The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has received nine petitions from casino licence holders requesting approval to conduct interactive gaming in the Commonwealth. All of the petitions received are requesting approval to conduct:

  •         Non-Peer-to-Peer interactive games which simulates slot machines;
  •         Non-Peer-to-Peer interactive games which simulates table games; and,
  •         Peer-to-Peer interactive games which simulates poker.

Petitions were received from the following casino license holders:Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment Inc, operator of the Parx Casino; Stadium Casino LLC, licensed to operate the unopened Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia; Mount Airy LLC, operator of Mount Airy Casino Resort; Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC, operator of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem; Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association LLC, operator of Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course; Valley Forge Convention Center Partners LP, operator of Valley Forge Casino Resort; Chester Downs and Marina LLC, operator of Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack; Holdings Acquisition Co LP, operator of the Rivers Casino; and Sugarhouse HSP Gaming LP, operator of SugarHouse Casino.

Said the board: “By submitting the petitions by Monday, July 16, 2018, these casino licence holders can obtain approval to conduct all three of the categories of interactive games for an authorisation fee of $10m.  Until August 14, 2018, casino licence holders can still petition the Board to conduct all three or some of the categories of interactive games for an authorization fee of $4m for each. Should interactive gaming certificates remain after the 120-day period, the Board may set a time for when it would begin accepting petitions from qualified gaming entities to conduct interactive games in all or some of the categories.”

Per Act 42 of 2017, the Board must approve or deny a petition for interactive gaming within 90 days of determining the petition is complete. The fee appropriate to the category or categories of games to be operated is due no later than 60 days after the Board gives approval to a petition to operate iGaming.

SBC Americas analysis: With such a flurry of activity on the applications front, $10m dollars is clearly being viewed by the above applicants as a reasonable price point for entry into a market that has yet to show any true potential. While legislative moves have been made on the sports betting front for example, the threat of high taxes appear to have so far dulled the appetite of investors.