No more speculation. There are now firm dates when Pennsylvania online gambling will get underway.
Online casinos go live July 15
The most concrete of the two dates is online casino launch. Rather than have sites go as they are ready, there will be one launch date.
All casinos ready to go live on July 15 can. That gives the 10 PA casinos with interactive gaming licenses with roughly three months to prepare.
PA sports betting apps online by May
As for PA sports betting apps, those will be here even sooner. This week, the PA Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed to Legal Sports Report that the live testing phase of the first betting app is only 2-3 weeks away.
The PGCB will test and launch sports betting apps as they are ready. It may be a slow sports season. However, with Pennsylvania teams making runs in both the NHL and NBA playoffs, there are reasons to move quickly.
Keep in mind that the most recent sportsbook applicants will be behind the first movers. PGCB does not allow an online launch until the retail sportsbook is up and running.
Presque Isle Downs is the next retail book to open. It will launch on June 1. Meanwhile, Mount Airy Casino and Mohegan Sun Pocono are still at the beginning of the application process. That means, unlike everyone else, they will need to move quickly to be up and running in time for football.
Expect a rush of new online casinos July 15
With a simultaneous casino launch, expect most of the PA interactive gaming providers to be ready to go in July. With the single date, the playing field is a little more level, so casinos will want to take advantage.
Don’t expect to see all 10 operators in action though. Stadium Casino and Sands Bethlehem are two examples of properties that will run behind the rest. Neither has moved ahead on their interactive gaming plans beyond obtaining the licenses.
Online poker will have less of a mad rush
There are currently eight active online poker licenses. Frankly, there is not enough interest in the game for eight PA online poker sites.
With the Wire Act opinion potentially threatening the viability of interstate compacting, casinos realize there is not much money in poker.
You will likely see a couple of sites launch in July. But don’t be surprised if some of the eight shelve their online poker plans indefinitely.