Pennsylvania Launched Regulated Online Gambling
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania became the fourth state in the U.S. to regulate online gaming. Two out of 13 land-based casinos doing business in Pennsylvania soft-launched their digital casino operations on Monday, making online video slots and table games available to customers in the Keystone State.
Hollywood Casino located at Penn National Race Course and Parx Casino both launched a test period of their respective online operations on Monday, with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to oversee the process. The state’s gambling watchdog announced back in April that this test period would last only a couple of days.
Two Venues Went Live on Monday
The first property to have launched regulated online gaming was Hollywood Casino, while Parx Casino opened its digital for business just a few hours later.
It should be noted that only video slots and table games will be available at casinos in Pennsylvania. More checks need to be carried out before online poker becomes a part of the offer, despite the fact it is legal under the provisions of the existing gambling law. As this product involves players taking on human competitors, the regulator wants to make sure everything will go smoothly once it goes live.
The next venue to soft-launch its online gaming offering was SugarHouse Casino, on Wednesday. SugarHouse Casino is set to be rebranded as Rivers Casino Philadelphia soon, and according to available information, its test period should be over by the end of the week.
SugarHouse Casino was one of two casinos to launch digital sports betting in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago, with the other one being Parx Casino. The two venues will now merge their online casino and online sportsbook offering, while players will be able to access both of them via desktop or using mobile apps.
Hollywood Casino was the first casino to launch a retail sportsbook. This happened in late 2018, while its online sports betting operation is yet to be launched.
Bringing More Funds to Coffers
Online gambling and sports betting were made legal in Pennsylvania under the provisions of a comprehensive gambling expansion legislation. After the state’s legislature said yes, Governor Tom Wolf inked the new law nearly two years ago.
The authorities hope these moves will bring much-needed funds to state coffer and help attract more gamblers, especially since the black market is thriving.
Once gambling was made legal in Pennsylvania, casino operators interested to do business in the state were given the option to choose between purchasing separate licensees (for video slots, table games or poker) or paying $10 million licensee fee and be allowed to add all three activities to their offering. The majority of operators opted for the latter.
Earlier this year, the regulator announced the state would be ready to launch online gambling by mid-July. Before the operators could proceed with the launch, the companies were required to submit their software, as the PGCB needed to make sure all the necessary tools were working properly.