Appeals Court Says PA Needs To Give Foxwoods Its $50 Million Back

After Foxwoods failed to build a Philadelphia, it sued to get its $50 million license fee back from PA. The 3rd Circuit Appeals court agrees the state should pay up.

The Mashantucket Pequot Indians were on top of the world less than 20 years ago. Today, they’re hurting.

This past week the Connecticut Indian tribe and its partners when, according to New London (CT) newspaper The Day reported the consortium achieved a small victory when the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision of a bankruptcy court who said the tribe’s development group wasn’t entitled to $50 million they invested in a failed plan to build a casino in Philadelphia.

Should the development group win the appeal, it is unclear how the partners will divide the money.

The Foxwoods-Philly saga started in 2006

The name of the tribe’s development group was Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners. The faction included Philadelphia businessmen who joined the tribe in their efforts to bring Philly its first casino.

The development bought one of two available casino licenses for $50 million back in 2006. Over the next three years, numerous delays and mistakes tanked the casino development. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) revoked the group’s license in Dec. 2010, ending four years of frustration.

The failed casino venture compounded the Pequot tribe’s financial issues. Dissension among tribal leaders and a costly casino expansion with MGM dragged the tribe into dark days.

A 2007 article from the New York Times talks about the tribe’s extensive wealth and how  a group of less than 100 Native Americans created one of the most profitable casinos in the world and bring unprecedented wealth to its people.

However, by 2014 the tribe was on the hook for $1.7 billion in debt. The tribe accrued much of that debt when it expanded its casino property. Not long after, competing casinos in the state and across state lines siphoned away gamblers.

Downtown Philly’s second casino is on its way

When the Pequots’ development group won the bid for one of two Philly casino licenses in 2006, the City of Brotherly Love looked poised to burst onto the gambling scene. SugarHouse also won a license that year. Only one casino survived.

Fast forward to 2018. Twelve years later, downtown Philly is getting its second casino. Stadium Casino LLC has plans to start development this year on Philly Live!, a property that will provide some serious competition for old-guard casino SugarHouse.

In addition to securing the permits to start demo on the site of their future casino, Stadium Gaming upped the proverbial ante when it was announced this past month they won the second satellite casino license auction in Harrisburg.

Both of these projects, however, aren’t scheduled to be completed anytime soon. Philly Live! has a 2020 target date and there’s still no word on when the satellite casino is scheduled to start.

Stadium Casino’s play for the satellite was a significant one because the group will build just 40 miles east of Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County. What makes this move interesting is that Pittsburgh has been the home turf for Rivers Casino, whose owners, Rush Street Gaming, also own SugarHouse.

Photo by Boston Globe / Getty Images

In The City Of Brotherly Love, There’s About To Be A Casino War

Now that Stadium Gaming LLC has its permit to begin demo and start building, it is ready to see if Philly Live! can give SugarHouse Casino a run for its money.

There’s a war brewing in Philadelphia.

Earlier this week, Stadium Casino LLC obtained the permit they need to begin demo on a lot in South Philadelphia’s sports district that is currently home to a Holiday Inn hotel.

According to Philly.com, the development will clear the land and build a casino, making it the second casino within the city limits. SugarHouse is and was none too pleased about the plans. The existing Pennsylvania casino even launching an appeal to block the permit from being awarded to their new competitors.

The permit was issued a little more than two months after the operator of a rival venue, SugarHouse Casino, dropped an appeal of the gaming license granted to Cordish and Greenwood’s group following the enactment of a new state law that undercut the challenge,” Philly.com reported.

New casino will be name Live! Hotel & Casino

Cordish Cos and Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment are the two firms which comprise Stadium Casino LLC.

Earlier this week, Cordish released details about the project. The statement revealed both specifics on the property as well as conceptual drawings of the casino.

According to the company’s project page for the property, Live! is a $600 million development that will include:

  • A hotel
  • Gaming floor
  • Up to five restaurants and nightclubs.

“The project will create the first comprehensive gaming, resort, entertainment and sports destination in the United States, making it a true regional destination,” the site said.

The plans for Live! have been listed on the site for several months, but it wasn’t until they obtained the permit that the project went from concept to concrete.

Barring any setbacks over funding or permits, the project should be ready to open in 2020.

