PA’s Official Online Gambling Date Announced, July 15

PGCB reveals official date of PA online gamblinglaunchAll 10 properties readying up to start on July15Wire Act may still cause trouble

After muchuncertainty, Pennsylvania is finally heading into a fully-scaled onlinegambling industry.  The latest news from thePennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has specified the official launch datefor July 15, 2019.

Gambling in Pennsylvania All Good to Go on July 15

Forget approximations.

The PennsylvaniaGaming Control Board (PGCB) announced July15 as the official launch date when online gambling and poker will begin inthe Keystone State.

PGCB Execu 7BALL tiveDirector Kevin O’Toole released a briefing in which hespecified that the state’s regulator has taken all necessary precautions to officiallyOK a launch in the summer. Here’s whatthe statement said:

“Staff hasreviewed the estimated time that it would take for us and the industry tocomplete all necessary steps, and it is our view that 90 days would beadequate. Accordingly, I have advised the 10 iGaming certificate holders andthree iGaming operators that a coordinated go-live period for interactivegaming will commence on July 15, 2019.”

Online Casinos in PA Launches with All Games

Pennsylvania took some time to consider whether the latestOpinion on the Wire Act would affectthe industry and having cleared this challenge, around 10 casinos are preparing to introduce online gambling options.

A number of respected suppliers and developers are arrivingin the state, including Kambi, SG, IGT and others. Meanwhile, poker card roomsare also entering the state at full tilt, including:

PokerStarsin conjunction with Mount Airy CasinoWSOP/888PokerPartypokerwhich will be accessible via ValleyForge’s digital skin

Pennsylvania is going to draw the biggest dividends for thestates’ coffers through online casinos, with all online slots being taxed at 54%of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) compared to only 16% for online poker.

PA has already collected over $120 million in taxes, mostly from licensing fees, as each vertical– sports betting, poker and online casinos, cost $4 million – or $10 millionif bundled up in a single payment. However, the bundle payment is no longer anoption.

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The Wire Act and the Multi-State Online Poker Compact

Without much clarity on theWire Act, Pennsylvania’s casinos still don’t know if they will be ableto team up with the three other states that currently offer online poker,including New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware.

Joining the multi-stateonline poker compact is important for the sake of having a vibrant pokerindustry which may continue to develop. Without it, Pennsylvania will beconfined to its own poker population, which may not be enough.

Even then, though, PA and other states have been able tomaintain their poker industries very much alive, despite the legal challenges.

If DOJ’s Wire Actis upheld and enforced, however, the real winner will be the so-called offshorepoker website, and this would be the exact opposite of what the Department isprofessing to do.