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Pennsylvania Online Gambling and Sports Betting Moving Forward, SlowlyPublished August 29, 2018 by Elana K
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently approved online gambling licenses for 3 applicants, and additionally, received its first application for sports betting.
Pennsylvania’s online gambling and sports betting endeavors are off to a slow start - but at least they’re off. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently approved online gambling licenses for 3 applicants: Chester Downs and Marina LLC, operator of Harrah’s Philadelphia; Mount Airy #1 LLC, operator of Mount Airy Resort Casino; and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment, operator of the Parx Casino.
There are at least 8 more applications to review. Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the PGCB, said that the remaining applications will likely be reviewed during upcoming board meetings over the next 2 months.
Sports Betting Off to a Slow Start
The PGCB has received its first application to allow sports betting. The 10-page application came from Penn National, which is requesting to offer sports betting at Hollywood Casino Penn National Race Course. In the application, Penn National stated that it will be partnering with world-renowned gambling company, William Hill.
In addition to the application itself, Penn National also ponied up a hefty $10 million licensing fee. Should the license be issued (and why wouldn’t it be?), there will be a 36% tax rate on all revenue.
Other applications are expected to come in (eventually), however, the feeling in Pennsylvania is that launching online sports betting is taking longer than expected. Pennsylvania lawmakers approved a sports betting bill back in 2017, contingent on federal approval. Federal approval came in May 2018, when the Supreme Court repealed PASPA and gave states the right to allow sports betting.
While it’s only been a few months since May, Pennsylvania betting companies have had enough time to prepare applications; perhaps the fee of $10 million, along with the 36% tax rate, have been holding most of them back. Also, casinos that recently applied for online gambling licenses might not want to ante up another $10 million for a sports betting licensing fee.
The hope is, though, that despite a slow beginning, once the ball starts rolling, more and more gambling operators will jump into the fray.