As we spoke of a couple of days ago, Pennsylvania is set to become somewhat of a new haven for online poker players. Ever since online gambling became legal in the Keystone State, steps have been taken towards integrating online casinos and poker platforms. Up until now, a time frame as to when everything will be available and ready to go has been a mystery. However, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board now says that it will begin accepting online casino licence applications at the beginning of April this year.
Applications for such are there for manufacturers as well as suppliers. They will team up with Pennsylvania’s existing land-based casino operators in order to provide the online versions of the games that they have available. This is the exact same route that the state’s neighbour New Jersey chose to take when it first began implementing online casinos and gambling sites. Ever since it did so, the online gambling market within the state has brought in an average of $250 million on an annual basis.
For the moment, dates are still being discussed for online platform providers to apply for access to the Pennsylvania market. However, the 12 casinos that already exist within the state have the option of offering online betting alongside their current brick-and-mortar locations. Federal bans being lifted on sports betting are still being discussed, but Pennsylvania will also have the option of integrating this for its citizens, should the laws be overturned. Therefore, it could become one of the US states to provide multiple types of online gambling to its residents, including online poker.
Other Moves by Pennsylvania
It’s not only the online gambling applications that the Gaming Control Board is looking to receive. The regulatory body is also looking for applications from those companies wishing to provide video game terminals (VGTs) at truck stop locations across the state. It was in October of 2017 that the Pennsylvania legislature went through a sweeping reform of its gambling sector. This not only called for the aforementioned online gambling change, but more of these VGTs and satellite casinos as well.
Pennsylvania already has a thriving poker market, bringing in about $60 million every year. However, up until now, it has shown very few signs of growth. With the introduction of online poker via various sites, it could be just what the state needs to further boost this area of gambling. As it stands at the moment, there are about 230 poker tables available in the commonwealth, spread across 10 different poker rooms.
While there isn’t a specific timeline in place for the licensing process of Pennsylvania for the moment, it does have the option of once again seeking out how New Jersey did it. It was back in February of 2013 that this state began accepting online casinos. By November of the same year, the first of its real-money platforms was online and accepting sign-ups.