While legislation has passed to see online gambling legalized and regulated in Pennsylvania, it does not seem that actual gaming will begin any time soon.
Online gamblers have waited years to see another state join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware when it comes to offer online gaming such as casino and poker options. Now that Pennsylvania has legalized casino and poker games, players are ready to see what will take place in the new industry. However, it seems that there is no timetable for the new iGaming options in the state and players will have to wait a little bit longer to begin real money play.
No Timetable Yet
It has been almost two weeks since a gaming bill was legalized in Pennsylvania to offer a massive expansive in the industry. Several aspects are included in the new law, including poker, slot and table games. It took some time for the bill to pass and now it will take even more time for the actual gaming to begin.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will now be busy looking at each aspect of gaming included in the package. Daily fantasy sports, satellite casinos, video gaming terminals and the online gaming options are just a few aspects that must be considered. This will mean a great deal of work for the board, so no timetable has been created as of yet for when the new options will take place.
In a recent report with WHYY, Doug Harbach, a spokesperson for the board, stated that it is impossible to put a timetable on anything right now. However, it will take months and in some instances, close to a year to able to get the ball rolling. None of the expansions were mentioned by name, but we can assume that getting started with casino and poker games will be time consuming for the state.
The board was actually in session yesterday to discuss the new law and what was to be expected in the future. A small report was provided to the board on the various topics of expansion but detail on each category was not provided. The board will have to work overtime to be able to make sure that the mandates of the new law are covered. It will be interesting to see in which area the board will focus on first or if they will work on several of the new expansions at once.
It is no secret that Pennsylvania has a huge budget shortfall and that online gaming is being used as a way to generate funds from the very beginning as well as bring in continual revenues over time. The goal of passing legislation was to get money moving into the state quickly. Initial licensing of operators for online gaming will be the start of new funds for the state. It is believed that as much as $100 million could be generated from the very beginning.
When considering all the aspects of the new gaming law, online gaming is the one way that the state could see real revenues move in for the short term as well as for the long term. Online casinos would be operated by land-based venues, which are already in place. When it comes to satellite casinos, these venues will need to be constructed. VGTs will need to be installed and will not bring in as much revenues when compared to online gaming.
If the board wants to see a substantial amount of money come to the state, they will focus their efforts on the online gaming aspects of the new law, getting the industry rolling as quickly as possible.