The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved interactive gaming licenses for Presque Isle and Stadium Casino, allowing them to offer online games…

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has approved interactive gaming licenses for Presque Isle and Stadium Casino, allowing them to offer online games to players in Pennsylvania.

Both casinos got approval to offer online slots and table games—but both chose not to apply for the online poker license, which will surely leave some players disappointed.

Presque Isle, who is owned by Churchill Downs, revealed that they plan to launch online gaming under the BetAmerica brand during the approval hearing.

A newly developed system to alert players of session length, called Reality Checks was also announced during the hearing which presumably will tick responsible gaming boxes.

Stadium Casino initially applied for a license that would allow them to offer online poker, but at the board hearing it asked to change its petition to just two licenses. The Stadium Casino has yet to be built, and plans surrounding what the final casino and offering will look like remain vague.

Crossing The Border into the Garden State

Perhaps the reason both casinos left online poker licenses on the table is the languishing online poker market seen in other regulated states such as New Jersey.

New Jersey online poker operators reported the lowest revenue total in market history last month—which may put off smaller operators in other states who are looking at the Garden State as an example of how to do things.

However, with the hopes of Pennsylvania joining a shared player pool with Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey, operators may be missing out on a slice of the online poker pie.

In addition, across the state lines, Presque Isle partnered with the Golden Nugget in New Jersey so that the pair can offer online sports betting and casino games to players in New Jersey.

Although no partner has been announced, another PA casino, Parx, has also set it sights on entering the New Jersey market.

Window Closes For QGEs

The PGCB hearing on October 31 also marked the closure of the window that allowed Qualified Gaming Entities (QGE) to apply for leftover gaming licenses.

Due to the return of a poker license from Rivers Casino back in early October in an unprecedented u-turn, 5 online poker licenses remain. Online slots and casino games each have 3 licences left apiece.

MGM Resorts has been confirmed as paying for a QGE license. Golden Nugget has also applied as a QGE.

MGM applied for the full suite of licences covering them to offer online poker, slots and casino games to players of Pennsylvania, while according to igaming industry expert Chris Krafcik, Golden Nugget is seeking only slots and casino game licenses.

With the applications from MGM and Golden Nugget and with the QGE window now closed, it remains to be seen what the board will do with the remaining igaming licenses.

Nine Casinos Approved in PA

The approval of Presque Isle and Stadium Casino brings the grand total of bricks and mortar casinos who can offer a full complement of online games to its customers to nine.

Sands Bethlehem and Valley Forge were the last casinos to get approval back at the October 3 PGCB hearing.

Harrah’s Casino, SugarHouse Casino, Mount Airy, Parx Casino and Hollywood Casino all got their interactive gaming certificates approved by the board in the summer between August and September.