Don’t Expect Any Online Poker On July 15: Here’s Why

There are multiple online casinos launching in PA on July 15, but setbacks mean no online poker sites will be going live at that time.

Get set, get excited and play!

On July 15, at least two PA online casinos are ready for launch.

A new era of PA online gambling is officially dawning on Monday, July 15. At 11 a.m., Hollywood Online Casino opens its virtual doors. Then, at 5 p.m., Parx Online Casino will join it on the market. This includes desktop browser play and online casino apps for Android.

There will be plenty of new games for PA players to try. One thing will notably be absent though:

Online poker.

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No online poker yet

A multitude of games will be available, such as:

  • Slots
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Video poker
  • Craps
  • Baccarat
  • Live dealer games

However sadly, online poker will not be offered yet. There are a couple of possible reasons for online poker’s delay.

New Jersey’s lackluster online poker revenue

Perhaps, online poker just is not a priority for PA operators. Certainly, casinos have examined other states such as New Jersey’s online poker revenue. It proves to be completely lackluster and sluggish when compared to sports betting and online casinos.

Accordingly, there is no reason why online poker revenue in PA would be any different.

Ongoing litigation of the Wire Act

While the issue of Wire Act violation is not coming up again any time soon, the issues surrounding the Wire Act did temper PA online casinos’ plans for launch.

Essentially, the DOJ stated in a revised opinion that all forms of online gambling violate the Wire Act. The New Hampshire Lottery Commission quickly filed suit. Then, US District Court Judge Barbadoro sided with the Lottery Commission.

After the ruling, the DOJ issued a memorandum delaying enforcement of the Wire Act until 2020 or final litigation of the NH Lottery case. An appeal by the DOJ against Barbadoro’s ruling is very likely coming soon.

In January, the PGCB requested that each casino that offers online gaming put together a plan for ensuring that these activities remain in Pennsylvania. In other words, the PGCB looked to ensure Wire Act compliance.

With online poker interstate compacting the biggest potential target of the new opinion, PA casinos probably backburnered poker plans, knowing without compacting, there was not much money to make with the venture.

Multiple casinos looking to launch poker

That is not to say sites are not working to launch online poker in the near future. Mount Airy, which is partnered with PokerStars, is rumored to be very close to launching. WSOP.com is likely rushing to get going in the Keystone STate as well.

In addition to Parx and Hollywood casinos, here is a list of other casinos with licenses to offer online poker:

With so many operators contending to offer online poker in PA, it seems unsustainable for the limited PA market. New Jersey has seven different online poker skins operating, but many, like 888 and WSOP.com share player pools.

Online poker’s potential popularity

Eventually, if PA were to share liquidity with other states that offer online poker such as New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, this could potentially drive a resurgence. The player pools of all the states would merge. This explains why many casinos filed for online poker licenses.

Also, the popularity of live poker surged upwards this year. This is evidenced by the World Series of Poker’s second-largest entries and prize pool in its history.

PA Fantasy Sports Keep On Chugging, But At A Slower Pace Than Sportsbooks

We knew FanDuel and DraftKings would lead the fantasy field in May, but the numbers do give us new insight into year-over-year performances.

FanDuel and DraftKings are living large and clearly in charge of Pennsylvania’s fantasy sports revenue.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) released fantasy sports revenue for May 2019. These numbers show a net revenue of $1,803,056, which is an increase of 35% from May 2018.

Of note, in May, PGCB released the first full fiscal year of collected tax revenues for fantasy sports. May’s report marks the first opportunity to compare fantasy sports revenue from year-to-year.

FanDuel and DraftKings on top as usual

Again, no surprises here.

FanDuel and DraftKings are still the kings of PA fantasy sports. Combined, they account for $1,773,501 or 98% of the total revenue, taking the lion’s share of the market.

In third place, DRAFT netted $18,001, a downright paltry sum compared to the eye-popping numbers that FanDuel and DraftKings generate.

Of note, Yahoo Fantasy Sports’ revenue soared when comparing the year-on-year increase by 91% or $8,463 from $4,430.

FanDuel trending onward and upward

Quite possibly, FanDuel will continue to outearn DraftKings in fantasy sports revenues.

