The Regulatory Tea Leaves Are Lining Up For PA Gambling Expansion

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Yes, Pennsylvania, you’re getting closer to the day when you can go online, gamble, and play daily fantasy sports. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board met earlier this month to discuss temporary regulations for online casino-style gambling and daily fantasy sports, two forms of gambling borne from the Oct. 2017 gambling expansion bill. Details of the board’s discussions are not available. The meeting is seen as another step toward the launch of the state’s online gambling industry. When the state’s landmark gambling expansion bill passed in October, there weren’t any concrete deadlines for the launch of online gambling. Regulatory considerations, partnerships, and the practical side of how to launch online gambling were, at that point, conceptual and anecdotal. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware operated online gambling industries at the time the bill passed. Each state’s nuances and regulations were no doubt a conglomerate template from which the PGCB’s regulators could work. However, the exact timeline and framework of their iGaming plan is still a mystery. What we do know is that the board, along with casino operators and the lottery, have each hinted at launch dates, controversial interpretations of PA gambling law and upcoming regulatory application deadlines: A timeline of gambling regulation Over the past four months, the PGCB has taken the following actions, all of which are steps toward a launch. March: Temporary regulation meeting, launch of applications for iGaming March has been the busiest month, it seems, for the PGCB. Aside from the meeting held on Mar. 9, the board launched the website through which iGaming service providers, manufacturers and suppliers could apply to participate in the state’s online gambling and VGT industry. The application includes 60 pages of documentation. Carties can submit them starting April 1. February: Parx sends letter to PGCB asking for single skins; 888.com responds In February, Parx Casino sent a letter to the PGCB’s chief and senior counsel defending asking the board to limit the number of “skins”, which refers to the number online casinos a brick-and-mortar casino can operate under one online casino license. 888.com, the international online gambling operator, sent a letter earlier this month asking the opposite: that regulators allow casinos to launch multiple sites under one license. One of those online casinos would bear the B&M casino’s name, while the others would bear the name and branding of operators like 888. January: PA Lottery hints they’ll launch their online platform in the spring Following suit with six other states, Pennsylvania lawmakers included an online lottery in their gambling bill. At the beginning of this year, a PGCB spokesperson said that online lottery games could be available as early as this spring. The state stands to earn more than $200 million in online lottery revenue in the first five years of operation. However, there is no word yet on an exact launch date.

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