PA Gaming Board Reveals Expansion Plans

Folder with "regulations"

After passing a gambling expansion package in 2017, Pennsylvania’s Gaming Control Board releases new iGaming regulations.

On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board hosted a public meeting where several sections of temporary regulations involving online casino and poker gaming were revealed. The Board also provided regulations on daily fantasy sports activities.

Online gambling was legalized in October 2017 when the state passed a gaming reform package into law. Several changes to the gambling industry of Pennsylvania were included in the package, such as online casino and poker gaming.

By next month, the licensing process is set to begin, and the launch of iGaming sites will hopefully take place later this year. These regulations need to be in place for the licensing portion to begin.

Regulations approved

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has reviewed and approved several sections of regulations that relate to online gambling activities set to take place in the state. The regulations included interactive gaming security and integrity. This category comprises regulations for access limitations on equipment, physical controls for equipment, environmental controls for equipment, software recovery standards, software shutdown standards, and more.

Additional regulations involving advertising and promotions, as well as tournament options, game controls and game testing were also set forth. The Board also covered the subject of Live Dealer Gaming, with regulations created for Live Studio interactive gaming.

More regulations are said to be in the works and should be revealed by the next meeting of the Board on April 2. Once the next set of regulations are in place, the Board will be ready to begin accepting applications for online gambling operators by April 16.

How many skins?

During this most recent meeting of the Board, one subject that was not discussed was independent brands, or skins, that will be allowed to operate under each online gambling license available in the state. Regulators have been silent as to whether they will be limiting the number of skins that each casino can launch for online gambling in PA.

It seems that it has yet to be determined whether Pennsylvania’s online gambling market will place a limit on skins or follow the New Jersey model. Their neighbor has seen great success by allowing a single license to operate several branded casinos/poker rooms online.

Satellite casino auction postponed

In other news involving changes to the PA gambling industry, an auction set to take place this month has now been postponed until April. As part of the gaming package passed last year, lawmakers approved the addition of ten satellite, or mini-casinos, to the state. Since January, two auctions have taken place each month, with current land-based operators vying for licensing. So far, only four licenses have been obtained.

Earlier this month, an auction took place where no bids were presented. The fifth auction, which was set to take place again this week, was delayed by a snowstorm and will now be held April 4, according to the Gaming Control Board. The bidding process for the next satellite casino license is set to take place directly before the scheduled board meeting.

Because no bids were placed at the last auction, the Board has now opened up the bidding to accept proposals from operators who have already won bids for the mini-casinos. So far, the state has earned over $118m from the four licenses that have been awarded.

With a satellite casino license, an operator can create a mini-casino, featuring as many as 750 slot games and 40 table games.