In April, PGCB reported for the first time that FanDuel surged ahead of DraftKings in entry fees for a single month. Tracked revenue showed gains of $961,867 versus $845,533. 

This month, the trend continues with FanDuel leading the way with $960,155 compared to DraftKings’ $813,346.

At any rate, it is possible that players are more comfortable with FanDuel’s brand name recognition. FanDuel’s partnership with the Valley Forge Casino Resort makes it the only daily fantasy sports operator in PA to partner with a casino.

In addition, FanDuel is the only operator ready to launch an online sportsbook in PA sometime this summer.

PA sports betting reigns supreme

In comparison, sports betting yields much more in tax revenue than daily fantasy sports.

For example, in May, the Keystone State collected $2.8 million in tax revenue alone from sports betting. Daily fantasy sports only yielded $270,458.

At least partially, the difference in revenue is attributed to the tax rate. Sports betting is taxed at 36% while daily fantasy sports are taxed at 15%.

However, sports betting revenues will only continue to rise with the impending launching of online sports betting apps.

Recently, PlaySugarHouse.com launched in Pennsylvania as the first online sports betting app. In just four days and with a limited release due to not being available in the Apple Store, it still generated $573,163.

Below, compare the year-to-year Pennsylvania fantasy contests revenue which is up 35% in May.

Fantasy Contest OperatorMay 2019May 2018% Change
Statewide Total$1,803,056$1,331,70635.39%
FanDuel$960,155$673,01442.66%
DraftKings$813,346$632,00928.69%
Yahoo Fantasy Sports$8,463$4,43091.01%
Draft$18,001$16,9925.94%
Fantasy Draft$1,176$2,500-52.95%
Sportshub Technologies$1,012$1,591-36.37%
Boom Fantasy$903$8516.04%
FastPick.com*$0$319--

*FastPick.com stopped providing fantasy contest in Pennsylvania in July 2018

Plenty Of Ways To Play Responsibly At Parx Online Sportsbook

Part of Parx Casino’s new online sportsbook is a robust list of responsible gambling limits and options for PA sports bettors.

On Monday, Parx Casino launched its much anticipated online sportsbook.

With the launch, Parx Casino continues to demonstrate its commitment to responsible gaming by unveiling a vast array of options for customers. These options allow customers to balance limiting online betting while still being able to fully enjoy the benefits of the app.

The self-exclusion option is available as well. However, if you still want to bet, but do so with limits, you have plenty of options.

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Setting your own self-imposed limits

With the purpose of responsible gaming in mind, you can set your own deposit, spending, and time limits.

Remember, these limits are effective immediately once set.

Increases to limits will not become effective until after time period of the previous limit has expired or 24 hours passed since the request (whatever is longer).

Deposit limits

For now, a player chooses to set their own daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits. Once you submit the request, the deposit limit is immediately applied to the account as long as it is valid.

On the other hand, any decrease in limits will also be applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Wager limits

Again, a player chooses the limit: daily, weekly, or monthly. These limits prevent you from wagering more than the specified amount in the set time period.

In order to do so, enter the maximum amount, the time limit, and submit the request. The wager limit is effective immediately if valid.

This process is the same as setting deposit limits. Decreases are also immediately effective. For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Maximum bet limits

Similarly, a player sets their maximum bet limits. This prevention stops you from wagering more than the specified amount in an individual wager during a game. In order to do so, enter the maximum amount for an individual wager during a game and submit the request.

The wager limit is instantly applicable as long as it is valid. Likewise, any decrease in limits is also applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Time limits

Also, you can set your own limit on the number of hours per day that you play on the site. In order to do so, enter the maximum number of hours per day that you want to play and submit the request.

The time limit is immediately effective as long as it is valid.

Likewise, any decrease in limits is also applied immediately.

For increases or limit removals, this occurs after the time period of the previous limit expires or 24 hours after the request (whatever is longer). In addition, you need to return to the limits page to confirm the increase request.

Self-exclusion

Self-exclusion ensures that your account closes for a minimum of 12 months. Therefore, the account cannot be reopened or reactivated for any reason during the self-exclusion period. Perhaps, consider first a less restrictive alternative like the standard account closure or timeout below.

