Pennsylvania Casinos Ask Governor to Suspend iLottery Games
The Pennsylvania lottery rolled out its new online games and state casino operators are none too happy. The operators of all 13 state casinos are petitioning the Governor to suspend the new games, claiming they are an illegal incursion on the exact types of games that the casinos will launch online.
The casinos back their claims with references to the state law that legalized both online gambling for casinos and the iLottery. The wording prohibits the lottery from offering anything online that simulates a casino-style game including roulette, poker, blackjack, or slot machines.
They say the first iLottery games are in clear violation of the law as they use the same format with random number generators that the casinos use in their slot machines. Some of the iLottery games even use the same names as the slot machines they were modeled after.
The operators are pointing the finger at the Department of Revenue, which oversees the state lottery, accusing them of operating an unlawful iLottery program. Their letter to the Governor’s office calls for immediate action, demanding a response from officials by July 3.
The situation is even more interesting considering the casinos are fighting for the right to games they have yet to buy into. None of the state’s 13 casinos have paid the $10 million license fee to apply for a full online gambling license.
Additionally, the casino operators argue that it is unfair that the iLottery games are available to 18-year-olds, but the exact same games in casinos are limited to adults 21-and-over.