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Pennsylvania has moved forward with their online gaming, setting the debut of the platform for mid-July.
The state’s Gaming Control Board also announced that online sports betting would be ready for residents within May.
For players who love online gaming, Pennsylvania will launch online poker, slots and table games on July 15th.
There are ten online gaming certificate holders in the state with an additional three online gaming operators that will ready for the July 15th launch date.
Licensing did not come cheap for operators as the state charged $4 million per game with all three coming at a discount of $10 million.
Seven casinos have opted in for the $10 million package of all three games with a total of ten casinos offering just slots and table games.
Only two of the state’s 13 casinos have sat out the initial round of online gaming licenses.
The launch of online gaming in Pennsylvania comes almost two years after Governor Tom Wolf signed an online gaming bill into law.
There have been some legal experts exercising caution in Pennsylvania’s ramp up to online gaming due to an active federal case in New Hampshire.
The Department of Justice issued an opinion that the federal Wire Act applies to all forms of interstate gambling.
The Wire Act is perceived to outlaw all online gambling within a state.
Despite the warning, states have plowed ahead with their plans to offer online gaming and online sports betting.
A judgment in the New Hampshire case could come sometime in May, but a ruling against the state’s lottery won’t necessarily affect other states’ plans.
Online testing of a sports app for bettors should occur in 2-3 weeks with a solid plan for a broader rollout solidified soon after the test.
Regardless of how the test goes, casinos are confident that Pennsylvania residents and visitors will be able to bet on games with their smartphones within May.
One of the stipulations of Pennsylvania’s sports betting bill is that casinos must have a retail location before they can offer an app for wagering.
Several other casinos in Pennsylvania have been slow to open their physical sportsbook location but have expressed interest in offering an app to their customers.
With online sports betting just a month away, the state recently announced a 40% jump in revenue in March compared to February.
The $41.5 million in sports bets dwarfed the February total by more than $10 million.
“The legal sports betting market in Pennsylvania has seemingly limitless potential, and March was a significant step forward,” said Jessica Welman of PlayPennsylvania.com
The state’s sports betting revenue has paled in comparison to New Jersey’s due to the lack of a mobile app to bet from inside the state lines.
“The growth of Pennsylvania’s market is stunted without online sports betting,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayPennsylvania.com.
But that was the point all along according to state officials as Pennsylvania wanted to make sure that sports betting in the casinos were progressing smoothly before offering an online option.
The SugarHouse sportsbook followed by the Rivers sportsbook is expected to be the first two books that provide customers an app in a soft opening in May.
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