Timeout

Need a cooling off period? Choose the self-suspension option of a minimum of 72 hours. Please note that once the self-suspension is effective, you cannot login. After the timeout, the account automatically reopens.

Want your funds returned during the timeout? Contact customer service.

Closing your account

Contact customer service for closing your account.

Additional help and support

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.

For additional help and support, check out these organizations:

Congress Proposes Amendment to Defund DOJ Wire Act Enforcement

Several lawmakers from across the aisle want to Congressionally block funding for Wire Act prosecution and enforcement, but are already hitting road blocks.

Members of Congress proposed an amendment to block funding for the Department of Justice to enforce its new interpretation of the Wire Act.

Online Poker Report first reported that Congress considered amending an appropriations bill to block funding needed to enforce the DOJ’s new Wire Act opinion. It appears that the amendment will not make it into the final language of the bill though.

Congress aims to protect states with legal online gambling

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) is the primary sponsor of the amendment. In addition, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) and Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) of the Rules Committee are co-sponsors.

Short and sweet, the proposal could not have been more direct. The full text follows:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to enforce the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel memorandum entitled ‘Reconsidering Whether the Wire Act Applies to Non-Sports Gambling’ (issued on Nov. 2, 2018).

Specifically, the amendment is part of an appropriations bill on HR 3055.  And most importantly, HR 3055 apportions the DOJ’s salary.

For this reason, the DOJ would be like a dog without its bite should the amendment pass.  Therefore, states, like Pennsylvania, with regulated online gambling can breathe a sigh of relief as the DOJ would be unable to pursue Wire Act prosecution.

A bit of confusion

As noted regarding HR 3055, two similar amendments were filed. The sponsors earlier withdrew Item #122. Item #152 is added with the addition of Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) as a sponsor.

The Rules Committee met Tuesday at 5 p.m. to consider the bill. Then, they heard HR 3055 on Wednesday. Afterward, the bill passed to the Committee of the Whole.

However, the Committee did not call the amendment for a vote. As of now, there is a little confusion if the amendment will be heard.

DOJ’s looming appeal

After the DOJ issued its new Wire Act interpretation in 2018, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission quickly responded by filing suit.

Essentially, the DOJ took the new position that all forms of online gambling violate the Wire Act. Early this month, Judge Paul Barbadoro sided with the NH Lottery Commission.

More recently, the DOJ issued a memorandum delaying enforcement of the Wire Act until early 2020 or final resolution of the NH Lottery case. In doing so, we speculate that the DOJ is preparing to appeal Barbardoro’s ruling to the First Circuit Court.

Also pending is New Jersey’s Freedom of Information Act case. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal seeks to the release information pertaining to Sheldon Adelson on the DOJ’s new Wire Act opinion.

Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO, Sheldon Adelson, is a big opponent against online gambling. Previously, multiple sources uncovered Adelson’s links as the driving force behind the new opinion.

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DOJ Delaying Enforcement Of New Wire Act Opinion Until 2020

The Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone for Wire Act violations until the pending court case challenging the new opinion is resolved or 2020.

The US Department of Justice is biding time until early 2020 to enforce its new opinion on the Wire Act.

On Wednesday, Online Poker Report obtained and published a memorandum written by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen. Specifically, the scope of the memo advises DOJ staff members and the Director of the FBI to delay enforcement. The delay is in place until the start of 2020 or 60 days after the final resolution of the New Hampshire Wire Act case.

A brief overview of the Wire Act

Recently, US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro issued a 60-plus page opinion. His opinion negated the DOJ’s new interpretation of the Wire Act.

Recall that the New Hampshire Lottery sued the DOJ after a new DOJ 2018 opinion stated that all forms of online gambling violate the Wire Act.

Previously, a 2011 opinion from the DOJ limited the scope of the Wire Act. The limitation applied only to sports betting occurring across states. The previous opinion paved the way for states such as Pennsylvania to legalize online gambling.

The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post exposed Las Vegas Sands Corporation CEO Sheldon Adelson as the driving force behind the DOJ’s 2018 opinion. As a result, New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal filed suit against the DOJ to expose Adelson’s links.

Although Barbadoro’s opinion is considered a win for online gambling, the DOJ is not out of options. An appeal can be filed to the 1st Circuit Court.

