A handful of casinos doing business in the state of Pennsylvania have completed the necessary paperwork to obtain online gaming licenses. This was done with the intent to expand operations in the constantly growing market for these services that exist online.
The state of Pennsylvania is expected to net $90 million from the licensing fees involved if all the available applications are approved. This arrangement will also prove beneficial to customers that will have greater access to their favorite casino games such as online slots, poker, and other table games.
It is apparent that not everyone is on board with this progression of events however as four smaller casinos in the state have thus far balked at applying for online certification. The reasons for this are presumed to be the unwillingness of these casinos to take on the additional $2 million in licensing fees that will raise current rates from $10 million to $12 million annually.
The names of the four casinos that have not yet submitted applications are Mohegan Sun Pocono, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin, Presque Isle Downs & Casino, and Meadows Racetrack and Casino. These casinos have until August 14 to file paperwork if a change of heart takes place. The Gaming Control Board of the state of Pennsylvania has established this date as the time no further applications will be accepted and any remaining licenses will then be granted to qualified out of state casinos.
Another option for the thirteen casinos in question is to apply for a gaming license to be categorized individually for $4 million, but this option has already been held in a negative light by many believe that these licenses will go unused in some cases and not provide any real benefit.
Pennsylvania made it legal for online casinos to offer online gaming experiences in 2017 with the condition that their offerings be made available only to players that are located within the state. Once all applications are reviewed Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will allocate game writers who will be responsible for managing online games for the designated casinos. Once this process is complete all residents of Pennsylvania at or over the legal age limit of 21 will be allowed to access online gaming applications on computers and mobile devices.
Eric Schippers, spokesman for Penn International Gaming says that the gaming community is disappointed in the exorbitant tax rates imposed by the state but will continue to cooperate with Pennsylvania in hopes that future tax rates will be more in line with what is normal throughout the rest of the global gaming community.
Casinos in the state have also expressed concern with the online lottery system launched by the state which offers games that many associated with casinos feel will compete with their own offerings. Some are expecting this situation to develop into a hotly contested legal dispute.
Despite the potential problems, the Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that the online gambling experience has accounted for nearly $140 million in winnings so far in 2018, which is a 15 percent increase over the same period a year ago.