for experienced gamers.
- Live dealer casino games: Over in New Jersey, live versions of blackjack, roulette, baccarat and casino poker run from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily. Although it would be nice to see some of the latest live casino innovations such as Dream Catcher, the selection of games should be enough to satisfy most players. If it doesn’t, we know that Borgata features a live dealer leaderboard contest. If Valley Forge replicates this, the day’s top players will be in line for extra rewards and bonuses.
Valley Forge online casino rewards program
When it comes to rewards options, things are about as up in the air as online software partners. As a Boyd property, it certainly seems as though Valley Forge will shift to the company’s multi-casino B Connected rewards program eventually.
For now, though, the property is still using its single-property Valley Rewards program.
Additionally, there is no clarity on whether or not an online platform would use its own rewards system or incorporate the land-based casino rewards system like MGM did for Borgata. Given that syncing is the norm, our best guess is that B Connected will eventually sync up with Valley Forge users’ online accounts.
Banking options at Valley Forge online casino
A Valley Forge online gambling site should be ready to accept:
- Prepaid Cards
- Electronic checks
- Bank wire
- Cash at the cage
Players should be able to receive payouts from Valley Forge online casino the same way they make deposits. Namely via electronic checks, wire transfers, traditional checks, Neteller, PayPal, and cash payouts at the casino cage.
Valley Forge online casino customer service
GVC’s Borgata platform allows players to contact customer support via a toll-free telephone line and through email. Most of the time, the site reps get back to player concerns within a day.
If Valley Forge adopts the same system, it would be missing live chat, which is a common and appreciated service feature on many other online casino platforms.