DOJ’s power play: No safe harbor for violations of the Wire Act

Although the DOJ conceded to pushing back potential Wire Act enforcement, the memo pointedly states there is no “safe harbor” from violations. In doing so, the DOJ retains the power to prosecute those who violate the Wire Act in the past or present.

The memo makes this point crystal clear:

Providing this extension of the forbearance period is an internal exercise of prosecutorial discretion and does not create a safe harbor for violations of the Wire Act. All other provisions of the January 15, February 28, and April 8, 2019, memoranda remain in effect.

With that, the DOJ doubles down on its new Wire Act interpretation against all forms of online gambling.

Although the DOJ stated in the memo, “the Department is evaluating its options,” we can practically smell the appeal coming to Barbadoro’s opinion.

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What about PA online gambling?

Previously, PGCB announced a July 15 start date Pennsylvania’s online casinos. With the Wire Act concern out of the way, that date has one less concern to worry about. Nonetheless, do not be surprised if many casinos are not ready to go by then.

Additionally, we don’t expect any further expansion of online gambling because PGCB took a cautious approach regarding the Wire Act.

Tic-Tac-No: New Bill Comes After Dubiously Legal Skill Games In PA

A new bill with broad support from both the Lottery and PA police hope to clearly criminalize the legally gray games of skill in Pennsylvania bars.

Newly introduced legislation takes aim at so-called “skill games” available at many Pennsylvania bars and gas stations.

Earlier this month, Sen. Tommy Tomlinson in partnership with the Pennsylvania Lottery officials, the Pennsylvania State Police, and senior groups, introduced new legislation to fight back against illegal “skill games.”

These so-called “skill games” can hardly be classified as requiring much skill. In truth, they are very similar to slot machines with games like “matching color blocks” or completion of a tic-tac-toe board.

The Pennsylvania Lottery estimates that it lost $138 million in sales to “skill games”. In turn, this cuts deep into funding for senior programs.

The nitty-gritty of Senate Bill 710

Should Senate Bill 710 pass, it would be a “criminal offense to knowingly make, assemble, maintain, lease, or sell Games of Skill.”

To explain, the first violation is a first-degree misdemeanor. This would carry a fine of at least $5,000 per violation.

Second offenses are also a first-degree misdemeanor. However, second offenses carry a heftier fine of at least $10,000 per violation upon conviction.

Lastly, third or subsequent offenses are third-degree felonies. Third offenses carry the heaviest fine of all at $15,000 per violation upon conviction.

Tomlinson intends to achieve a powerful deterrent for law enforcement to use against unsanctioned gambling with his proposed legislation.

Proliferation of illegal skill games

Without a doubt, these alleged games of skill have long been a thorn in the side of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

According to the PA Lottery press release, there are approximately 5,050 games of skill machines installed at lottery retailers.

In addition, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement noted that officers found illegal games of skill in every PA county.

Director of Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, Major Scott T. Miller stated:

We continue to see an increase of suspected illegal gambling devices within licensed liquor establishments, but perhaps even more concerning is the illegal gambling happening in convenience stores, strip malls, and shopping centers.

Because of the proliferation in illegal Games of Skill machines, the next logical step taken by PA lawmakers is to strengthen existing law.

Cutting deep into PA Lottery revenue

Although the PA Lottery upped the number of games offered to lottery retailers, like KenoXpress Sports, and iLottery, many businesses elect to sticking with “skill games.”

In addition, these problematic “skill games” negatively affect PA Lottery’s largest revenue earner, scratch-off sales. Scratch-off sales account for nearly 70 percent of lottery revenue.

For every game of skill machine, PA Lottery estimates $2,284 lost. As a result, money that would otherwise go toward programs and services for seniors is also lost.

Unfortunately, this is precisely because illegal skill games produce higher rates of return for owners than the lottery. Therefore, these dubious skill games remain rampant throughout the Keystone State.

Drew Svitko, the Lottery’s executive director, is eager to protect the Lottery and funding that supports senior Pennsylvanians.

These machines have the potential to cost the Lottery hundreds of millions of dollars in future harm. It’s imperative that we take action now to protect the funding that supports the programs that older Pennsylvanians rely upon each year.

