Pennsylvania finally seems to be getting ready to start offering online gambling options.
Back in October, the state of Pennsylvania approved a gaming package that would allow online gaming to take place. This was one of several new expansions to take place with the legalization of the gaming package. Casino fans have now waited months to see the state begin offering online casino and poker gaming. We know that this year will be the start of such iGaming options, but when? It seems signs are finally being seen that the state is preparing for their new industry.
Applications for Online Gaming
This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board added applications for online gambling to their website. This is the first time that such applications have been made available. When viewing the site, one can see a notice that reads that applications will be accepted on April 2nd for interactive gaming manufacturers, suppliers and interactive gaming service providers. The board noted that applications for interactive gaming platform providers will be made available in the future.
The application process is quite long, and applicants must also fill out supporting documents in order to be considered. So, now that a timeline has been provided for applications, it gives players hope that possibly online gambling will be a go very soon. Once the applications have been turned in, the Gaming Control Board will then have to go through each one and decide if approval will be given. That portion of the process could take months.
Online Gaming in Pennsylvania
Since the iGaming industry is in the early stages, we still do not know what exactly to expect when it comes to online casinos and poker in Pennsylvania. There are currently 12 casinos in operation in PA and none have mentioned purchasing a license to go online. There are 13 online poker licenses and the same number of online casino licenses up for grabs. Only those who have an existing gaming license can purchase a license initially, in either category or both.
The reason behind the number thirteen is that a casino is planned for Philadelphia, which would create 13 gaming venues in the state. If the existing operators choose not to be involved in online gaming, then the licensing process would open up to other entities.
Currently, the top provider of online gaming in the United States is New Jersey. While it would take some time, Pennsylvania could give NJ a run for their money. If all the gaming licenses are scooped up, there would be several outlets for online gaming in the state. New Jersey has a big market and a nice population which saw $245 million earned in 2017 from casino and poker games online. The state is only expected to do as well or possibly better this year.
Once Pennsylvania gets going, they could see similar numbers. They would have a large market, if all the licenses are obtained, and they have the population to create big numbers as far as revenues are concerned. It will certainly be interesting to see who decides to obtain licensing first and which online partners land-based gaming operators work with in order to get started in the industry.
While there is still a way to go, it is a positive sign that the application process is beginning. Hopefully, it won’t take took long during the acceptance process, so iGaming can finally become a reality in the state.