In October 2017, a gaming reform package was approved in Pennsylvania that would see several changes taking place within the gambling industry of the state. One such change was the legalization of online poker and casino gaming. It has now been announced that the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will begin accepting applications for online gaming beginning on April 16th. At this time, casinos of Pennsylvania will be able to apply for Interactive Gaming Certificates.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board made the licensing announcement yesterday via press release. The initial period for applications will be open for a 120-day time frame. During the first 90 days, land-based casinos of the state will only be able to apply for certificates that will allow for all types of online gaming. This will cost $10 million for each license.
Under this license, casinos will be able to offer peer-to-peer interactive games which places players against each other in direct competition. This would be games like poker. Non-peer-to-peer interactive games are also allowed where players will compete against a hand of the dealer, such as with table games. Slot machine gaming will also be allowed.
After the 90-day period, the next 30 days will allow casinos to purchase licensing to offer one or more of the above-mentioned categories for $4 million each. Basically, casinos can pay $4 million to offer poker, table games and slots each or pay just $10 for all, saving $2 million.
For now, licensing is open to the land-based casino gaming license holders in the state, of which there are thirteen. There are 12 casinos in operation and one set to be created for Philadelphia. By next month, we should begin to see which operators are interested in online gaming and what exactly they wish to offer. It will be interesting to see if operators opt for the full price of $10 million for three gaming options or choose to go the single license route, paying $4 million each per license.
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