Pennsylvania Making Room for New iGaming Operators

Pennsylvania Making Room for New iGaming Operators
By Lou Monaco
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With monthly successes posted by operators of Pennsylvania online casinos, more opportunities for other companies to enter the market now will commence in the Keystone State.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced last week that it will begin accepting petitions from casino operators – primarily from those outside of Pennsylvania but who wish to seek approval to be a Qualified Gaming Entity within the state.

The period to petition the PGCB to obtain one of the remaining certificates starts today (Jan. 3) and will run for two months, up until Friday, March 3.

This is the Board’s second time making iGaming certificates available to entities that do not have a “brick and mortar” presence in Pennsylvania, with the first period occurring in late 2018.  One entity was determined to be a Qualified Gaming Entity during the earlier period, but certificates have not yet been issued to it as its application remains in process.

A Qualified Gaming Entity has the ability to obtain one or more of the three categories of iGaming certificates that remain available in the Commonwealth and can operate online without having any ties to a Pennsylvania casino.

The 12 remaining certificates – which cost $4 million each – are in the following three categories:

  • Three certificates for games that simulate slot machines
  • Three certificates for bank table games that simulate casino table games played against the house
  • Six certificates for non-bank table games (primarily poker)

Most iGaming sites in the state are operated directly by “brick and mortar” casinos, or online operators that have entered market access agreements with those casinos.  Potentially, new Qualified Gaming Entities can obtain access to the Pennsylvania online market without any such connections.

Pennsylvania is among the few states that have legal real money online casinos, along with New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Michigan and West Virginia.

This allows the state to run online slots, as well as table game such as baccarat and blackjack.

Those states, plus Nevada, have online poker.

Which Casinos Already Have iGaming?

Currently 10 casinos within the state have iGaming operations. The list features:

  • Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course (5): Hollywood Online (slots, tables); DraftKings PA (slots, tables); BetMGM (slots, tables, poker); Barstool Sports (slots, tables); PointsBet (slots, tables)
  • Rivers Philadelphia Casino (3): PlaySugarHouse (slots, tables); BetRivers (slots, tables); Borgata (slots, tables, poker)
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort (3): PokerStars Casino (slots, tables); PokerStars (poker); Fox Bet (slots, tables)
  • Valley Forge Casino (2): FanDuel (slots, tables); Stardust (slots, tables)
  • Live! Casino Philadelphia (2): PlayLive (slots, tables); Betway  PA (slots, tables)
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia (2): Caesars (slots, tables); WSOP (poker)
  • Presque Isle Downs and Casino (1): TwinSpires (slots, tables)
  • Wind Creek Casino Bethlehem (1): Wind Creek Casino (slots, tables)
  • Mohegan Sun Pennsylvania (1): Unibet (slots, tables)
  • Parx Casino (1) - Parx Online (slots, table games).

PennStakes.com is a great source for information on iGaming as well as for sports betting in Pennsylvania.

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Contributors

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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