Two more Pennsylvania casinos have decided to climb aboard the online gambling train that’s passing through the Keystone State.
Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino and Rush Street Gaming’s SugarHouse casino both saw their interactive gaming licenses approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board this week.
The remaining licenses will be offered to out-of-state operators.
Seven Licenses Remain
The PGCB now has seven available interactive gaming licenses up for grabs including three for online poker, two for online slots and two for online table games. The extra poker license is available due to Presque Isle Down’s decision to only apply for the other two types of license.
Two holdouts within the state are Meadows Racetrack and Casino and Lady Luck Casino, but the states’ other 11 casinos have all jumped in on the action. Therefore the official list of casinos with interactive gaming licenses in Pennsylvania is as follows:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
- Mount Airy Casino Resort
- Parx Casino and Racetrack
- Presque Ise Downs and Casino
- Rivers Casino (Pittsburgh)
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
- Sugar House Casino
- Valley Forge Casino and Resort
Interestingly enough, while Lady Luck won’t itself be offering online gambling, Churchill Downs recently announced it had acquired and will take over operations at the casino. The Kentucky-based horseracing and gambling data hk giant has been busy buying up properties and announcing forays into sports betting this year.
This is significant because Churchill Downs owns Presque Isle Downs and thus will be able to run its online operations through that casino while promoting it with Lady Luck.
Similarly, Penn National Gaming owns The Meadows and would be able to pursue a similar endeavor through the recently announced Hollywood license.
Policy Amended for Additional Venders
In light of the decision to let out-of-state operators apply, Executive Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement Kevin O’Toole made this motion to amend official license policy:
“The seven interactive gaming certificates that remain available may now be awarded to qualified gaming entities, or QGEs. A QGE is defined in the expanded gaming act as a gaming entity licensed in any jurisdiction which has satisfied the requirements set forth in the act and any other criteria established by the board…”
According to the new official licensure policy, the remaining QGE’s must meet the following criteria:
“(1) It is licensed in good standing in another gaming jurisdiction. (2) The licensing standards of that other gaming jurisdiction are comprehensive and thorough and provide similar safeguards as those required by this Commonwealth. (3) The petitioner has the business experience and expertise to operate an interactive gaming system.”
These QGE’s will submit petitions for license applications from October 15 through October 30 and these will be drawn at random from a box to fairly determine which will receive permits. The “winners” then will have 60 days to complete the license applications and submit payment.
Penn in Prime Position for Online Gaming Profit
Last time the committee convened on August 15, it issued licenses to Harrah’s Casino, Parx Casino and Mount Airy so that they could offer all three online products: Poker, table games and slots.
Specifically it was anticipated that these three casinos would be able to bring a lot of top quality online poker action to the state. Harrah’s deal with 888poker is expected to bring World Series of Poker’s online brand to customers. Mount Airy’s deal with PokerStars will bring that brand to the state reportedly by Quarter 1 of 2019.
Harrah’s hosts a live World Series of Poker event every year from late April to early May. Additionally the Hollywood Casino also runs several series of WSOP events that allow players to win seats to the annual main event in Las Vegas.
All this comes on the heels of one of the biggest years for casino revenue in the state ever recorded. Led by Sands’ $235.7 million take, the state’s commercial casinos brought in a record $3.25 billion in the 2017/18 fiscal year.