During a presentation that covered Penn National Gaming’s Q2 results for 2018, Timothy J. Wilmott, its chief executive officer, confirmed that its online gambling operation in Pennsylvania will go live in early 2019. Penn National operates Hollywood Casino, one of the nine Pennsylvania casinos that forwarded their applications for the discounted $10 million interactive gaming licenses that will be covering online slot machines, online table games, and peer-peer-peer licenses – the latter also includes online poker.
For some of its gambling ventures, Penn has recently struck a deal for a land-based partnership with Scientific Games in a number of jurisdictions. However, the operator is yet to go public with the details of any partnership that will facilitate its online gambling operation in Pennsylvania.
As far as online gambling experience goes, Penn Nation Gaming has very little and, therefore, this venture presents a learning opportunity for the operator. This makes it more of a far-sighted investment that is likely to extend to its off-state operations in the near future as more and more states introduce online gambling bills within the next decade.
“Despite the state’s high tax rate, we chose to proceed with the hope that we can continue to work to bring the tax rate in line with that of other gaming jurisdictions around the world, and if successful, we plan to market the games to our robust database of casino and social gaming customers in Pennsylvania,” Willmott said.
Still on Penn, despite the first casino operator to win the Category 4 auctions by parting with a whopping $50.1 million, the operator had filed a lawsuit against the state over the law that legalized the mini-casinos. However, on Monday, Penn Live reported that the casino operator had filed a notice that it had on July 12 withdrawn its lawsuit.
“We made a business decision to withdraw our lawsuits against the Category 4 (casino) law. While we continue to believe in the merits of our arguments, we have chosen to focus entirely on our development efforts for our two new casinos, rather than pursue what is likely to be a lengthy and costly legal battle,” Eric Schippers, the Penn National spokesperson confirmed. “As previously stated, our goal in pursuing our Cat4 licenses is both defensive, in terms of protecting our existing investment at Hollywood Casino from new competition, and offensive in terms of penetrating more deeply into more populous market areas to our south and east, in order to drive incremental value for our shareholders.”
This is a big step in the right direction for both Penn and the Keystone State since the lawsuit was a major setback for the statewide gambling expansion that has been underway in the state since early this year.