Court Sides With Lottery On Wire Act, But iGaming Not Out Of The Woods Yet

The New Hampshire District Court sides with the NH Lottery regarding the Department of Justice’s troubling new opinion regarding the Wire Act.

On Monday, the New Hampshire Lottery Commission breathed a sigh of relief as US District Court Judge Paul Barbadoro sided with gambling interests. Specifically, the 60-plus page opinion found in favor of online gambling, lotteries and casinos and against the Department of Justice’s new Wire Act interpretation.

Recall that New Hampshire previously sued the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) over a revised Wire Act opinion. The core of the revised opinion states that all forms of online gambling violate the Wire Act.

More on the Wire Act decision

On standing

In short, after New Hampshire filed suit, the DOJ responded via a motion to dismiss the case. More specifically, the DOJ claimed the plaintiffs (New Hampshire and the lottery vendors) have no standing to sue. Therefore, there is no right to relief.

Their argument against standing is that New Hampshire and the lottery vendors do not face an imminent threat of prosecution.

Barbadoro effortlessly dismissed the DOJ’s argument on standing.

First, they have openly engaged for many years in conduct that the 2018 OLC Opinion now brands as criminal, and they intend to continue their activities unless they are forced to stop because of a reasonable fear that prosecutions will otherwise ensue. Second, the risk of prosecution is substantial. After operating for years in reliance on OLC guidance that their conduct was not subject to the Wire Act, the plaintiffs have had to confront a sudden about-face by the Department of Justice. Even worse, they face a directive from the Deputy Attorney General to his prosecutors that they should begin enforcing the OLC’s new interpretation of the Act after the expiration of a specified grace period. Given these unusual circumstances, the plaintiffs have met their burden to establish their standing to sue.

Grammatical interpretation

As a reminder, the Wire Act written in 1961 is both outdated and poorly written.  Consequently, it allows for various interpretations. Both New Hampshire and the DOJ argue that the “plain language” of the Wire Act support their arguments.

Barbadoro decided “where, as here, a statute is ambiguous, a court must look at more than grammar to determine its meaning.” After a through examination, Barbadoro concluded to limit the Wire Act to sports gambling. In doing so, his decision “avoids significant coherence problems” which could result from the DOJ’s interpretation.

Limitations on the ruling

The Court took specific notice that the parties disagree on whether judgment should be limited to the parties or be a universal ruling. A universal ruling is applicable to anyone affected including Pennsylvania online lottery and online gambling. Of course, the DOJ wants the ruling to apply only to the parties in the case.

While the Court did agree with the DOJ on this particular argument, Barbadoro also noted that judgment binds the parties outside of New Hampshire. This is due to NeoPollard, New Hampshire’s lottery vendor, operating outside of New Hampshire.

How to extend the judgment

However, all is not lost. Previously, the state of Michigan filed an amicus brief. Their argument is to extend relief to non-parties on behalf of the Lottery Commission.

The National Law Review succinctly outlines Michigan’s argument.

The argument was predicated on the fact that New Hampshire, as a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, benefits financially from the large scale of multi-jurisdictional games such as Powerball. If another state, such as Michigan, shuttered its state lottery, then the overall revenues of Powerball would decline. If the revenues of Powerball decline, then the share of Powerball revenue that New Hampshire receives would decrease. Based on this Michigan argued that the Court should ensure that New Hampshire not suffer any adverse financial effect.

Sadly, New Hampshire did not use this argument. For this reason, Barbadoro stated, “Should the Lottery Commission wish to pursue such relief, however, I am willing to entertain its claim.”

New Hampshire Lottery Commission has 14 days to file the motion. This motion requires the fleshing out of adequate factual and legal arguments.

What now?

Although Barbadoro ruled in favor of New Hampshire, the DOJ can still appeal to the First Circuit Court.

Should the appeal occur, the First Circuit Court has to review the case de novo. This means the court reviews the case anew or independently as if no decision by Barbadoro was previously made.

As a result, the appeals process will take months, if not years to finalize.

PA online poker

So, who benefits most from the ruling on the Wire Act? The answer is Pennsylvania online poker players.

