Pennsylvania About to Start Online Casino Licensing Process

Things are beginning to really feel genuine when it comes to online gambling in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the gambling expansion law legalizing online casinos much less than five months ago. Now the state is nearly prepared to start accepting applications for all those wanting an iGaming license.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Manage Board (PGCB) revealed the license period was forthcoming throughout a House spending budget hearing. As nearby news outlet CBS Philly reported, PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole was on hand to offer some updates around the on-line casino front. When asked about the application timeline, O’Toole offered the following:

“And that will probably be mid-April. To ensure that initial 90-day period will be mid-April and will go through mid-July.”

The 90-day period O’Toole referenced is an important window. Pennsylvania casinos that apply in that window can get what amounts to a discount on the cost of on-line casino and poker licenses. For $10 million, casinos get the following licenses:

Online slots
On-line table games
Online peer-to-peer gaming, like poker

In fact, throughout this period, the all-in-one license will be the only kind of license accessible. Casinos wanting one license, but not the other people will need to wait until the 91st day of the application period. Then every 1 will price $4 million.

PGCB has 90 days to review these applications as soon as they receive them. On that timeline, it appears like PGCB will award the very first licenses in the fall. It will likely be close to year’s end before any website launches.

The other important thing to keep in mind with this timeline is when non-Pennsylvania entities can begin applying. After 120 days, authorized outside entities can apply for the person $4 million licenses.

Around the present timeline, that means the group can apply in August. This four-month head begin will probably be an chance for PA companies to claim marketplace share, as any outside groups without a partner within the state will likely not launch until 2019.

Online casinos aren’t the only new element for Pennsylvania gambling. Applications and launch dates are in motion on several various fronts.

For example, O’Toole projects video gambling terminals (VGTs) ought to launch about exactly the same time as online casinos. Meanwhile, the PA on-line lottery begins in May, much less than a month after online casino applications begin.

Final week, PGCB also released particulars on applying to get a fantasy sports license.

On the mini-casino front, it looks like outside entities looking for a way into Pennsylvania could do so faster if they buy a satellite casino site.

Last week, there were no bidders in the initial auction for satellite properties. With no bidders, the second round of auctions begin. These open up the process to Category 3 casinos and Category 1 and two casinos that currently bought among the 4 licenses throughout the first round of auctions.

With 12 licenses total, it’s entirely feasible this second round of auctions concludes with no bidders, but remaining licenses. If that does occur, outdoors groups authorized by PGCB will be eligible for the third and final auction series.

Keep in mind though that all these outdoors groups get is really a Category 4 license to run a mini-casino. These licenses aren’t eligible to buy online gaming licenses, so this isn’t a backdoor for outdoors groups to skip the line to get on-line.

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