Pennsylvania regulator awards first sports betting licences

Pennsylvania regulator awards first sports betting licences

Friday, October 5, 2018 Posted by News Team
State is also offering 10 iGaming licences to out-of-state operators

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has awarded the state’s first sports betting licences to the Hollywood Casino at Penn National Racecourse and Parx Casino and Racing. 

Hollywood Casino’s owner Penn National Gaming was the first operator to apply for a Pennsylvania licence in August, followed by Parx operator Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment. 

The pair will have to pay $10m licence fees, as well as a 36% tax on sports betting revenue. 

Currently three more of Pennsylvania’s other 11 land-based venues have applied for sports betting licences. Rush Street’s SugarHouse Casino; Caesars Entertainment’s Harrah’s Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh-based Rivers Casino are all awaiting final approval from the PGCB.

However Rivers Casino yesterday (October 4th) withdrew its three iGaming licence applications. No reason has been given for the decision, though this means out-of-state operators have a chance for additional poker, slot and table game licences. 

With Lady Luck Casino and Meadows Racetrack not applying for any iGaming licences and Presque Isle Downs and Casino forgoing a poker licence application, there were originally seven iGaming certificates up for grabs. 

This has now risen to ten following Rivers’ decision to withdraw its licences. There are four for poker; three for slots and three for table games. Interested parties can file a petition with the PGCB between October 15th and 31st to declare their interest in securing a licence, with the regulator to then conduct a “blind random drawing” to select the applicants. 

Two more casinos were approved to offer iGaming this week. The Las Vegas Sands-owned Sands Bethlehem, which is in the process of being acquired by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and Boyd Gaming's Valley Forge Casino Resort were both cleared by the PGCB at a hearing Wednesday.

In related news, the PGCB has issued a $95,000 fine to Rush Street’s SugarHouse Casino. This comprised an $85,000 penalty for allowing table games to be played with compromised decks of cards, and a $10,000 fine for failing to comply with the PGCB rules for Spanish Blackjack.


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