Following the recent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by the United States Supreme Court in about a month, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently promulgated regulations that would control the new industry. The details of sports betting in the Keystone State can be found in Act 42 of 2017 that was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature.
The regulations are, however, only temporary rules that will be governing sports betting rules in the state. According to the PGCB, “this temporary rulemaking defines the relevant terms associated with sports wagering implementation in this Commonwealth as well as delineating the petition requirements for sole machine licenses seeking to offer sports wagering in this Commonwealth.”
These temporary regulations are expected to take effect when they are finally published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. This particular publication is also expected to shed some light on the definitions of various aspects of sports betting.
Concerns Form Casino Operators
Naturally, public comments addressed to the board are expected to reach the PGCB and considering the magnitude of the ones that have been received so far, it is quite clear that there is a lot of concern from various entities and individuals.
Harrah’s Philadelphia, a Chester-based Pennsylvania casino has expressed its concern about the language that was used to outline the terms of the sports betting and licensing requirements. The racino wants to ensure that the PGCB treats sports wagering the same way it does interactive gaming and thus force sports betting operators to comply with the state’s interactive gaming policies.
Parx Casino operator, Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., on the other hand, wants the gaming control board to broaden the definition of sporting events and sports wagering so as “to ensure the greatest potential revenue generation in the Commonwealth and the maximum opportunity for a robust sports wagering industry in Pennsylvania.”
Grantville-based Hollywood Casino’s concerns are by the most reflective of the general consensus about the outrageous sports betting licensing fees and taxes that the state is imposing on the operators. This concern was outlined explicitly in a letter that was addressed to the board. The casino’s management team believes that they could be ready to offer sports betting by the time the 2018 NFL season begins but only if the sports betting licensing fees and tax rates are lowered.
The Leagues Still Want In
Upon realizing the inevitability of the repeal of PASPA a few months ago, most, if not all, the professional sports leagues shifted their focus towards getting a piece of the action once sports betting goes live in various states.
In general, the pro sports leagues want the operators that will be offering betting services to involve them in among many other things, the investigation of sports betting fraud and potential corruption. The leagues also expect data to be received by official league sources instead of unofficial ones like “courtsiders” and “webscrapers”. In addition to this, they still have their sights set on the integrity fee they have been aggressively lobbying for in the past few months.