SugarHouse’s reign over Philly coming to an end

Philadelphia has been SugarHouse territory since casinos were first allowed in the state in 2006. In 2017, Sugarhouse held a solid third place in Pennsylvania’s table games revenue. It was middle-of-the-pack in slots revenue. In both of those categories together, SugarHouse brought in more than $296 million in gross revenue.

All this to say that SugarHouse is one of the state’s major players. It is certainly the reigning king of Philly. Exactly how much of that revenue will walk into the competing casino is yet to be seen. After all, predictions are tenuous, at best, but there’s a good chance their numbers will drop. Hence, the appeal to block the license.

As far as revenue predictions go, the state’s 12 casinos will be competing for the biggest portion from the dinner table. While Sands and Parx are the state’s biggest revenue-earners and SugarHouse has formidable numbers, the launch of a new flagship casino as well as the possibility of up to 10 satellite casinos could do some damage to their yearly gross revenue.

That possibility became more of a reality when Stadium Gaming was the highest bidder for a satellite casino they’ll build just 40 miles away from Pittsburgh in Westmoreland County. It remains to be seen if and when SugarHouse will make a move for one of the eight remaining satellite licenses.

Second Philadelphia Casino Gets Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Thumbs Up

A proposal to build a second casino in Philadelphia took a step towards reality last week, but the newest Pennsylvania casino still has a long way to go.

A proposal to build a second casino in Philadelphia, PA took a step towards becoming reality last week.

But while the company approved to build the Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia project in 2014 jumped through one legal hoop, a series of others is expected to confront it long before the City of Brotherly Love finds itself with two casinos.

The Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia project

Stadium Casino LLC’s original proposal to build the Live! Hotel and Casino Philadelphia near The South Philadelphia Sports Complex was approved by state regulators in November 2014. The Sports Complex is home to Philadelphia’s professional sports teams.

SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood opened in 2010 and remains the city’s only casino. There are 12 total casino properties in PA.

Both SugarHouse and Market East, a second company that bid for the casino project and lost, were among those initially opposing the project. They claimed investor Bob Manoukian’s interest in the project was in contravention of the state’s one and one-third rule. This rule states a majority owner in one casino can’t own more than one-third of another.

Manoukian currently owns approximately 85 percent of Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc., which owns and operates Parx Casino in Bensalem, PA, a half hour outside of Philadelphia.

The Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia project was originally presented as a 50/50 partnership between Greenwood and gaming and hospitality developer The Cordish Companies.

Thumbs up from PA Gaming Control Board

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to sort out the ownership issue before it issued a gaming license.

At a public hearing last month, Manoukian claimed to be transferring a 17 percent interest in the project into a trust for his three sons, leaving him with a little less than 29 percent of the proposed new casino.

As a result, the Gaming Board ruled unanimously last week that Manoukian’s interests in both Parx and the Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia project fit within state limits.

Appeals pending

However, Market East could still appeal the decision in the courts.

Plus, Sugarhouse is said to be exploring its legal options after the Gaming Board denied it standing in the case. Market East has 30 days to appeal the ruling. In the meantime, the Gaming Board plans to ensure Manoukian sets up the trust as explained before issuing the project a gaming license.

The state would be able to collect on a $75 million licensing fee should it issue the project a gaming license this year.

A $600 million gaming and entertainment destination

If construction does go ahead, the $600 million Live! Hotel & Casino Philadelphia project is expected to take over a year to complete. It will be a world-class hotel, gaming, dining, and entertainment destination in the heart of the Stadium District.

The casino will feature 2,000 slot machines and 125 table games.

Proposed Philadelphia Casino May Be Further Complicating PA Online Gambling Bill

A bill aimed at clearing a path for a second casino in Philadelphia could be complicating Pennsylvania online gambling legislation even further.

A second Philadelphia casino has become yet another issue surrounding casino expansion currently complicating things for Pennsylvania lawmakers.

The Pennsylvania Legislature has approved spending levels on a $32 billion budget. However, discussions regarding how the state will pay for it, including online gambling legislation, have stalled.

