Three Casinos Apply for Pennsylvania iGaming License

Reports over the weekend confirm that at least three “Main Certificate” holders have applied for a Pennsylvania iGaming license.

Parx Casino in Bensalem became the first land-based “Main Certificate” holder in the Keystone State to apply for a Pennsylvania iGaming license, according to a report by Jessica Welman of PlayPennsylvania.

Within hours, two other casinos — Mount Airy and the yet-to-be-built Stadium Casino — also submitted their applications to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Welcome News for Pennsylvania Online Poker Players

Pennsylvania online poker players will be happy to learn that Parx Casino parent company Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment “wants all three interactive gaming licenses” (online slots, house-edge table games, and poker) that are being made available by the state.

The total cost for the three licenses will be $10,000,000 USD.

Deadline to Receive Discounted Pennsylvania iGaming License is Sunday, July 15th

There had been plenty of nerves from iGaming analysts and customers in the Keystone State leading up to this weekend, as land-based casinos held off until the last possible moment to apply.

Pennsylvania’s ginormous 54% tax rate for online slots is a contentious issue with incoming operators who believe it will be hard for online businesses to turn a profit in PA.

There are also other issues dealing with PA Lottery games crossing over into the realm of slot machine mechanics, as well as doubts as to how consumers will perceive branding restrictions that mandate all iGaming services in the state be hosted on websites that clearly identify existing land-based Main Certificate Holders.

Pennsylvania brick & mortar casinos will still be eligible to apply for iGaming licenses following this Sunday, but will not receive a discounted rate of $10 million for all three licenses — and instead will have to pay $4 million for each.

Will Pennsylvania iGaming License Holders Begin Operations in 2018?

There has been much speculation as to whether real money online poker, slots and house-edge table games will be available to Pennsylvania residents and tourists before the end of the calendar year.

While this remains a distinct possibility, it will depend on how quickly the licenses from ParxMounty AiryStadium (and potentially other PA casinos) are approved by the PGCB.

Many poker players who already compete in regulated Nevada, New Jersey or Delaware games are also asking if Pennsylvania will eventually join the tri-state online poker compact that combines player pools in those three states.

It is unclear whether PA will decide to enter into the agreement, although doing so would most certainly improve its prospects for peer-to-peer online games such as poker.

We will continue to monitor this story and inform our readers of any updates in the ongoing Pennsylvania iGaming license application process.