On Wednesday, Pennsylvania gaming regulators said at a hearing in Harrisburg that the state’s online casino gaming will kick off in 90 days, setting the stage for a July 15, 2019 launch.
State lawmakers legalized online gambling in 2017, but the implementation has taken quite some time. The launch was recently delayed thanks to a January Department of Justice memo on the 1961 Wire Act that forced PA regulators to make sure all facets of internet gaming would happen within state borders.
Breaking: Online casino gaming in PA to kick off on July 15, 2019.
— Brian Pempus (@brianpempus) April 17, 2019
Online sports betting appears likely to kick off prior to the online casino launch. A spokesperson for the PGCB reportedly said Wednesday that mobile sport betting could kick off as soon as early May. Brick-and-mortar sports betting began in PA in November.
A February hearing indicated that summer was the likely launch period for online casino gambling, so Wednesday’s announcement confirmed that timeline.
Pennsylvania will be fourth state with iPoker
The Keystone State will join New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada as the only states with regulated online poker. West Virginia recently legalized it, but those games haven’t launched yet.
Nevada has poker only, so PA would be the third in the country with online casinos.
There is no immediate plan for PA to share online poker players with the aforementioned states, thanks to the Wire Act opinion. Around 26 mm people will be exposed to regulated online poker with the PA launch.
Eight operators are seeking to offer online poker in PA. Twelve operators will offer online casino gambling in some form.
Companies ponied up more than $100 mm on regulatory approvals to offer interactive gaming. Approval for all three online casino offerings (poker, slots, and table games) had a $10 mm price tag. There was an $8 mm fee to offer slots and table games.
The Pennsylvania poker market should get a boost thanks to online poker in the mix. Live poker revenue in Pennsylvania fell about 6% in 2018.
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