A comprehensive PA gambling expansion bill

At the crux of the issue is a comprehensive gambling expansion bill that would legalize, regulate and tax:

  • PA online casinos
  • PA online poker rooms
  • daily fantasy sports
  • video gaming terminals at liquor licensed establishments; and
  • tablet gaming a airports locations.

Proposed tax rates for online casinos and video gaming terminals have proved the biggest sticking points.

The PA Senate originally passed legislation including a 54 percent proposed tax rate on online casino games and 16 percent on online poker. Pennsylvania’s 12 land-based casinos currently pay a 54 percent tax on slot machine revenue and 16 percent on table games.

However, the PA House amended the bill to include a 16 percent tax rate across the board. Plus, the House added the plan to authorize video gaming terminals at licensed establishments.

A decision was expected this week. But while insiders report the tax rate issue is close to being resolved, no agreement on video gaming terminals has been reached.

A proposed second Philadelphia casino

In the meantime, a bill aimed at clearing a path for a second casino in Philadelphia, and a 13th inside state borders, could be complicating things even further.

A proposal to build Stadium Casino’s Live! Hotel and Casino was approved by state regulators in November 2014. Once it opened near the sports arenas in South Philadelphia, just off I-95, the property would have been the Philadelphia area’s second casino. SugarHouse Casino in the Fishtown neighborhood is the only Philadelphia casino currently in operation.

However, SugarHouse and others opposed the project, claiming investor Bob Manoukian’s interest in it was in contravention of the state’s one and one-third rule. The rule states a majority owner in one casino can’t own more than one-third of another. Manoukian currently owns approximately 85 percent of Parx Casino in Bensalem.

Further complications

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court had asked the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to sort out the ownership issue. But in the meantime, Rep. Scott Petri, the Republican chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, introduced a bill that would repeal the one and one-third rule.

In fact, last week Petri told the Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper his bill may be included as a measure in the comprehensive gambling expansion bill currently being considered by lawmakers, further complicating the entire issue.

In fact, adding another contentious issue may help push consideration of the entire gambling expansion package to the fall.

PA’s SugarHouse Casino Welcomes Baseball Legend And Notorious Gambler Pete Rose

Philadelphia, PA’s SugarHouse Casino is hosting a meet and greet with baseball legend Pete Rose and giving players the chance to meet him in person.

Philadelphia, PA’s SugarHouse Casino is hosting a meet and greet with baseball legend Pete Rose next month and giving players the chance to meet him in person through a sweepstakes.

The meet and greet will go off on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 2-3 p.m. local time at the SugarHouse Casino along the Delaware River in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood. This is the same day Rose will be officially inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will be held on the field at Citizens Bank Park before the Phillies play the New York Mets at 7:05 p.m. local time.

SugarHouse’s Pete Rose sweepstakes

In advance of the events, SugarHouse Casino is running a Pete Rose Meet & Greet Sweepstakes, giving away a Pete Rose prize package. The winner will receive two free tickets to the SugarHouse meet and greet, a signed 8” x 10” photo of Rose with the inscription “2017 Philly Wall of Fame” and a photo opportunity as well.

SugarHouse players can earn entry into the sweepstakes beginning at 12 p.m. local time on Thursday, July 6 until 12 p.m. local time on Thursday, Aug. 10 when the winner will be selected.

A Hall of Fame career

Rose played Major League Baseball from 1963 to 1986, and managed the Cincinnati Reds from 1984 to 1989. He remains the all-time leader in hits, games played. Rose won three World Series titles and made 17 All-Star appearances, although he is not in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

In fact, Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 and placed on the game’s permanent ineligibility list after accusations surfaced that he gambled on baseball games while playing and managing the Reds. Two years later, the Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to bar the induction of anyone on the permanently ineligible list.

Rose initially denied allegations he bet on baseball games. However, in 2004, 15 years after being thrown out of the game, he admitted the allegations were true. Nevertheless, Rose has maintained he never bet against the Reds while playing or managing the team.

In the years since, Rose has made several attempts to be reinstated by Major League Baseball and added to the ballot for Hall of Fame induction.

A Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame inductee

In 2016, Rose was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. He won back-to-back titles as a part of the Cincinnati Reds teams known as the Big Red Machine in 1975 and 1976. Despite the betting controversy that ended his time with Cincinnati and his career, Rose is best remembered as a member of the Reds.

