Boyd/Valley Forge Launch Stardust As 15th iCasino Available In Pennsylvania

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Boyd Gaming Corp. provided Pennsylvania online gamblers their 15th iCasino option Monday with launch of its Stardust site to play slots and table games from home.

The site is connected to Boyd-owned Valley Forge Casino Resort, through which FanDuel already operates an online casino sharing a platform with its popular sportsbook. The new site, at stardustcasino.com, has no sportsbook connection.

Casinos in Pennsylvania are provided up to three “skins” through which they can partner with various iCasino operators, so the Stardust site means Boyd and Valley Forge are now utilizing two of those three skins.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, a Stardust Casino in Pennsylvania, but Boyd is making use of the iconic brand name that was once famous in Las Vegas before being razed.

In a March 8 press release foreshadowing the launch, President and CEO Keith Smith said, “For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever.”

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Initial risk-free play touted for up to $200 loss

On its face, there is not much different about the Stardust site from its more than a dozen competitors in Pennsylvania that can be played by computer or smartphone app, including FanDuel’s own site. The existing sites reached popularity of an all-time high in March, generating $97.7 million in collective revenue.

Operators normally add more games along the way, but at the outset, Stardust has 86 of the slots options typically seen elsewhere; live dealer games for blackjack, roulette, and baccarat; and a variety of the non-live versions of those games, plus video poker.

Operators differ more by what they offer as incentives for new customers to sign up at launch and thereafter. Stardust’s primary lure to customers is the chance to play their first day with protection against up to $200 in losses.

“Your first day is the 24 hours following your first real money wager, following your first deposit,” the promotion states. “If you don’t win during your first day, we’ll refund your net losses up to $200. (Bonus paid as site credit within 72 hours.)”

Additional promotions are advertised with smaller risk-free offers (up to $100) for weekend play on April 24-25 and May 1-2. Bonus offers are available for blackjack play on Wednesdays, live dealer games on Thursdays, and table games on Fridays.

Those 21 and older can play within Pennsylvania’s borders, and the company notes that patrons of Valley Forge or other Boyd properties who are in the B Connected player loyalty program can link their online account for additional benefits.

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Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press. Contact Gary at gary@usbets.com.

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