Pennsylvania’s online gambling industry has received yet another boost with the approval of two more casinos’ licenses by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). SugarHouse casino and Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood casino, are now the fourth and fifth of the state’s 13 casinos to receive approval for online gambling, behind Harrah’s, Parx and Mount Airy casinos.
The September 12 meeting had been highly anticipated since it was expected to be the date when the PGCB would deliver some monumental decisions to guide statewide gambling expansion in the Keystone State. Petitions for the interactive gaming licenses kicked off the meeting with SugarHouse casino being first to the podium. The state regulator unanimously approved SugarHouse casino’s petition to offer the full suite of interactive games including poker, slots and table games.
Next on the podium was Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association which operates and carries the interactive permit for the Penn National Gaming-owned Hollywood Casino. Again, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board unanimously approved the operator’s petition for a license to offer the full suite of interactive games at the casino.
Penn National Gaming, after being approved, went further to reveal some important news about its updated partnership for the state’s interactive gaming industry. The operator has ditched Scientific Gaming (SG) and will now be using an IGT platform, alongside GeoComply location services and Aristotle for know-your-customer controls.
License Application Now Open to Outside Parties
The PGCB during the meeting officially open up the application process by giving off-state entities the go-ahead to apply for the seven remaining interactive gaming licenses.
“The seven interactive gaming certificates that remain available may now be awarded to qualified gaming entities or QGEs. A QGE is defined in the expanded gaming act as a gaming entity licensed in any jurisdiction which has satisfied the requirements set forth in the act and any other criteria established by the board…,” reads a statement from the PGCB.
The state’s two remaining casinos have opted out of the iGaming industry and this is part of the reason why the external gaming companies have been allowed to get involved – this means casinos like Borgata in Atlanta City or online gaming sites such as Betfair.
The licenses will be claimed through a four-step process that includes a random drawing and will occur as follows:
- The qualified gaming entities must submit a petition between October 15 and October 31.
- The state regulator’s staff will then review the petitions for eligible entities.
- The board will conduct a random drawing of all petitioners.
- The entities that will be selected in the drawing will have 60 days to apply.
By including a drawing it is rather obvious that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board expects two or more entities to petition for the licenses.