Online gambling in Pennsylvania was legalized in Pennsylvania in October 2017 and since there have been a number of great developments that have all been made to ensure that the state’s online gaming industry thrives. One of these developments has been the online gaming licensing process that is being overseen by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The initial licensing period has been filled with a lot of uncertainty mostly due to the perceived laxity of casinos to apply for the licenses. In fact, by the end of the previous week, only three of the Keystone State’s licensed casino operators had forwarded their applications for the online gambling licenses.
Thankfully, this took a much-welcomed twist on Monday evening when the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board issued a statement that confirmed that six more casino operator had applied for the comprehensive online gaming licenses. Monday also happened to be the deadline for the iGaming licensing period within which the casinos could apply for the licenses at a discount. Each of the casinos had to part with $10 million which was the authorization fee to offer interactive games simulating slots, poker as well as table games. Now, the PGCB has 90 days to either approve or deny the gaming licenses.
The casinos that have applied are:
- Parx in Bensalem
- Mount Airy in the Poconos
- The yet-to-be-built Stadium Casino in South Philadelphia
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Valley Forge Casino Resort
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack
- Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh
- SugarHouse Casino in Fishtown
State lawmakers and the gaming regulator are certainly breathing a sigh of relief that a majority of the casinos have finally warmed up to the idea of venturing into the state’s online gaming industry despite their strong opposition to the proposed 54 percent tax rate that will be levied on all online gambling revenue in the state. This tax rate is, by far, the highest in any state and this has caused quite a stir in the state – it still remains to be discussed.
Which Casinos Have Not Applied?
Four casinos did not apply for the discounted license but they now have the option of applying for individual licenses covering the interactive gaming categories at the cost of $4 million per license. The four casinos are:
- Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin
- Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington
- Mohegan Sun Pocono
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie.
The current phase of the licensing process will come to an end on August 14, and if by then there are still some of the licenses left, the PGCB will open up the process to qualified operators that do not have casino licenses.