PGCB Has Allowed Unlimited Skins, But New Regulations Are Likely to Hinder Operators

Elana K. - May 8, 2018

The PGCB has put forth some startling regulations that will make the offering of “unlimited skins” almost impossible.

In early April, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced that it would allow online gambling license holders to offer an unlimited number of skins, or branded websites. At the very end of the month, the PGCB put forth some startling regulations that would make the offering of “unlimited skins” almost impossible.

The first of these regulations is that the skins would need to be connected to the land-based casino operator in a way never before done in online gambling. Additionally, the skin’s website would need to be accessed via the main license holder’s website through a sub-domain.

According to the PGCB, 

At a minimum, identifying the interactive gaming certificate holder in the URL/web address AND clear branding on the interactive gaming site or interactive gaming application operated on behalf of the interactive gaming certificate holder that identifies the interactive gaming certificate holder.

The second regulation states that players can only have 1 account per operating platform, and it's not yet unclear how that 1 account can be used to access various skins. 

Other Bad Calls

The limitations on skins isn’t the only bad call the PGCB has made since online gambling was legalized. Implementing a massive 54% tax on slot revenue is a separate issue that will need to be dealt with, as well as prohibiting online gambling at land-based casinos.

When in Doubt, Look to New Jersey

Implementing limitations on skins is likely to impede many online casino license holders from offering them, which will directly limit the potential revenue of each license holder (and subsequently, the state).

In New Jersey, the paragon of online gambling, the number of skins an operator can offer are unlimited. As Ed Andrewes of Resorts Casino, NJ commented, “The New Jersey market has proved that multiple skins are necessary to create a vibrant and competitive marketplace and to provide an incentive for operators to market their services.”

Since the PGCB’s latest regulations have already drawn harsh criticism, perhaps lawmakers will take a good, hard look at what New Jersey is doing right, and follow suit.

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