The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has confirmed that the state’s plans for the establishment of mini-casinos, online gambling and a number of other developments are well underway. The members of the board believe that it is going to be a fairly smooth sail from here on out now that a lawsuit that has been challenging the gaming expansion has been dropped.
Even so, everything pertaining to the Keystone State’s comprehensive gambling expansion was already in the right regardless of the setbacks that included the said lawsuit.
“These are very busy times for the Gaming Control Board,” said Doug Harbach, the PGCB spokesperson. “We have six expansion initiatives that we are part of…There’s never been a jurisdiction in the United States that had to get that many types of gaming up and running in a very brief period of time.”
Filed by Penn National, the operator of Pennsylvania’s Hollywood Casino, the lawsuit which was filed earlier this year cited the company’s concerns that the legalization of mini-casinos would jeopardize and cannibalize their casino operation in the state. The lawsuit was, therefore, seeking to have the federal courts pass a ruling that would block the new Category 4 casino provisions since they treated the state’s existing operators unfairly and contained “unconstitutional” language.
According to Harbach, the Penn National lawsuit was one of the most significant setbacks to the Keystone State’s comprehensive gaming expansion. Even though some other issues may arise in the near future, Penn National’s decision to drop to the lawsuit will definitely lighten the load.
“We made a business decision to withdraw our lawsuits against the Category 4 law,” said Penn National spokesperson, Eric Schippers. “While we continue to believe in the merits of our arguments, we have chosen to focus entirely on our development efforts for our two new casinos, rather than pursue what is likely to be a lengthy and costly legal battle.”
“As previously stated, our goal in pursuing our Category 4 licenses is both defensive, in terms of protecting our existing investment at Hollywood Casino from new competition, and offensive in terms of penetrating more deeply into more populous market areas to our south and east, in order to drive incremental value for our shareholders.”
While the state is still handling and reviewing mini-casino proposals, the iGaming license process is also in progress. Already, nine of the state’s 13 casinos have paid the discounted $10 million licensing fee for slot machines, poker, and table games.
“Once we get the iGaming up, of course then we’ll start to look at the airport gaming,” Harbach added. “We’ve got the video gaming terminals at the truck stops…Course we began to do some regulation on fantasy sports and have collected taxes on that for a couple months. So, all those things.”