However, he joined the Phillies as a free agent in 1979 and help lead the team to its first World Series title in 1980. In all, Rose spent five years playing in Philadelphia.

Rose Still betting, laughing

Rose now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada and claims to bet on baseball and other sports legally and regularly. He reportedly earns more than $1 million annually attending autograph signings. He also lent his name to the Pete Rose Bar and Grill on the Las Vegas Strip, which went out of business last year.

In 2016, Rose appeared in a TV ad for the William Hill US Race & Sports Book and its mobile NV sports wagering app making light of his ban from baseball for betting on games.

Image credit: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

Philadelphia Poker Rooms: Breaking Down Parx, SugarHouse And Harrah’s

A comparison of the games, tournaments and amenities at the three Philadelphia area poker rooms in Pennsylvania: Parx, SugarHouse and Harrah’s.

Ten of Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos have poker rooms, but the size, game offerings, promotions and amenities vary quite a bit.

Here is a look at the three poker rooms in the Philadelphia area — Parx, SugarHouse, and Harrah’s — with a rundown what each has to offer.

Harrah’s Philadelphia

Located in Chester (just outside Philadelphia), Harrah’s Poker Room is in the heart of Pennsylvania poker country. The room is of average size for the region, with 28 cash-game tables, and offers daily tournaments at 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. most days.

Harrah’s runs several monthly poker promotions. Currently, players will find high-hand jackpots every 30 to 60 minutes and a promotion where anyone showing a qualifying full house is entered into a monthly drawing.

With so much competition nearby, the room offers a couple of interesting options players won’t find in many other poker rooms. Harrah’s allows players in time-raked games to “Run it Twice” and players in any Hold’em or Omaha game can post a Mississippi Straddle — basically posting a straddle from any position, which makes the next player the first to act pre-flop.

Stakes and games typically found at Harrah’s are:

  • $2-$6 limit hold’em
  • $1/$2 no limit hold’em ($60-$300 buy-in)
  • $1/$3 no limit hold’em ($100-$500 buy-in)
  • $2/$5 no limit hold’em
  • $5/$10 no limit hold’em
  • $5/$10 Omaha 8 or better
  • State-approved games are available upon request

Parx Casino

With over 80 tables, Parx can lay claim to being the largest poker room in Pennsylvania. It’s also one of the only poker rooms in the state with consistent high-stakes action.

Unlike most of its competitors (which offer two daily tournaments), Parx only offers one daily tournament, mixing night and daytime starts, but the poker room also runs multiple tournament series throughout the year.

The casino has an ongoing bad-beat jackpot. Monthly promotions at Parx run the gamut, with the casino currently running a high-hand giveaway every half-hour, along with a grand-prize drawing at the end of the month.

Stakes and games typically found at Parx are:

  • Limit hold’em: $3/$6 – $6/$12 – $15/$30 – $40/$80
  • No limit hold’em: $1/$2 – $1/$3 – $2/$5 – $10/$10 – $10/$25
  • PLO: $5 single blind – $5/$5
  • PLO8: $1/$2
  • Omaha 8 or better: $8/$16 – $10/$20 – $15/$30 – $30/$60
  • Mix games: $6/$12 – $10/$20 – $15/$30 – $30/$60
  • State-approved games are available upon request

SugarHouse Casino

After moving from a temporary home to its permanent location in early 2016, SugarHouse has the newest and swankiest poker room in the state. The 28-table room has all the modern niceties, including backlit tables, in-seat text-to-order food service and full charging stations at every position.

SugarHouse is also a branded Poker Night in America poker room and routinely hosts televised cash games and tournament series.

SugarHouse’s daily tournament schedule consists of a nightly tournament during the week and three tournaments on weekends typically.

SugarHouse is big on promotions, notably its hourly high-hand giveaways. This core promotion is often augmented as is the case right now, where SugarHouse is offering:

  • 3x giveaways at select times on Tuesday and Sunday where a high hand prize is awarded every 20 minutes;
  • $300 every 30 minutes at select times on Monday and Wednesday;
  • $500 every 30 minutes at select times on Thursday and Friday;
  • Super Saturday, where SugarHouse will give away $300 every 20 minutes from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Stakes and games you’ll typically find at SugarHouse are:

  • $1/$2 no limit hold’em
  • $1/$3 no limit hold’em
  • $2/$5 no limit hold’em
  • $2-$6 limit hold’em
  • State-approved games are available upon request

SugarHouse Casino Celebrates Online Gambling Launch

The holidays are upon us and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is kicking party season off with a fete of its own this week.

