Pennsylvania Gaming Board Awards Two Sports Betting License

pennsylvania sports bettingThe Pennsylvania state has finally awarded the license for sports betting which was legalised in the year 2017. It has been legal regarding federal level since May, and it is surprising to note that the state has awarded only two sports betting license now.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board received length applications from different casinos and gambling sites. After a detailed review process, the sports betting license was awarded to Hollywood Casino and Parx Casino & Racing.

Parx Casino and Racing applied for the sports betting license in August 2018 when the application process first started; shortly after the owners of Hollywood Casino did the same.

Both these gambling bodies have to pay an amount of $10 million as license fee and an additional 36% tax from the revenue generated from the sports betting. The fees and tax charged are quite high as compared to other states of the USA where this activity is legal. Revenue tax on sports betting is 10% in West Virginia, 9.25% in New Jersey and 6.5% in Nevada.

This high amount of tax is entirely deterring for several parties while applying for sports betting license in Pennsylvania. Now there are three more gambling operators whose application is under process by the gambling board of Pennsylvania.

The Road to Sports Betting Legalization

The state of Pennsylvania has been undergoing a significant amount of changes in overall gambling picture for the past one year. Sports betting and online gambling was legalised on October 2017. Although they are quick to legalise gambling but were quite lazy when it comes to issuing a license for sports betting.

When it comes to annual gambling revenue, Pennsylvania is next to only Nevada. They had a successful lottery since 1971 with more than $28 billion contributed to the social cause over the years. So the evolution of sports betting legalisation seems like a natural evolution.

Multiple Sports Betting Hindrance

Several factors attribute to the delay in issuing the sports license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. There was significant tension between the casinos in the state and the gambling regulators of Pennsylvania.

Recently, the iLottery platform has been launched where people can purchase lottery tickets online and play instant winning games. These are similar to the slot games found in the online casinos which were actually not supposed to be launched by Pennsylvania State.

With casinos looking forward to launching their own online games, it was a significant issue between the gambling sites and state regulators. A group of casino operators came together and filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

At the same time, the gaming authority had to face a lot of criticism in the way sports betting licenses were issued to only two gambling bodies. The $10 million for license fee is exorbitant apart from the 36% tax levied on the game revenue.

Present Situation

In addition to the two gambling bodies that have received the sports betting license, Racing and Rush Street Gaming and Philadelphia Casino are yet to receive communications from the gaming authority.

Caesars Entertainment that operates Philadelphia Casino wants to offer sports betting both online and offline to its players. Rush Street Gaming operates SugarHouse Casino in the state of Philadelphia.

Rush Street has already received the license to operate online gambling in July 2018 and wait for the next board meeting to find out whether its application for sports betting will be accepted or not.

The meeting is likely to take place on October 31, 2018, where the fate of these two gambling bodies will be decided.

Rivers Casino has withdrawn its application for sports betting license and has not given any explanation. The withdrawal means that Racing and Rush Street Gaming and Philadelphia Casino have a good chance.


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