The laws have been made, the applications have been submitted and online gambling is finally coming to Pennsylvania. The recent move to permit local casinos to offer games online to state residents will be a huge boon to Pennsylvania, generating more taxes and even helping to bring more business to land-based casinos.
Nine Applications Submitted
Of the 13 casino licensees in Pennsylvania, nine have submitted applications for licenses that will allow them to offer online gambling activities to players. After being reviewed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB), they will have to pay a $10 million fee to receive their licenses. The casinos that have submitted applications are:
- Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Mount Airy
- Parx in Bensalem
- Rivers Casino
- Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
- Stadium Casino
- SugarHouse Casino
- Valley Forge Casino Resort
The deadline for applications closed on Monday, so there are four casinos that will not be able to apply for full online gambling licenses. They can still apply under individual gaming categories for a fee of $4 million each until August 16.
If any online gambling licenses remain unsold by that date, the PGCB will open up applications to international operators. This means that the state could see large companies like Amaya or Rank Group entering the local online gambling market.
Huge Tax Potential
Online gambling in Pennsylvania will be subject to some fairly high tax rates. Once operators have paid their $10 million license fee, they will also be responsible for paying taxes based on the type of games they offer:
- 15% for daily fantasy sports
- 16% for table games and poker
- 36% for sports betting
- 54% for slots
The Pennsylvanian government will benefit significantly from the taxes generated by online gambling. New Jersey has already set a great example, having generated over $120 million in tax revenue since online casino games were made legal in 2014.
This makes for some very optimistic predictions for the type of tax revenue that the state of Pennsylvania can expect to generate over the course of the next few years. However, industry experts have expressed concerns about the steep tax rates, stating that it could result in higher operating costs and less money spent on innovation.
Still, all of this remains to be seen. There is no telling how residents in PA will react to online gambling and if Pennsylvania casinos will see similar success to those in New Jersey. We will simply have to wait a few months and see how it all plays out in America’s newest regulated online gambling market.