The DOJ’s Wire Act opinion threw Pennsylvania’s expansion of online poker compacting and multi-state lottery games right into violation of their interpretation. Fortunately, Barbadoro’s ruling clears the way for the expansion of online poker in PA should the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board decide to proceed.

The exciting potential of PA entering the online poker compact would immediately double the amount of online poker players across the four compacted states.

Wind Creek Officially On Its Way To Gambling In PA

PA Gaming Control recently approved the transfer of gaming license for Sands Bethlehem from Sands Corp to new owner, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) finally approved the change of Sands Bethlehem’s license to Poarch Creek Indians Gaming Authority (PCI Gaming).

PCI Gaming operates under the Wind Creek Hospitality Brand. The $1.3 billion sale of Sands Bethlehem also requires Wind Creek to pay a change-of-control fee of $3.75 million to PGCB’s coffers.

Faster than a speeding bullet

Wind Creek President and CEO Jay Dorris projects the transition to occur very quickly. Specifically, the sale might conclude as early as this week. In addition, $15 million has been earmarked for rebranding expenditures. Dorris expects rebranding to be complete within 90 days.

Artist rendering of Wind Creek (Wind Creek/Contributed)

Bigger and bigger: more hotel rooms and meeting space

To begin with, Wind Creek presented an expansion plan to PGCB  for $90 million included in its acquisition funding.

Currently, amenities include:

  • 282 hotel rooms
  • Over 183,000 square footage of casino floor space
  • 3,000 slots and electronic table games
  • 200 table games
  • Multiple food and beverage vendors
  • A 150,000 square foot retail mall
  • 27,000 square feet of convention space

In two years, another 276 hotel rooms and 42,000 square feet of meeting space will be completed.

Wind Creek stated in its presentation that the current hotel space is 93% occupied. This means that potential hotel guests are turned away on a weekly basis. While that is good news, Sands Bethlehem did decline by $7 million in conventions last year due to its meager meeting space.

Get ready for a new wild and wet adventure

Wind Creek has ambitious plans for the vacant and desolate No. 2 Machine Shop at the former Bethlehem Steel site. Specifically, the site will transform into a 300,000 square foot adventure and water park. Also, this expansion includes another expansion of 400 hotel rooms.

Most importantly, the acquisition financing includes $100 million towards the revitalization of the Machine Shop. However, this project’s budget is $250 million. As a result, Wind Creek is actively soliciting investors for the remainder $150 million.

Make way for the online casino

Conditional for the sale of Sands Bethlehem to Wind Creek, Sands executives applied for and gained approval from the PGCB for a PA interactive gaming license in October 2018.

Currently, Wind Creek is actively seeking an online casino platform. The expectation is to finalize a partnership and launch the online casino within three months, but that is probably a lofty goal given how much work is involved. If they did meet that deadline, this time frame would fall directly in line with Dorris’ rebranding transition timeline.

Keep in mind that many PA operators have been working at an online product for almost a year and are still at risk of potentially missing the July 15 launch date.

Sports betting still in the works

Wind Creek aims to add PA sports betting to their casino. Admittedly, the process needs to commence.

Sands did not apply for a sports betting license. The company knew they were selling the property and sports betting applications do not have a deadline.

Now Wind Creek can move forward on sports betting, but first, it needs to finalize a partner. Once they have one though, they can move forward on applying for a $10 million license.

Cleaning up the underage gambling issues

In April, Sands was forced to pay out $120,000 in underage gambling fines. Historically, underage gambling is a recurring issue at Sands Bethlehem.

As anticipated, PGCB questioned Wind Creek ensuring a hard line is in place against underage gambling. In addition to current measures, facial recognition to match government ID along with hiring more employees is expected in the near future.

PGCB Rolls Out Online Gambling Self-Exclusion Program

With online gambling starting to roll out, the PA Gaming Control Board released info about its new iGaming Self-Exclusion program for problem gamblers.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) recently released new measures for responsible gambling in the PA online casino space. Now that online gaming is imminent, the group has a process for the iGaming Self Exclusion Program.

Specifically, the self-exclusion program allows a player to request exclusion from PA online gambling sites, both sportsbook and casino. In addition, this includes prohibition from “collecting any winnings, recovering any losses or accepting complimentary gifts or services or any other thing of value at any licensed facility.”

