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Pennsylvania’s online gambling industry to resume license bidding

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) announced its windows for license applications will be reopened soon as the state is looking to house new operators.

The iGaming authority also revealed the criteria that surround the type of license to be issued. PGCB will be issuing licenses to operators who do not currently hold any kind of license nor operate land-based casinos in Pennsylvania. This issuance of fresh online operators will be the second time PGCB will be approving a license on such grounds.

This application and process are scheduled to last for a period of two months. Interested recipients have from January 3, 2023, to March 3, 2023, to tender their applications for possible approval.

The igaming regulator disclosed that out of all the applications that will be received, only 12 igaming licenses will be approved. Out of these 12 operational liscence, six will be issued to operators of non-banked table games, such as poker; three will be for online slot operators, and the remaining three will be assigned to operators of interactive house-banked table games.

All of the operators whose applications will be approved will pay the sum of $4 million to the state’s coffers. This licence fee is however a one-time payment.

In contrast to the iGaming licences granted to the state’s land-based casinos in 2017, which permit the casinos to run a poker, online slots, and table games, the iGaming options for businesses that are not in Pennsylvania are offered separately. The iGaming concessions made available to outside companies are significantly more expensive than the interactive gaming licences made available to the state’s land-based casinos.

For the right to offer online slots, poker tables, and other games, the casino operators only had to pay $1 million. On the other hand, the cost of acquiring licences for online slots, poker, and others for an independent iGaming company would be $12 million.

Right from the year 2020 till date, online gaming has been garnering quite impressive revenue for the state of Pennsylvania. The 2022-2021 fiscal year Revenue from online slots increased by 40.5% while Table game revenue increased by 33% from the previous year, and poker rake income increased by 15%.

According to the PGCB, online slots generated a gross gaming income of $847.4 million for its fiscal year 2021–2022, which ran from July 1–June 30, 2022. Online poker fees came to $35.2 million, and earnings from interactive table games reached $349.6 million.

With a total GGR of $1.23 billion in 2021–2022, iGaming generated taxes of around $341.7 million.

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