The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has announced that nine PA casinos have applied for an online gambling license that could allow them to offer games by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Penn Casinos that have been approved for online gambling are authorized to offer a variety of online gambling products, depending on their specific license — poker, table games, and slots.
Penn casinos that have applied to offer online gambling
Last verified: 11/29/2018
The following casinos applied for $10 million licenses to offer online poker, table games and slots:
- Parx Casino, operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment – APPROVED August 15th
- Mount Airy, operated by Mount Airy LLC – APPROVED August 15th
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, operated by Sands Bethworks Gaming LLC – APPROVED October 3rd
- Hollywood Casino at Penn Nation Race Course, operated by Mountainview thoroughbred Racing Association/Penn National Gaming – APPROVED September 14th
- Valley Forge Casino, operated by Valley Forge Convention Center Partners – APPROVED October 3rd
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack, operated Chester Downs and Marina, APPROVED August 15th
- SugerHouse Casino, operated by Rush Street Interactive – APPROVED September 14th
Some casinos choose not to apply for discounted licenses initially but instead can apply for online gambling licenses individually at $4 million per product license until August 14th.
- Presque Isle Downs and Casino – APPROVED October 31st for online table games and slots
- Live Hotel and Casino (yet to be built), operated by Stadium Casino LLC – Approved on October 31st for online table games and online slots while rescinding online poker application
- Mohegan Sun Pocono – Applied on August 15th for three licenses at a total cost of $12 million
- The Meadows Casino – No application
- Lady Luck Casino – No application
- Rivers Casino, operated by Rush Street Interactive – CANCELED application October 4th
In mid October, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board opened up applications to so-called “qualified gaming entities,” with two non-PA casinos applying for licenses:
- MGM – Applied in late October for online poker, table games and slots
- Golden Nugget – Applied in Late October for table games and slots
Sports betting applications to offer brick and mortar as well as online sports betting was opened up in July of 2018. So far the following PA casinos have applied to offer sports betting
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National – LAUNCHED November 17th
- Parx Casino + Philly Turf Club – APPROVED October 3rd
- Harrah’s Philadelphia — APPROVED October 31st
- Sugar House Casino — APPROVED October 31st
- Rivers Casino — APPROVED October 31st
- Valley Forge — Applied November 15th
Frequently asked questions about Penn Online Casinos
With many PA casinos approved for online gambling a launch coming within the next few months, it’s now only a matter of time before Pennsylvanians can begin to play their favorite games online. Here are some frequently asked questions that players and industry observers are asking.
Who will be the best Penn online casino?
It’s a bit early to tell who will come out ahead in Pennsylvania. Casinos are putting $10 million behind a license that covers poker, table games, and slots. That’s a big commitment to make and anything can happen over the next few months and years.
With that said, if you had to pick a couple names, I like Parx Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia. Parx Casino looks good for their standing in Pennsylvania as the number one casino in the state, while Harrah’s Philadelphia is owned by Caesars Entertainment and already has well-performing online poker room and casinos brands in Nevada and New Jersey.
Both Parx and Harrah’s — along with Mount Airy — were among the first three casinos to be approved for licenses by the PGCB board in August 2018. The Hollywood Casino and the SugarHouse are also a couple other casinos with momentum behind them.
What software providers will offer online casino games?
Some Penn online casinos already have partnerships with well-known software providers. 888, GAN, Scientific Games/NYX, PokerStars and GVC and IGT appear to have a leg up to provide software to Pennsylvania casinos. Many PA casinos will likely partner with multiple softare providers, especially for online casinos.
Who will offer online poker?
Eight casinos have been approved for licenses that will allow them to offer online poker. Presque Isle Downs and Casino, as well as Stadium Casino, have been the outlier in applying and receiving a license for just online slots and online table games.
Look for Pennsylvania online casinos to partner with established brands such as PokerStars, 888 and partypoker to offer online poker in the state. We will likely see — as we do in other states — a combination of existing brick and mortar brands and traditional online casinos. Any outside online gambling site will need to partner with an existing Pennsylvania casino.
For the remaining ten licenses (5 poker, 3 table games, 3 slots), Pennsylvania has opened up applications to Qualified Gaming Entities, which interested parties announced by early November. MGM and Golden Nugget are among some of the outside entities that have shown interest.
When will games go live?
Pennsylvania casinos had until mid-August to apply for individual licenses at $4 million per license. After that, any license unclaimed could be offered by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to other entities, either inside or outside of Pennsylvania. Ten out of the thirteen PA casinos have applied for licenses.
Regulators have 90 days to decide to approve or deny applications so casinos and poker rooms may be eligible to launch by the end of the year. Whether they will be ready is another story. The PGCB board has already approved three operators — Parx, Harrah’s and Mount Airy, indicating they might be the first to go live with games. The PGCB must also approve partners of PA casinos, which could hold up a launch until early 2019.
What types of games will be available
For PA casinos that receive an online poker license, expect them to offer a “peer to peer” poker room similar to games popularized by PokerStars and partypoker. In addition, table games — think blackjack, baccarat, craps — as well as dozens of types of slots will be offered as part of the table games and slots portion of the Pennsylvania online gambling license.
For a separate $10 million license, PA casinos can apply to offer a physical sportsbook as well an online sportsbook. So far, interest has been relatively lukewarm with some casinos hesitating over the 36% tax rates. Five casinos are attempting to overcome the high cost to enter the sportsbetting market in the state: Hollywood Casino, Parx Casino, Sugar House, Rivers Casino and Harrah’s Philadelphia. Multiple sportsbook are likely to go live before the end of 2018 with online sportsbetting likely waiting until 2019.
Who can play at Penn online casinos?
Players who are located within the state will be able to play at Pennsylvania online casinos. The good news is that this means both residents and visitors will be able to play while located in the state.
If Pennsylvania joins the liquidity agreement shared by Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada, Pennsylvanians could be playing online poker against players from three other states in addition to Pennsylvania. This is expected but will probably not happen at launch.
When to sign-up to PA online casinos?
Since online casinos are not yet available to play in Pennsylvania, you will have to wait to play until late 2018 or early 2019 to play.
Pennsylvanians can, however, play over a dozen games through the PA iLottery right now. Sign-up today and even receive a free $5 to play.