Online poker could be launched by the end of the year in Pennsylvania, if all the proper steps fall into place. According to comments by Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, Kevin O’Toole, the state should be ready for online poker and casino gaming by the end of 2018 as progress continues.
In a report by CBS Philly, O’Toole stated to lawmakers of the state during a recent budget hearing that regulators are preparing temporary rules for online gaming and applications for operators who want to apply for iGaming licensing can do so beginning in April.
The application process will be open to existing land-based gaming operators in the state first. Currently, land-based operations generate around $3 billion in revenues each year. With online gaming added, it is expected that at least 10% more will be generated.
According to O’Toole, the first round of the application process should be completed by mid-July. Online poker is expected to bring in interest of existing operators, set to boost the live poker market. Already, poker brings in around $60 million annually via the game.
All eyes are on Pennsylvania and their online gambling industry as no state has passed legislation to offer such gambling options online since 2013, when Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware began operations. Many other states are considering such legislation now and with PA having passed a gaming package last October, it helps to put other states at ease in entering the industry.
Hopefully, by the time that Pennsylvania begins to offer real money online gambling, other states will have pushed forward similar legislation or at least will be further into discussions, so we can see even more states in the US join in.
For now, we will stay on watch within the state to see how the new industry progresses and report new news as it becomes available.