That also means there are three more interactive gaming certificates up for grabs in PA, bringing the total of open slots up to ten.
Two more PA online casino petitions were approved on Wednesday, from Sands Bethlehem and Valley Forge.
The news about Rivers came from regulators, with no clarification on the “why” from Rivers. In a brief comment to Online Poker Report, a spokesperson indicated the property still plans to pursue PA sports betting.
“Rivers Casino Pittsburgh intends to provide iGaming to Western Pennsylvania and the Commonwealth; however, we’re taking additional time to explore the various options for doing so. Rivers is actively pursuing a sports wagering certificate to offer both land-based and mobile sports betting.”
Rush Street Gaming owns both Rivers and SugarHouse Casino, a Philadelphia-area property. It will still conduct online gambling via a license for SugarHouse, it appears.
Rush Street may have decided that it simply doesn’t need two different interactive gaming licenses at a cost of $10 million each. (PA casinos had an opportunity to apply for a full suite of online gambling products at a bulk rate of $10 million or “a la carte” for three different or $4 million each for poker, table casinos and casino.)
While the Rivers brand would certainly play better in western PA, it can still simply push an online casino product from SugarHouse (or another brand) at Rivers Casino without ponying up the extra money.
Short of more insight from Rush Street, this is the most logical explanation.
The news is of the good variety for anyone on the outside looking to get into the PA market.
Regulators authorized one license in each category for the 12 existing casinos, plus another set for the Stadium property under construction. Initially, 32 of the 39 licenses were claimed, but that number has now dropped to 29.
The PGCB broke down what is still available:
According to the PGCB, “Qualified Gaming Entities seeking these available certificates can file a petition with the Board beginning October 15, 2018 and ending October 31, 2018.” Those entities could include companies without a current presence in the Commonwealth.
It’s not clear who qualifies as a “Qualified Gaming Entity” in PA, although being a gaming company regulated elsewhere in the US or in Europe is likely a part of the equation.
There are plenty of possibilities for who may want to snatch up those licenses.
After the petition period ends later this month, PA will randomly select the entities who will get a crack at petitioning the state for the ability to offer online gambling. The odds of any single company getting a license just went up with three more in the pool.