Long before Pennsylvania legalized and regulated online casinos, casino operators were already preparing for the day it might happen. In fact, as soon as New Jersey online casinos in late 2013, Pennsylvania operators started paying attention. Now, with Pennsylvania online casinos and online poker slated to launch en masse on July 15, the wait is less than 90 days away.online casino review
Some casinos got on the ball early, most planned ahead, and some are still unsure if they will even take part. Given the incredibly high tax rates, unlike New Jersey, the market is not a no-brainer money maker for casinos.
The application window for casinos began in May. Casinos had 90 days to turn in an application for a comprehensive package of the three available licenses. For $10 million, casinos got the following:
After the period for applying for all-in-one applications closed, two more Pennsylvania casinos jumped in the fray via a la carte $4 million interactive licenses.Presque Isle Downs applied for both online casino slots and online casino table games for a total of $8 million.
In a somewhat surprising move, Mohegan Sun Pocono applied for all three interactive licenses, costing them $12 million instead of the $10 million it would have cost had they acted earlier. It eventually rescinded its poker application though, getting a refund.
Rivers Casino initially applied for a wholesale interactive license but elected to rescind that application before it was processed. In a related move, Stadium Casino withdrew its online poker portion of its application, resulting in a $2 million refund.
In September 2018, the PGCB approved the process for qualified outside entities to apply for the remaining licenses. Any qualified gaming entity (QGE) can submit their company for considerating by the board, so long as they are operating in a regulated gaming market.
The window for QGEs to apply closed on Oct. 31. During that period, two big names from nearby New Jersey threw their hats into the ring. MGM Resorts used Borgata’s New Jersey casino license to apply for all three. Golden Nugget in Atlantic City also applied, but only for slots and table games, not poker.