PA Online Gambling and Sports Betting Moving Forward

Elana K. - July 23, 2018

9 out of 13 Pennslyvania land-based casinos have applied for $10 million online gambling licenses, which would allow them to offer online slots, poker, and table games. At the same time, the PGCB is accepting $10 million applications for sports betting.

Last Monday marked the deadline for Pennsylvania land-based casinos to apply for comprehensive online gaming licenses that would allow them to offer online slots, table games, and poker. As of last Sunday, only 3 Pennsylvania casinos had applied, but the Monday deadline saw a rush of 6 more casinos anteing up the $10 million application fee.

This means that as of now, 9 out of 13 state casinos have submitted applications, and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has a 90-day window in which it can accept or reject them.

That doesn’t mean that the 4 casinos that didn’t apply - Meadows Casino, Mohegan Sun, Presque Isle Downs, and Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin - have totally missed the iGaming boat. They now have a 90-day window to apply for separate licenses for slots, table games, and poker. These piecemeal licenses cost $4 million each, and even if the casinos buy 2 of them, they’ll only have to shell out $8 million as opposed to $10 million. (Though if they want all 3, they'll end up paying $12 million instead of $10.)

PA Sports Betting Also Moving Forward

Since the Supreme Court made it legal for states to offer sports betting in May, Pennsylvania pushed forward its own legislation, following New Jersey, Delaware, and a few others. Pennsylvania’s sports betting legislation, however, is drawing the same criticism that its online gambling regulations have drawn: The taxes are too high.

Online gambling will be taxed at 54% while sports betting will be charged a 36% tax - 4 times higher than New Jersey’s. Plus, each application costs $10 million, a hefty fee that has critics wondering whether the state’s casinos will be able to compete with the illegal sports betting industry. However, if casinos do apply for sports betting licenses, they’ll be able to offer both on-location betting as well as online sports betting. That makes the possibilities much more interesting.


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