Pennsylvania Casino Regulators Want Online Poker Applications This Spring

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is moving ahead with plans for a Keystone State online gambling industry.

Regulators said this week in a news release that they will begin accepting online casino license applications beginning on April 2. The applications are for manufacturers and suppliers that will team with existing Pennsylvania brick-and-mortar casino operators for internet versions of games. That’s the same model implemented by neighboring New Jersey, home to an online gambling market worth about $250 million per year. Regulators said that a date for applications for the internet gambling “platform providers” will be announced at a later time.

All 12 of the state’s casinos are eligible to become online betting operators.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is also seeking applications for those wishing to offer video gaming terminals (VGTs) at truck stops across the commonwealth.

In October, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a sweeping gambling reform package that called for online gambling, more VGTs, satellite casinos, among other expansion provisions.

Having online poker available in the state should boost the state’s live poker market, which is currently worth about $60 million annually but shows little signs of growth. Pennsylvania has around 230 poker tables spread between 10 poker rooms.

What’s the timeline for the licensing process in the Keystone State? It’s not clear at this time, but one can again look at New Jersey as an example. After a lengthy period of debate, New Jersey finally pulled the trigger on internet casinos in February 2013. The first real-money online casinos had launched by the end of November that same year.

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