Golden Nugget is making a run at the online gambling market in Pennsylvania. Just as the deadline for additional operators to apply for unclaimed online gaming licenses was about to this past Wednesday, Golden Nugget submitted its request to offer online slots and table games.
Pennsylvania gaming laws passed last year allow the Gambling Control Board to issue a maximum of 39 online gambling licenses, coinciding with three licenses for each of the state’s 13 casinos to offer the following games in PA:
- Online table games
- Online slots
- Online poker
State-authorized casinos were given the first opportunity to apply for the available online gambling licenses at a package price of $10 million for all three. Most PA casinos ended up taking the package deal, but several opted for just two of the licenses and one casino decided to forgo online gambling altogether.
Presque Isle Downs and the owners of the future Stadium Casino applied to offer online table games and slots, but not poker. Lady Luck Casino did not apply for any online gambling licenses at all.
After all was said and done, Pennsylvania’s casinos applied for 28 of the available 39 licenses. Additionally, five casinos have applied for online sports betting in PA.
That left eleven online gambling licenses up for grabs after Pennsylvania’s casinos. For a period ranging from October 16th through the 31st, additional “qualified gaming entities” (QGEs) from out of state were allowed to apply for any of the remaining licenses.
MGM Resorts jumped on that opportunity last week and applied for online slots, table games and poker at a non-discounted cost of $12 million.
Golden Nugget joined the party at the last minute, having submitted its application on the last day of October. Unlike MGM, Golden Nugget is not applying for all three licenses; Golden Nugget is seeking permission to offer online slots and table games only.
Previewing Golden Nugget Pennsylvania
Golden Nugget is likely to be approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) as it is a known entity with experience in the New Jersey online gaming market. We can look at how Golden Nugget has approached the New Jersey market to consider how it may approach online gambling in Pennsylvania.
Golden Nugget Online launched in New Jersey in 2013 and is now consistently the top-performing casino site in the state. With that in mind, there’s little reason to believe Golden Nugget will change its general approach when it launches online slots and table games in Pennsylvania.
In New Jersey, the Golden Nugget software platform is powered by NYX Gaming and provides a large gaming selection for players. Golden Nugget NJ has more than 600 slots and table games on offer in New Jersey from a multitude of gaming developers, including popular brands such as NetEnt, NextGen, WMS, Bally and IGT.
Some of Golden Nugget’s NJ success can also be attributed to a strong marketing team that provides a continuous assortment of ongoing promotions and a longstanding welcome bonus that tops out at $1,000 for new customers.
A launch date has not been specified, but the PGCB will meet again near the end of November and is likely to approve additional applications then. PGCB executive director Kevin O’Toole said last week the first online gaming launches are imminent, so the wait shouldn’t be too much longer for Pennsylvanian gamblers.