Pennsylvania Regulators Open Online Gambling Licenses to Outside Companies

Pennsylvania is officially opening up its online gambling industry to outside entities. The state Gambling Control Board approved licenses for two more state casinos and decided to open the remaining seven licenses to operators from other states.

The PGCB approved the online gambling license applications of Hollywood Casino and SugarHouse Casino on Tuesday. This brings the total of state casinos with online gaming licenses to five. Four of the five operators are approved to offer online poker, slots, and table games, while Presque Isle Downs only applied to offer slots and table games.

The board also announced Tuesday that it will open the seven remaining online gambling licenses to organizations other than licensed state casinos. Applicants must hold a gaming license that is in good standing in another jurisdiction; their jurisdiction just have “similar safeguards” as Pennsylvania, and the applicant must be experienced in online gambling.

The board will award the licenses through a random drawing. Any business that meets the qualifications mentioned above can enter. However, the board has a long list of additional requirements the applicants must meet before they can operate in the state. The PGCB has not confirmed if the online gambling licenses will be priced the same for out-of-state operators.

It is notable that state regulators have taken swift action to find buyers for the remaining online gaming licenses but have yet to do the same for the remaining mini-casino licenses. After the last Category 4 casino auction on April 18, the state was left five mini-casino licenses and no more interested bidders.

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