Pennsylvanians can look forward to legal online poker and casino within their borders now that some state casinos are applying for licenses.
On July 13, Parx Casino became the first Pennsylvania casino to apply for a license. Mount Airy followed hours later, joined by Stadium Casino, a third company that does not have a currently operating casino. By July 17, a total of nine Pennsylvania casino operators had applied to offer online gambling under their corporate brands. Four other operators did not opt in for the full licenses, but may acquire a more limited igaming license soon.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) opened license applications in mid April. The full licenses will qualify operators to offer online slots, online table games, and online peer-to-peer gaming such as poker, and cost $10 million apiece, a discounted rate.
The PGCB will take 90 days to review license applications, and is expected to begin rewarding some licenses in the fall. During this review period, operators may still apply for licenses but they will no longer be offered at the discounted rate. Instead, future applicants will pay $4 million for each type of gaming including in the current package.
However, this hefty price tag is nothing compared to the potential earnings Pennsylvania casinos might be able to predict. One state over in New Jersey, the gross revenue numbers for regulated online poker sites and online casinos show that online gaming exceeded $20 million for the sixth consecutive month. In June, a single operator, Golden Nugget, generated revenue in excess of $8 million by itself.
With potential earnings like the ones New Jersey casinos are enjoying, it’s no wonder that Pennsylvania operators are rushing to take their own cut of the action. The nine casinos which have applied for the licenses in Pennsylvania are expected to net $90 million in licensing fees for the state government.
The mobile market is poised as well. According to Pennlive.com, “regulators are also in the midst of approving licenses for the game writers and operators who will actually run the igames for the casinos, (allowing) online players… to gamble from desktops, laptops, tablets or smart phones.
“In the other states, the online market has thus far proven to a complement to the overall gambling business… and a growth segment reaching many people who do not routinely frequent land-based casinos at present.”