PA Rivers Casino Withdraws Application for Online Gaming Licenses

Published October 9, 2018 by Elana K

PA Rivers Casino Withdraws Application for Online Gaming Licenses

PA Rivers Casino has withdrawn its application for online gaming licenses, preferring to focus on its future in land-based and mobile sports betting.

Pennsylvania’s Rivers Casino has pulled its application for online gaming licenses, which it had submitted way back in July. Fortunately for the casino, it was allowed to withdraw its application (and the $10 million fee) according to the state’s gambling legislation. Rivers Casino had applied for three online gambling licenses: Table games, poker, and slots. Soon after, it applied for a sports betting license, and the casino has thus far not withdrawn its application in that arena.

The Price Isn’t Always Right

While Rivers Casino executives haven't said this outright, the high cost of gaming licenses may have something to do with the withdrawal of its application. At $10 million for the three online gambling licenses, plus another $10 million for a sports betting license, the price tag may have been too high. And according to a statement from a casino spokesperson, Rivers Casino prefers to focus on sports betting, as opposed to online gaming. 

Spokesperson Jack Horner commented, “Rivers Casino Pittsburgh intends to provide iGaming to Western Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth; however, we’re taking additional time to explore the various options for doing so. Rivers is actively pursuing a sports wagering certificate to offer both land-based and mobile sports betting.”

The Bright Side

Since Rivers Casino pulled its application, there are now an additional three online gaming licenses up for grabs, along with another seven that weren’t claimed. All of these licenses will be offered to “qualified gaming entities,” (QGEs) which include companies that do not currently have a gaming presence in Pennsylvania. QGEs have until the end of the month to express interest in applying for gaming licenses.

Reasons for Optimism

Yes, Rivers Casino has withdrawn its online gaming application, but the PGCB still has many reasons to be optimistic. Most of its online gaming licenses have been snatched up, while three facilities have already received sports betting licenses and another three (including Rivers Casino) have submitted applications. It looks like Pennsylvania is poised for serious land-based and online gambling expansion; the PGCB just needs to play its cards right so that both industries can reach their maximum potential.

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