Last Wednesday, the seven-member Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) unanimously agreed on some temporary regulations for sports betting – this also included a process by which the state’s casinos can apply for the certificates covering the wagers. This marked the Keystone State’s first move after the Supreme Court ruling that struck down the federal ban on sports betting and it was followed by the official launch of the licensing process on Thursday.
The announcement that the PGCB made on Thursday stated that it had notified all the casino license holders who have an interest in sports betting that they could start submitting petitions requesting for licenses to offer sports betting services. The temporary regulations that the board agreed on will define the rules the license holders have to follow and the information they will be required to provide in order to be considered for the certificates.
“The actions taken by the Board are the first in our efforts to launch sports wagering in Pennsylvania as soon as possible,” said the PGCB’s Executive Director Kevin O’Toole. “In the coming months, we expect to regularly ask the Board for approval of additional temporary regulations that will move us toward a launch of this new gaming initiative.”
As outlined in the provisions of the Act 42 of 2017, ‘upon authorization by the Board, a sports wagering certificate holder may only be permitted to conduct sports wagering at a licensed facility; at a temporary facility for up to 18 months; in the case of a Category 1 racetrack casino, in a non-primary location in which it conducts pari-mutuel wagering; or, through an Internet-based system.’
Final Regulations Coming Soon
The temporary regulations will, of course, have to be developed further and the PGCB will pursue this for the next few months during which it will strive to address some of the most pressing issues that include the handling of sports betting proceeds, sports betting-related casino partnerships as well as problem gambling.
In addition to this, while the board prepares to promulgate the final sports betting regulations, it announced that it is also accepting inputs from any interested persons or even entities in regards to items which they believe that the PGCB should consider to include as part of the sports betting regulations. However, there is a deadline for this – the comments should either be emailed or mailed through Pam Lewis, the board’s secretary, by June 15.
“We understand that there are a lot of entities that would like to get this underway as soon as possible, but at the same time, our main function here is to protect the public,” said Doug Harbach, the PGCB spokesperson. “We’re going to make sure all regulations are tied up before (sports betting) gets launched.”