IMPORTANT UPDATE: This news post has been updated with the latest information regarding the launch of online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Read more about Pennsylvania Online Gambling below.
About three months ago, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board opened up the application process for land-based gaming operators in the state to apply for online casino licensing. The process included a 90-day time frame in which applications could be filled out for slot gaming, poker and table games for $10 million licensing fees. During this time frame, not a single operator submitted the appropriate paperwork for approvals. However, as the deadline approached, we now have seen five applications submitted.
PA Casino Operators One Step Closer to Online Gambling
On Friday, three companies had applied for licensing: the Parx Casino of Bensalem and Mt. Airy Casino Resort, along with the Stadium Casino, a brick and mortar facility set to be constructed in South Philadelphia.
Monday, July 16thwas the last day that casinos could submit an application and by the day’s end, the Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino (both under the same owner) and the Hollywood Casino had submitted the paperwork for consideration.
Now that the initial application window has come to an end, a secondary window is now open. Until August 16th, any remaining casino operators can apply for licensing. Instead of the $10 million cost for all three licenses, operators will have the option to apply for an individual license to offer slots, table games or poker for $4 million each.
Once the time frame is up, the Gaming Control Board of Pennsylvania will allow any licenses that are unclaimed to go to corporate entities who apply and are approved. Any entity that obtains licensing will have to create a physical location in the state to be able to provide online gaming to residents and visitors within the borders of Pennsylvania.
The state has 13 operators, 12 already in existence and one casino set to be created in South Philadelphia. Each of these operators has the ability to gain licensing first for online gaming before the process will open up to outside entities. There are still a few licenses up for grabs now that only five have completed the application process during this initial window for submissions.
The First Pennsylvania Online Gambling Platform
Since the end of the first licensing application window and the onset of the second timeframe, Pennsylvania casino operators have come a long way. The gambling landscape has undergone significant changes throughout the months following the licensing procedures.
While the first application window closed with only five casino operators making use of the promotional licensing fee offer, a second opportunity saw greater activity towards this matter. The Rivers Casino gave way to their sister site SugarHouse and revoked their application.
Two more casinos have been reluctant in their licensing attempts – The Meadows Casino and Lady Luck Casino – while the remaining six paid the fee and applied for online slots, table games, poker and/or sports betting operations online.
Online Sports Betting
Not all issued licenses have found their matching operators, which has left room for other operators to partner with existing establishments and power their own online platforms. Nevertheless, Hollywood Casino, followed by SugarHouse Casino have both launched their temporary sportsbooks before the end of the year and initiated regular sports betting services.
The latter of the two operators is already experienced in managing an online gambling platform. New Jersey players have been able to enjoy the SugarHouse online casino platform since 2016, provided under the Golden Nugget’s existing license. Considering these successful attempts at online gambling services, the Pennsylvania player base is bound to be in for all the more rewarding experiences in 2019.
Originally published: July 17, 2018 | Updated: January 23, 2019