Pennsylvania sports betting
Legal Developments

Pennsylvania Casinos Invited to Apply for Sports Betting Licenses

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is now accepting applications from casinos interested in offering sports betting to their patrons. According to a press release issued Thursday, the PGCB has already notified licensed casino operators in Pennsylvania that they may now apply for sports betting licenses and begin the process of opening their own sportsbooks.

Temporary regulations have also been issued, but that does not mean Pennsylvania casinos may begin taking wagers immediately. For now, the idea is to start the process and give operators a sense of direction as they submit applications and plan how they’ll go about accepting sports wagers.

With this news, Pennsylvania is set to be one of the front-runners in actually getting sports betting up and running. Delaware is also moving quickly with the DE Lottery announcing this week that local casinos will begin offering full-service sports betting in-person on June 5th.

Pennsylvania’s news is especially noteworthy because it includes provisions for mobile online sports betting apps. The regulations included today allude to wagers placed “over the internet through websites and mobile applications.” While New Jersey and Delaware will likely approve online sports betting as well, Pennsylvania is the first state to actually begin the process of authorizing online wagers.

Some things still need to happen before Pennsylvania casinos are officially approved to take wagers online or in-person, but the process is now officially in motion.

Temporary Regulations Offer a Preview of Things to Come

Penn Live reports the PGCB plans to issue additional temporary regulations as the board works through a variety of considerations such as procedures for accepting wagers, how bets will be resolved, setting maximum wagers and so on. In the meantime, local casinos will begin the application process so they can be ready to go once the PGCB gives operators the green light.

These temporary regulations have been published here at the PGCB website and they provide a preview of things to come. As far as licensing applications are concerned, interested operators will be required to submit to the board information regarding key employees, prove that it has the technical know-how to manage a sportsbook, show that it is properly financed for sports betting and submit plans detailing locations in which betting will be conducted.

License seekers will also have to submit information showing they can properly protect customers’ private information, describe their proposed accounting and internal control systems and more. In short, the PGCB wants to verify that interested casinos will be capable of running healthy, functional and safe sportsbooks.

Additional regulations providing the basic rules for sports betting are expected to be issued later this month and next. Those regulations should provide the ground rules for how sports betting must actually be run once casinos are approved.

Online Sports Betting in Pennsylvania

The bill that legalized online gambling in Pennsylvania was passed last year. As we noted at the time, the bill authorizes online sports betting in addition to online casino games and poker. The sports betting provisions were contingent on the federal sports betting prohibition being repealed or stricken down.

The Supreme Court ruled PASPA unconstitutional last month, and that freed Pennsylvania to proceed with its plans for sports betting online and in the real world. Now, the board is moving on this to get Pennsylvania up and running. If everything goes according to plan, Pennsylvania should become one of the first states to legalize not just sports betting, but online betting as well.

The first step is to provide local casinos with guidance, hence the temporary regulations. With this first set of temporary regulations in hand, local casinos now have the direction they need to get ready and submit applications

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