The Pennsylvania online gambling landscape has gone through profound changes over the past year or so. In late 2017, the Keystone State passed a law that authorized and regulated online gambling. In order to properly handle this form of authorization, regulators and online gambling operators alike have invested a lot of joint effort into implementing the law.
The OUSC team has done an in-depth research to bring you this comprehensive overview of the legal online gambling scene in the state of Pennsylvania. Keep reading to learn all the latest details and what to expect for the new year.
Pennsylvania Online Gambling Law: Key Takeaways
There are a few key points of the actual legislature that are worth mentioning, providing just the right introduction to the current situation. Once House Bill 271 was signed by Governor Tom Wolf back in October 2017, online gambling became a legal practice across the state of Pennsylvania. Even though the law has been passed for over a year now, the Pennsylvania online gambling market is still maneuvering towards its official releases.
What did the Pennsylvania Online Gambling Bill Legalize?
The first chance to cater to this massive player pool was given to the 13 existing land-based casino establishments, each eligible to receive a license to provide the following online gambling services.
- Online Casino
- Online Lottery
- Online Poker
- Fantasy Sports
- Sports Betting
Online Gambling Licenses
The licenses are formally known as Interactive Gambling Certificates (IGCs) and are officially issued by the Pennsylvania Gambling Control Board (PGCB). As the first step towards building a formal online gambling platform, all 13 operators were given the initial chance to obtain a license in online slots, table casino games, and poker gameplay.
This resulted in a total of 39 eligible IGCs that existing operators could apply for, throughout the course of 120 days since their initial issuance. During the first 90 days, operators were given a special discount on the $4 million cost per license – $10 million for the full package.
Following the promotional period, all privileges were eliminated and room was made for offshore operators to set up online gambling sites for the Pennsylvania market, either by obtaining their own license or operating as a skin under an existing brand.
Pennsylvania Online Casinos: When Will They Launch?
As of now, there are no official launch dates for online casinos. Nonetheless, most of the online gambling and sports betting licenses have already been approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Contol Board. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that casinos will most likely launch their online gaming format in the first quarter of 2019.
Take a look at the current status of each land-based casino, as well as their existing online partners and products offered.
|Casino||Application Status||Projected Launch||Online Gaming Products||Online Partners|
|Parx Casino||Approved August 15th||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||GAN|
|Mount Airy||Approved August 15th||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||888/ Poker Stars|
|Stadium Casino||Approved October 31st||N/A||Online table games, slots||GAN|
|Sands Bethlehem||Approved October 3rd||N/A||Online poker, table games, slots||N/A|
|SugarHouse||Approved Mid-September||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||Rush Street Interactive / Kambi|
|Rivers Casino||Rescinded application October 4||N/A||N/A||SugarHouse/ Rush Street Interactive|
|Harrah’s Philadelphia||Approved August 15th||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||888 Casino|
|Valley Forge Casino||Approved October 3rd||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||IGT/GAN/PartyPoker|
|Hollywood Casino at Penn National||Approved Mid-September||Q1 2019||Online poker, table games, slots||IGT Casino Software|
|The Meadows Casino||Not Applied||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Mohegan Sun Pocono||Approved November 28||N/A||Online table games, slots||N/A|
|Presque Isle Downs and Casino||Approved October 31st||Q1 2019||Online table games, online slots||Golden Nugget|
|Lady Luck Casino||Not Applied||N/A||N/A||N/A|
A Look at Pennsylvania’s Online Casinos and Partnerships
In order to give a more comprehensive understanding of the Pennsylvania online gambling industry, it’s important to talk about each property and their licensing, as well as their sports betting application status.
On the other hand, Scientific Games may be the partnering provider for casinos, should they approach the Pennsylvania market with both Caesars and Harrah’s brands. Additionally, a confirmation of their sports betting application on October 31st confirmed Scientific Games as the provider set to power the upcoming online sportsbook.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National
Lady Luck Casino
The Meadows Casino
Mohegan Sun Pocono Casino
TSG was officially licensed as their casino games software provider on November 28th. The pending entrance of Mount Airy into the sports betting market was additionally resolved through this move, as BetStars is now expected to make their official entrance in the marketplace.
The Parx Casino is definitely a leader in the existing land-based gambling sphere. Back in 2014, the casino entered a long-term partnership with the online software provider GAN, as a result of launching a play money social casino under the Parx casino brand. There are indications towards an additional partnership with another provider, Kambi, which has only recently received their license approval on November 28th.
Sports betting is also part of the casino’s future endeavors, planning to open two land-based operations as well as an online sportsbook.
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
Valley Forge Casino
The Impact of Pennsylvania in US Online Gambling
The state of Pennsylvania is bound to benefit greatly from their legalization of online gambling practices. With about a twelve licenses still available, future projections and estimates should see the state benefiting from the license fees as a primary profit.
Ultimately, the license renewal requirements every few years should see the state achieve sustainability of all the additional bodies and employees necessary for proper handling of the matter. Online casinos and gambling operators, in general, should also benefit from a Pennsylvania online gambling sphere, attracting all potential players to their platforms.
With such positive projections and an evident advantage of an instant influx of money into the state budget, other states are bound to follow suit in due time. Even if the end of 2018 does not see the first online casino and poker action across Pennsylvania licensed platforms, the first quarter of 2019 is bound to provide a positive climate for legal online gambling in the US.