Last month, nine of the 13 Pennsylvania casinos applied for a discounted suite of online gaming licenses ahead of a deadline set by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB).
The $10 million license fee included:
- Interactive non-peer-to-peer casino table games
- Online non-peer-to-peer simulated slot machines
- Digital peer-to-peer poker games
Presque Isle Downs Casino and Mohegan Sun recently applied for online licenses having missed out on the discounted license window.
Presque Isle Downs paid $8 million for table games and slot machine licenses. Mohegan Sun paid the full price of $12 million for all three licenses.
Even with the latest applications, seven online gaming licenses still remain unclaimed.
Remaining PA interactive gaming licenses
The Meadows Racetrack & Casino and Lady Luck Casino are the only two casinos that have yet to apply for an online gaming license.
Churchill Downs Inc., the owner of Presque Isle Downs will soon take managerial control of Lady Luck. Churchill Downs also announced its plans to offer online sports betting in New Jersey under the Golden Nugget license.
With Churchill busy expanding in numerous states, it may just elect to go forward with online gaming with Presque Isle Downs and promote it at Lady Luck.
Penn National recently assumed the lease of Meadows Racetrack. The company already applied for all three licenses through Hollywood Casino. There is no indication that it intends to apply for additional licenses through Meadows.
The likelihood of the two remaining casinos applying for a license might be slim, but not out of the realm of possibility. As it stands right now, however, there are seven remaining online gaming licenses available.
On condition of unclaimed licenses, the application process will open to companies outside of Pennsylvania.
Protocols for this process are still under review, including the eligibility requirements and the actual application process.
It is one thing to have a casino already licensed by the PGCB apply; it is an entirely different thing to have a company that hasn’t been vetted by the state apply.
The topic will be on the agenda for the Sept. PGCB meeting. It will likely be Oct. before the application process opens.
PGCB awarded its first Interactive Gaming Certificates
While the state considers its next move regarding unclaimed online gaming licenses, it began awarding licenses this week.
On Wednesday, the PGCB awarded the first Interactive Gaming Certificates to three of the first nine casinos to apply:
Don’t get too excited, though. The PGCB still has to approve online service providers before the review and testing of internal protocols and equipment can begin.
R. Douglas Sherman, the board’s chief counsel, was asked when online gaming will commence. “I couldn’t even begin to take a guess,” he said to the Inquirer.
The PGCB issued a press release following the awarding of the gaming licenses committing to taking up the remaining six initial applications by October 2018. It has not, however, issued a date for the official launch of online gaming in the Keystone State.