The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has become the latest body in the United States to authorize online poker. The institution issued interactive gaming licenses for three specific properties which have been eager to get a taste of the online poker action and bring Pennsylvania in the fold of the gambling states out there.
The State of the Online Casinos
Three properties have been given a license, including Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia, Parx Casino, and Mount Airy Casino now fully authorized to offer online gambling products, and most notably online poker. But that’s hardly the whole list as more operators are now queuing up for a license.
Out of the state’s 13 operators, 10 have made the case for bringing their activities online. With 3 already cleared, there is a list of 7 more that are waiting for the go-ahead, to name:
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National
- Mohegan Sun
- Rivers Casino
- Sands Bethlehem
- SugarHouse Casino
- Stadium Casino
- Valley Forge Casino
Out of the mentioned properties, Stadium Casino is still under construction. While the majority of operators are still finding their feet, Mount Airy Casino have shown prescience and they have tied up a partnership with PokerStars who are running extensive poker tournaments throughout the United States and overseas. Presently, all it would take for the segment to take off in earnest is for regulators to approve the license and allow Mount Airy to pool the local dab hands and direct them in the way of PokerStars-backed tournaments.
When Will Regulators Issue an Approval?
The announcement of significant partnerships, though, will help a little while the PGCB is deliberating whether to handle the licenses which are almost a sure deal given the liberalized context for sports betting and other gambling products.
For instance, the board has not yet specified when online poker can take off in earnest as, for the time being, everyone is only setting up the facilities and waiting patiently. The PGCB may wait for all casinos on the list to obtain a license first. This could take a bit of legwork to accomplish as well.
With each license going for $10 million apiece, casinos are more than eager to ensure that their operations are scalable and that they will be allowed to flog their products online. However, no specifics have been revealed as to how many of the above casinos are applying with the intent to focus on online poker as opposed to general online gambling.
Mount Airy is obviously an exception, as the property has noted the interest in poker elsewhere. The pooling of liquidity across several U.S. states has also been an emboldening move, allowing others to wonder if they shouldn’t join.
The buzz around online poker has been quite pronounced, too The World Series of Poker have been of particular appeal to gamers from overseas and the local buffs as well. Even then, casinos and tournament hosts have been looking into ways to garner more support.
It’s amid these events that Pennsylvania’s online poker has been shaping up. A few more weeks may be needed though to get the full picture.