Pennsylvania’s online gambling industry is on the verge of an official launch date despite the fact that the state’s licensed casino operators left 11 interactive gaming licenses unclaimed. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board had a backup plan – this involved auctioning all the remaining licenses to off-state qualified gaming entities for a whopping $4 million each. The deadline for this was on Wednesday, November 31 and only two casino operators staked claims for five of the 11 remaining interactive gaming licenses.
Even though applications from only two operators may seem relatively small, it appears that the Keystone State has finally hit the saturation point in as far as internet gambling licenses are concerned. MGM Resorts and Golden Nugget, the two casinos, will be parting with $4 million for each of the licenses that they are hoping to receive from the state gaming control board.
MGM Resorts Finally Gets a Shot at the Pennsylvanian Gambling Market
MGM Resorts International has been interested in the Pennsylvanian online gambling market for quite a while and thus its application for the three online gambling licenses was not much of a surprise. Even though the other potential qualified gaming entities are still not known, MGM Resorts has always been a prime candidate primarily because of its great reputation in the gambling industry – the operator already runs a number of high-profile and equally successful online gambling businesses in New Jersey as well as properties in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to this, the company has also been known to form some lucrative partnerships with one of the most recent being a partnership deal with Valley Forge casino owner, Boyd Gaming.
The operator’s Borgata operation is already the second highest earning online gambling licensee in New Jersey, something that MGM Resorts hopes to replicate in Pennsylvania. As for its previous interests in the Pennsylvania gambling market, the company was reportedly considering purchasing Sands Bethlehem, that was eventually sold to Wind Creek Hospitality. Moreover, it was also rumored that MGM has some interest in the yet-to-be-built Stadium Casino project.
Golden Nugget Eyes Two Licenses
Golden Nugget Casino has chosen to drop online poker and instead concentrate on its license applications for online slots and table games – these licenses will also be going for $4 million each. The casino operator’s entry into the Keystone State’s online gambling industry is certainly a natural expansion move – it is already giving MGM Resorts International a run for its money in New Jersey.
The company also qualifies to be a qualified gaming entity because of its long-standing relationship with Rush Street Gaming, the owner and operator of SugarHouse Casino and Rivers Casino in Pennsylvania. Also, New Jersey already has a SugarHouse sportsbook and SugarHouse online casino both of which are likely to come to Pennsylvania if Golden Nugget’s iGaming license is approved.