The Pennsylvania gambling expansion explosion is reaching its preparatory peak.
This past week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced the launch of their application process for iGaming and video gambling terminal (VGT) suppliers and manufacturers, adding another major piece to all the necessary groundwork for the new era of gambling in PA.
A press release from the PGCB was straightforward, noting they’ll accept applications on April 2. Manufacturers who already have a license with the can fill out an abbreviated application.
iGaming application process
There are six different forms on the PGCB website applicants for the iGaming manufacturer and supplier license. Exactly which forms applicants need to fill out will depend on whether they are a company or an individual.
To be clear, these are not operator licenses. They are for the suppliers and manufacturers working with operators when online gabling launches.
Once the PGCB accepts all the paperwork, the applicant will be required to undergo a background check that includes fingerprinting.
VGT application process
It’s important to note that truck stops will fill out different forms for VGT’s that manufacturers and suppliers will complete. The former has a deadline of May 7, while the latter’s deadline is April 2.
Manufacturers and suppliers choose from seven different forms split into documents for companies and individuals.
An overview of where we’re at with PA gambling
The massive gambling bill passed in late October 2017 had three major components: online gambling, VGT’s, and satellite casinos.
Five of the states 12 casino operators had clear existing relationships with online gambling operators before the bill was passed:
- Harrah’s and Mount Airy – 888
- Parx – GAN
- Rivers and SugarHouse – Rush Street Interactive
There are suspected partners for a number of other casinos in the state too, including PokerStars, Scientific Games/NYX, and partypoker/GVC.
Earlier this month, the PGCB launched their application page for truck stops who want to welcome VGT’s to their place of business.
It’s unknown how many truck stops will apply to have up to five VGT’s but what we do know is that every county with a casino has opted-out of the ability to have VGT’s in within their borders:
- Bucks (Parx)
- Dauphin (Hollywood)
- Delaware (Harrah’s)
- Erie (Presque Isle)
- Luzerne (Mohegan Sun)
- Monroe (Mount Airy)
- Montgomery (Valley Forge)
- Northampton (Sands)
- Philadelphia (SugarHouse)
- Washington (Meadows)
These opt-outs area are protection moves. Casinos will lose some of their customer base, the thinking goes, if VGT’s flourish in a county and gamblers stop off at their local Love’s.
Rivers and Lady Luck are the only two casinos whose counties did not opt out.
The gambling bill called for a secret-ballot style auction for licenses to operate Category 4 casinos more commonly known as “satellites”. These smaller casinos can have up to 750 slots and 35 table games.
Three of these auctions have already taken place, raking in more than $112 million in revenue. Penn National, Stadium Gaming LLC and Mount Airy were the three winners.
There are seven licenses remaining. If they do not sell by the final license, the PGCB will open another round of auctions that will include Valley Forge and Lady Luck, two Category 3 casinos that aren’t eligible to bid in the first round of auctions.