The holidays are upon us and SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia is kicking party season off with a fete of its own this week.

The Pennsylvania casino launched its real-money online gambling offering in New Jersey in September. The property is owned by Rush Street Gaming, but the online gambling license was issued through the Golden Nugget. Golden Nugget also operates Betfair in the Garden State.

More on the SugarHouse launch party

The real money online casino in New Jersey is not the only thing the property is celebrating.

PlaySugarHouse.com also features a free-play version for casino and bingo that can be found at SugarHouse4Fun.com. The property is hosting a launch party for those offerings on Friday from 2 pm to 8 pm. The festivities will take place inside The Refinery restaurant inside the casino.

Attendees can get help downloading the free-play client, earn free bonus money for PlaySugarHouse, and earn free credits to play on SugarHouse4Fun. The party will feature over $1,000 in giveaways.

More on PlaySugarHouse

Both the real-money and free-play SugarHouse sites offer over 240 different casino games.

Some of the offerings include:

  • Video poker
  • A wide range of slots games
  • Blackjack

The real money offering is currently only available in New Jersey, which regulates online casinos. Anyone in the US can play on the free-play site or download the SugarHouse app to their mobile device.

Players must be at least 21 years of age.

The future of PlaySugarHouse?

There is a chance SugarHouse Casino could be offering its real-money platform in its home state in the future. The efforts to pass online gaming legislation in Pennsylvania are currently on hiatus until 2017.

The state House has been eager to get a bill through. Approval from the state Senate has been more difficult to win.

Should legislation pass, SugarHouse will already be operational in a neighboring state. It would be poised to be one of the first to market with a PA online casino.

The New Jersey online casino is a new addition in a market that has been up and running since November of 2013. It is the new kid on the block and competes with offerings from Caesars, Borgata and PokerStars/Resorts among others.

SugarHouse may be the new kid on the block, but Golden Nugget’s online casino has been performing extremely well. Online Poker Report observed Golden Nugget was the first online operator to ever crack $4 million in casino revenue just last month. PlaySugarHouse and Golden Nugget are operating under the same gaming license.

Most online casino operators in New Jersey are affiliated with Atlantic City casino properties. SugarHouse is the first casino in the Philadelphia area to offer real money casino gambling.

It will be interesting to see if SugarHouse’s position as a casino on the western side of the state will result in any sort of competitive advantage online.

SugarHouse Puts Finishing Touches on Phase 2 Expansion Project

SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia recently held its “topping off” ceremony, as the final beam was put in place for its Phase 2 expansion.

SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia recently held its “topping off” ceremony, as the final beam was put in place (and lit up) signaling the end of the casino’s Phase 2 expansion. The project began in 2013 and cost approximately $164 million.

The expansion doubles the size of the casino, with hundreds of slots and table games added to the casino’s offerings, including a state of the art poker room — the first legal poker room in Philadelphia.

Still, the expansion’s primary focus was amenities and convenience over gaming options. Among the new amenities visitors will find at SugarHouse are

  • A new parking garage.
  • An expansion of the property’s public river walk
  • A new events center
  • Art galleries throughout the property
  • Several new eateries.

Amenities account for 75% of the project, with gaming making up just 25% of the Phase 2 expansion.

As SugarHouse CEO Wendy Hamilton said of the expansion, “It’s a whole bunch of restaurants, it’s the event space, it brings the poker room inside from the temporary structure that’s detached today so it does a lot of things that really frankly will help us compete in what’s about to become an even more competitive region for casinos.”

History of SugarHouse

SugarHouse Casino, along with Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, is owned by Rush Street Gaming, one of the biggest players in the U.S. casino industry. Construction on SugarHouse Casino began in 2008 and it opened its doors on September 23, 2010.

The casino was an instant money maker in the Pennsylvania market, and is now locked in a virtual tie with nearby Harrah’s for 4th place (out of the state’s 12 casinos), trailing only Rivers, Parx and Sands Bethlehem.

