It appears to be a big week for the future of Pennsylvania online casinos.
What’s new on the PA online gambling front?
The PA Gaming Control Board will consider temporary regulations relating to both online gambling and fantasy sports in a pair of meetings.
It’s the latest — and perhaps best — visible sign that the state is moving to implement the online portion of a gambling expansion it enacted in October. Multiple reports also indicate the PGCB is also looking for funding for 50 new employees to deal with the regulation of online gambling, fantasy sports and video gaming terminals at truck stops.
Baby steps so far in PA
For those hoping to see a quick rollout of online poker and casinos in the state, it’s been a disappointing several of months since the PA gaming expansion of 2017 was enacted.
Here’s what has happened so far:
- Online lottery games seem like they will easily beat casino-style gambling to launch.
- The discussion over skins — or how many different branded websites licensees may offer — continues to rage mostly behind the scenes.
- Last month the PGCB posted temp regulations and applications on the software/platform side of things.
- Three casinos in the state have changed hands since the law passed. The latest: Churchill Downs Inc. acquired Presque Isle Downs.
But we’re still waiting for the rubber to meet the road, including:
- Regulations overseeing online gambling.
- Which casinos will buy which of the available licenses.
- The PA online casino partnerships between licensees and providers.
The revenue picture
Meanwhile, the gaming expansion has provided a windfall for the state, so far.
The state has gotten nearly $125 million from the auctions of four mini casinos around the state. It’s also getting $50 million for a license for the state’s 13th casino, which will be built in Philadelphia’s stadium district.
The Gaming Control Board said so far, the changes are paying off more or less as expected—with $200 million slated to come in this fiscal year, and $100 million next year.
PGCB Executive Director Kevin O’Toole also said he believes the revenue outlook will be sustainable, as well.
All of that is before online casino licenses are even handed out. Casinos can buy them for $10 million forathe full license or go “a la carte” with separate licenses for slots, table games and poker that would go for $4 million each.
We appear to be getting closer to knowing who and how many of those licenses will be purchased.