A fortnight ago on Monday, April 16, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) officially gave the state’s casinos interested in offering online gambling the go-ahead to petition the board for interactive gaming licenses. This was confirmed by the PGCB’s director of communication Doug Harbach.
Thanks to a law that was enacted in October last year, the Keystone state’s casinos will now be able to offer legal and regulated online gambling and the opening of the petition window on April 16 marked the beginning of the process. As it stands, online gambling service providers are set to start their applications in May the platform providers will begin their application process a month later in June.
During this initial window that is already two weeks short, any of Pennsylvania’s 13 casinos – which includes the new stadium district casino in Philadelphia – will be allowed to petition for online casino licenses. However, the interested parties are only allowed to apply for the full online casino interactive gaming licenses which will encompass slot machines, table games, and poker. Also, each of the licenses at this stage will go for $10 million.
To put this into perspective, with regards to the terms of the petition the state’s gaming expansion law reads;
“No later than 90 days after the date the board begins accepting petitions under this chapter, a slot machine licensee may file a petition with the board for an interactive gaming certificate. If the board approves a petition for an interactive gaming certificate under this paragraph, the board shall authorize the interactive gaming certificate holder to offer any category of interactive gaming.”
When the 90-day initial petition comes to an end on July 15, another 30-day petition window will begin, only this time it will be for ‘la carte’ online gambling licenses for the casinos who do not have the $10 million or do not want full licenses. The casinos will be able to apply offer only online poker, table games or slots, or a combination of two of the three with each going to $4 million. When this window elapses and there are some online gaming certificates left, the PGCB will open up the iGaming certificate petitions to off-state ‘qualified gaming entities.’