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The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has started approving applications for licenses for Internet-based gambling in the state. State-approved online betting is likely to start later this year.
PGCB approved the licenses for Mount Airy in the Poconos, Parx in Bucks County, and Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia in Chester.
Approvals for eight other casinos for online sports betting are expected at subsequent meetings in the next two months, setting the stage for a yet-to-be determined state-wide launch date.
That would come, board spokesman Doug Harbach said, only after the agency completes background reviews of the sub-contractors running the on-line platforms, signs off on the proposed offerings as being in compliance with rules and regulations, and appropriate test runs have been completed.
The launch will almost certainly not come before the last quarter of this year, Harbach said.
All players would be permitted to place bets only after their identity and location within Pennsylvania have been verified. The online games – as with at land-based casinos – are open only to persons age 21 and over.
Casino firms have signed on for the latest expansion – authorised by the state legislature and Gov. Tom Wolf as a budget-balancing measure in 2017 – because they say it lets them cultivate younger, more tech-savvy player bases.
Most also believe that, through cross-marketing programmes, they can use the on-line games to introduce those players to the land-based properties.
The casinos here are sub-contracting with major international on-line providers, such as Poker Stars, to operate the games.
Pennsylvania will become the fourth U.S. jurisdiction to start on-line games, joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
Source: European Gaming Industry News