Read our complete SugarHouse profile here.

Phase 3 on the horizon

SugarHouse won’t be resting on its laurels, as the casino will now set its sights on a Phase 3 expansion project.

Phase 3 could bring the addition of a hotel and ballroom to the property based on early proposals. This should bolster the property’s standing in what is a very crowded Philadelphia casino market, perhaps bumping SugarHouse into the Parx/Sands category.

The poker room

The most important addition on the gaming front is the new SugarHouse poker room. The room will boast 24 poker tables and includes all the bells and whistles of a modern poker room, and then some:

  • Charging stations at each seat at every table
  • Tableside eating and a dedicated eatery in the poker room
  • Neon underglow on all the tables
  • Mobile app reservation system

The new poker room replaces the temporary poker room SugarHouse opened late last year. The temporary poker room was located outside the casino proper in a makeshift building, making it somewhat difficult to locate, and somewhat limiting clientele to serious poker players.

On the other hand, the new room inside the casino should attract more casual players and everyday casino patrons. Because of the casino’s location in downtown Philadelphia the room could become one of the more popular poker destinations on the east coast.

PA Regulator Says Casino ‘Novelty Has Worn Off’; Could Online Gambling Spur Growth?

Pennslyania’s top gaming regulator says that the “novelty has worn off” for Pennsylvania’s casinos, leaving online gambling as a possible avenue for growth.

Pennsylvania’s top gambling regulator says that the “novelty has worn off” for Pennsylvania’s casinos and that growth may have plateaued, leaving online gambling as a possible avenue for growth in the state’s gaming industry.

What the Gaming Control Board’s head said

William H. Ryan Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, was commenting as part of an in-depth feature at Trib Total Media on the current state of Pennsylvania’s casinos.

The story notes that casino revenue growth peaked in the 2011-2012 fiscal year, and that only two of Pennsylvania’s 11 casinos have experienced growth over the next two years (Sands Bethlehem and Valley Forge).

Ryan noted that he believes that growth for PA casinos may have topped out, without changes to their economical model and/or streams of revenue:

“The boom times for casino revenues we saw in years past are probably history,” said William H. Ryan Jr., chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “Those were caused by the opening of new properties. And a lot of the novelty has worn off.”

And later:

“You have to expect as the number of casinos increases, the revenue of existing properties will drop some,” Ryan said. “The gaming industry is no different from any other industry. It is up to the people who run them to make them work and be profitable.”

One of the ways to foster growth in the casino sector? Online gambling.

Online gambling can help brick and mortar casinos

While Sheldon Adelson (casino magnate behind Sands Bethlehem) and company would like you to believe that internet gambling will cannibalize revenue from land-based casinos, that’s really not the case.

The most recent research on the subject of online gaming suggests that it can be complementary to brick-and-mortar casinos. The concept also came up at a Senate committee hearing last month, as representatives from both SugarHouse Casino and Harrah’s talked about iGaming’s potential for:

  • Growing revenue.
  • Creating new customers.
  • Reactivating inactive players.
  • Cross-promotional possibilities.

Then what’s stopping online gambling in PA?

In reality, there’s not much stopping it. There is minimal opposition to the idea of iGaming — notably from Sands and some horse-racing interests. The other 10 casinos generally support launching online gambling, to the point that some have already partnered with online platforms.

Most interests in the state approve of iGaming in some form, although the proposed tax rate and implementation remain issues that would need to be resolved.

In the spring, Reps. John Payne and Nick Kotik — a Republican and a Democrat — made their case for online gambling legalization in an op-ed, and both sides of the aisle have introduced regulation bills. The PGCB said it is more than ready to handle the task of regulating online gaming, if a bill is passed.

At the same time, legislation regulating online gambling has not really come up much in the current budget standoff. That’s despite the fact that online gambling has the potential of creating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the state as the state looks to trim huge projected deficits.

But if casino revenue growth in Pennsylvania actually has plateaued or continues to dip at some casinos — and the state is still looking for revenue in the coming weeks and months — the solution on online gaming waits in the wings as a fairly non-controversial way to help foster growth in the sector.

Photo by It’s Our City used under license CC BY 2.0.