Pennsylvania to Launch Mobile Sports and iGaming July 15
Members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board said at the board’s meeting last week that the state’s online gaming program will kick off July 15. There are currently no plans for intrastate compacts with other iGaming states.
Gaming regulators in Pennsylvania said at the meeting last week of the state Gaming Control Board that online casino gaming and online poker will launch July 15.
State lawmakers legalized online gambling as part of its 2017 gaming expansion law. However several factors have delayed launch, most recently the January Department of Justice memo on the 1961 Wire Act that forced regulators to make sure all facets of internet gaming would happen within state borders.
A spokesman for the gaming board also said that mobile sport betting could kick off as soon as early May. Brick-and-mortar sports betting began in Pennsylvania in November.
“We expect to begin live testing of the online sports betting app for at least one of the approved casino vendors within the next two to three weeks,” PGCB spokesman Doug Harbach told the news site.
Pennsylvania will join New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada as the only states with regulated online poker. West Virginia recently legalized it, but those games haven’t launched yet.
Nevada has poker only, so Pennsylvania would be the third in the country with online casinos. According to the Pennbets website, there is no immediate plan for the state to share online poker players with the other states, a hesitance brought on the by the Wire Act interpretation, which the DOJ says maintains the ban on interstate exchange of wagering and gaming information.
There are currently eight retail sports books operational in Pennsylvania, in casinos and off-track betting parlors, with a ninth pending at Presque Isle Downs. Adding mobile wagers is expected to be a game-changer for revenues. New Jersey, for instance, approached $400 million in sports betting handle in March, with more than 80 percent of it via mobile device.