There are plans by Pennsylvania to open up licensing period for their casinos. Right after passing the gambling legislation last year, that made Pennsylvania the fourth state to do so, the state is now ready to launch 2018 with a bang. The PA Gaming Control Board has announced that casinos can already start applying for licenses by April 16.
The application period will last 120 days. For the first 90 days, Pennsylvania casinos can only apply for the $10 million “Interactive Gaming Certificates”. This will allow the casinos to operate an array of games including online poker, table games, as well as slots. As for the remaining 30 days, casinos purchase the individual licenses for $4 million each.
There are 13 potential licensees in Pennsylvania. 12 are existing casinos while there is on more that is in process. In addition to this, the three types of gaming licenses are available for the licensee. The state will provide a combination of possible licenses and 39 total individual licenses with casinos.
The first 120 days are going to be for the casinos. After the 120 day period, that is the only time when non-casino gaming companies can have the opportunity to go after unclaimed certificates. These companies will have the chance to apply for the licenses “upon a finding of suitability” by the PGCB.
Months since the fruition of the Pennsylvania iGaming law in October, there were changes in ownership that have taken place among casinos. And for experts, it is believed to be caused by the legislative changes.
Among changes include Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem that was sold to Wind Creek Hospitality from Las Vegas Sands. In addition to this, there is also the Meadows Racetrack and Casino that Penn National bought. Valley Forge Casino Resort was also sold to Boyd Gaming by Valley Forge Convention Center Partners. And lastly, Philadelphia Live! Casino that was owned by Cordish Company and Greenwood Gaming already started its construction.
Is New York Next?
There are speculations that New York is going to follow the steps of Pennsylvania to support online poker and other games within the scope of iGaming. New York Senate submitted a budget that includes legalization of both sports betting and online poker last week.
But of course, nothing is final yet. Though things are looking promising, the proposed budget that comes from the Senate is mere “wish lists” which can be integrated into future law.
It is already the third year since the topic online poker has appeared in the Senate document. However, it still hasn’t been included in the Assembly or the Executive budget plans. In addition to this, the online poker legislation that was able to pass the Senate in 2017 wasn’t able to become a law. In addition to this, sports betting provision that was able to pass committee vote has been included for the very first time in the said budget proposal.
Will we see online poker in New York in the future? In reality, it is not surprising if it still doesn’t make it this year given the trend from previous years.