Online Gambling Coming to Pennsylvania Soon, Nine Casinos Apply for Licenses

Posted on July 24th, 2018 by Jon Pineda

For those frustrated with how long it is taking poker sites in Pennsylvania to launch, we have some good news. In recent days, nine land-based casinos applied for a license to operate an online casino, meaning online poker will soon become a reality in the Keystone State.

 Parx casino Pennsylvania poker

Parx Casino, with ambassador Matt Glantz, is one of nine Pennsylvania casinos to apply for an online gambling license. (Image: pokernews.com)

These nine land-based casinos are each paying $10 million to the state for a full license, which includes, if approved, the right to offer online poker, online slot machines, and online table games.

Pennsylvania Casinos that have Applied for an Online Gambling License:                                                                                   

Parx, SugarHouse Casino, Rivers Casino, Valley Forge, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Sands Bethlehem, Hollywood Casino, Stadium Casino, Mount Airy.

What Happens Next?

Once the licenses are approved by the state’s gaming commission, the casino operators will only be legally allowed to accept wagers from customers who are located at the time of play within the state’s borders, and the online casino server must also be in Pennsylvania.

There are still four brick-and-mortar casinos in Pennsylvania that have yet to apply for a license (Mohegan Sun, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, Meadows Casino, and Presque Isle Downs). The initial deadline to apply for a license has passed, which means if these casinos still choose to apply, they will have to pay a $4 million licensing fee for each license, or $12 million for all three (poker, slots, table games).

In May, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, began sharing liquidity and merging player pools on WSOP.com. It’s unclear if Pennsylvania lawmakers will propose and then pass a bill allows the online casinos in the Keystone State to join in on that shared liquidity.

When the poker sites launch, and that date remains unknown, players in Pennsylvania will only be competing against others playing from the same state. But that could all change in the coming years if state lawmakers see an opportunity for increased revenue with shared liquidity.

Partnership Arrangements

Each land-based casino that has filed for a license has a partnership deal in place with another gambling provider, and we don’t yet know which sites will offer poker from the start.

Pennsylvania Online Casino Partnerships

  • Parx has partnered with GAN, an online gambling provider that doesn’t typically create poker sites.
  • Mount Airy is working with 888 and potentially the world’s largest online poker site, PokerStars.
  • Stadium Casino is still being built, but may also partner with GAN.
  • Harrah’s Philadelphia, being that it is a Caesars-owned property, is likely to also partner with 888, much like it’s New Jersey casinos have done.
  • Sands Bethlehem, a Sheldon Adelson-owned property, doesn’t yet have a software partnership.
  • Rivers Casino and SugarHouse Casino are both Rush Street Productions properties and will use that company’s platform.
  • Valley Forge is working on a deal with GVC Holdings, the company that owns Partypoker.

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