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How to request self-exclusion

The processes for online and brick and mortar self-exclusion are fairly similar. Though it is interesting to note that there are two separate lists, so if you want to be self-excluded from both, you need to go through this process twice.

In short, anyone may request self-exclusion. However, you cannot request self-exclusion for someone else.

First, complete the paperwork made available by the PGCB. Second, to submit your request, you must schedule an appointment at the PGCB Harrisburg Office or one of the regional offices.

To make an appointment, call 717-346-8300.

Equally important, you cannot mail or e-mail a self-exclusion request. You must apply in person in order to be photographed along with a valid government identification with signature and photograph.

Required information for self-exclusion

To begin the online self-exclusion process, have the following information ready:

  • Name, including aliases or nicknames
  • Date of birth
  • Address of current residence
  • Telephone number
  • Social security number (optional)
  • Government-issued photo identification such as a driver’s license or passport

Choose the duration for exclusion

PGCB allows you to choose how long to be excluded from gaming. Specifically, you have a choice of one year (12 months), five years or lifetime.

Accordingly, please note that whatever you choose is the minimum length of exclusion.

Please note, self-exclusions of 1 or 5 years remain even after the time period is up until you request removal. Submit the request for removal by calling 717-346-8300.

Equally important, if you choose the lifetime ban, you are unable to request removal.

What happens after signing up

Any licensed facility must refuse wagers and disallow gaming privileges.

Equally important, if you somehow manage to gamble while on the Self-Exclusion List, you will be barred from collecting any winnings or recovering losses.

Problems with gambling

Should you believe that you have a problem with gambling, call the Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania Hotline at 1-800-GAMBLER.

For more information and any questions or concerns, visit www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov or e-mail [email protected]

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board 
Attn: Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling  
P.O. Box 69060 
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9060

NASCAR Hopes In-House Product Will Capitalize On Online Betting Popularity

NASCAR hopes to win over online bettors in PA and other states with its own in-game betting product from its new partnership with Genius Sports.

Last week, NASCAR announced a collaboration with Genius Sports to provide a live data system to licensed sportsbooks. This is the first step toward launching an advanced in-race live betting product. The end product will be a real-time gaming platform with live NASCAR odds plus other wagers and props.

NASCAR is one of the last sports to toss its hat into the gambling arena. Subsequently, only the NFL is left without an official gambling data deal.

Another venue of online sports betting in PA

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed the first PA sports betting app should be functional sometime in early May.

NASCAR Senior VP/Broadcast & Innovation Brian Herbst expects that Genius Sports will roll out official post-race data in the next several months. However, the more extensive in-race data will likely not be available until the latter stages of this year or early 2020.

In states with regulated sports betting like Pennsylvania, we expect to place real-time NASCAR sports bets online eventually. Wagers on fastest lap times or winners can be placed from the convenience of mobile devices and computers.

In addition, data compilation allows sportsbooks to offer live prop bets during NASCAR races such as fastest pit stops.

Given that New Jersey’s sports betting market is 80% online betting, it makes sense that NASCAR wants to be ready with an online-friendly product as more states roll out betting apps.

 The search for a corporate marketing partner

NASCAR laid the groundwork before the 2019 season. It developed a comprehensive sports integrity program and gambling policy in conjunction with SportRadar. As part of the partnership, SportRadar will monitor NASCAR betting activity and will flag any suspicious behavior accordingly.

In addition to the Genius Sports partnership, NASCAR is now actively looking to secure a sportsbook as a corporate marketing partner.

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Anticipating growth

Genius Sports CEO Mark Locke looks forward to the growth of the NASCAR sports betting experience.

NASCAR fans are some of the most devoted in the world, and we look forward to helping them to create a deeper, more connected experience that is both safe and secure as the business of sports betting continues to evolve in the US. This new relationship will provide another entry point to the sport and complements our strategy to create a more immersive experience for fans.

About Genius Sports

Genius Sports is the global leader in sports data and supplies data to more than 150 sportsbooks nationwide. In addition to NASCAR, Genius Sports partners with many other leagues and federations such as NBA, NCAA, PGA Tour and the Premier League.