Mark your calendars. In a Wednesday public meeting, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board officially set a July 15th launch day for online gambling in the state, some 21 months after Governor Tom Wolffe signed a wide-ranging gambling expansion.
The news comes on the same day a timeframe was given for the launch of mobile sports betting in the state, which is expected to occur in May.
In what is being called a “coordinated launch date,” the ten Pennsylvania casinos with online gambling licenses will be eligible to begin offering online gambling, should they meet testing requirements. The date was set to offer all PA casinos the opportunity to prepare for launch and go live simultaneously to provide “similar market access.”
The PA online gambling operators
Most of Pennsylvanian’s casinos have been approved to offer at least some form of online gambling. Licenses were available to all existing PA casinos at a price tag of $4 million per game type or $10 million for all three major forms of online gambling.
- Parx Casino (poker, table games, slots)
- Mount Airy (poker, table games, slots)
- Live Hotel and Casino (table games, slots)
- Sands Bethlehem (poker, table games, slots)
- SugarHouse (poker, table games, slots)
- Harrah’s Philadelphia (poker, table games, slots)
- Valley Forge (poker, table games, slots)
- Hollywood Casino (poker, table games, slots)
- Mohegan Sun Pocono (table games, slots)
- Presque Isle Downs and Casino (table games, slots)
In addition to ten PA casinos that have applied for online gambling, two others — MGM and Golden Nugget — were approved to offer online gambling as out of state operators. Three PA casinos — Rivers Casino, Lady Luck Casino and Meadows Racetrack and Casino — have chosen not to offer online gambling.
To be given the green light to launch games, license holders and operators will need to submit game platforms for testing while manufacturers will be required to submit game content. Game providers include IGT, IGT Global Solutions, Everi Interactive, NYX, NetEnt, GAN and Konami. Among those, only NetEnt, IGT and NYX have so far submitted games to the PGCB.
Not all of PA’s online casinos and poker rooms are expected to open on July 15th. In a letter to operators, PGCB said that board will assist license holders who are unable to go live during the initial launch period. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control has not yet revealed which casinos will be unable to launch on July 15th.