This week, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced that manufacturers and suppliers will be allowed to apply for online gambling licenses as from April 2. The development follows the state’s legislation last October to pass the legislation to legalize online poker and other forms of online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Poker enthusiasts are hopeful that this implies that online poker games could be a thing by the end of the year if everything goes smoothly. It took so long for lawmakers in the state to agree on the details of expansion that it came as a surprise when they finally settled on a bill and passed it. It will certainly take a little more time before online casinos and online poker become a reality in the state but since the process has already kicked off, stakeholders will have to be patient and see how it all plays out in the end.
The PGCP is yet to announce dates for when online gaming operators will be able to apply for licenses – this makes the timeline a little uncertain but this is probably because the state is also moving forward in other areas of the planned expansion. This includes applications for the Video Game Terminal Operators and Establishments that the board has placed on their website.
The manufacturers and suppliers who will apply for the online casino licenses are expected to team up with Pennsylvania’s land-based casino operators in coming up with internet versions of the games they offer. Sounds familiar? Well, it should – the same model was implemented in the neighboring state of New Jersey which now boasts of $250 million per annum online gambling market.
The PGCB further outlined that the process for the applications involving Interactive Gaming will require the submission of an application after which it will provide instruction on how to be fingerprinted. After the fingerprint results are provided and all the other steps are followed, the application process will be considered to be complete. Also, background checks and investigations will be carried out for each every individual and entity that will be part of the applications.
Online poker will most certainly boost Pennsylvania’s live poker market which presently stands at about $60 million annually but seems to be stagnated.