Pennsylvania is launching iLottery,online casino,sports betting

PGCB Clears Up How PA Online Casino Accounts Will Work…Well, Sorta

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It appears that Pennsylvania regulators have given clarity on how online casino accounts will work in the state.

There was concern that customers would have one master account per casino, even if that casino had a variety of different skins, or individually branded websites and apps. If you’ve ever played online in New Jersey, you know that this is not how the regulated market is set up in the Garden State.

Online accounts determined by number of online platform operators

Pennsylvania did not follow suit with the one account per skin model of its neighbor. Rather, accounts are not created at the skin level, they are created at the operator level. Here is how the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) defines an “interactive gaming operator”:

A person licensed by the [Board] to operate interactive gaming or an interactive gaming system on behalf of an interactive gaming certificate holder.

In other words, the certificate holders (read: Pennsylvania casinos) can have more than one operator that would oversee an online site under its license.

Just how does this work for PA online casino customers?

Still a little confused? Here is an example of what we mean:

Let’s say, for example, that Parx opts to use a single online operator. However, that operator has six different skins under the Parx license. In this instance, customers will only have one Parx account, which you would (in theory) be able use to sign in to every skin. (Or perhaps you can only have an account at one skin and would be blocked from creating more. The logistics of how this will work are still a little unclear.)

Casinos do not have to stick to just one operator though. Let’s say Harrah’s Philadelphia follows suit with what its parent company Caesars did in New Jersey and launched two separate online casinos from two different online operators, HarrahsCasino.com and CaesarsCasino.com.

If Harrah’s does that and contracts with one company to run Harrah’s and another to run Caesars, players could have¬†different accounts for each site.

What if two casinos contract with the same online operator?

But wait, there is more.

Just like it stands to reason a casino with an interactive certificate would use multiple operators, it is entirely likely an operator will end up with more than one casino partner. In that instance, those accounts are still going to remain separate. Which makes sense when you think about it, considering they need to keep revenue and account balances separate from competitors.

If this seems like a lot of hair-splitting, you aren’t wrong. As players, here is how it will affect you when PA online casinos start going live:

  1. A casino may offer several skins of the same online gambling platform. You’ll only be able to have one account at that casino.
  2. Some casinos will opt to offer different online gaming options from different operators. In that case, you can have a separate player account for each.

What each casino opts for is still a mystery. So, for now, just be aware that the Pennsylvania online gaming accounts might get confusing, but you can keep track on all of the rumored and official operator partnerships to get a better sense of how things will work on each property.

You can also read the PGCB memo in full below:

PA gaming regulations

About

Jessica Welman is the managing editor of PlayPennsylvania. A longtime poker media presence, Jess has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com.