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Pennsylvania casinos miss out on in-house online gaming

| By iGB Editorial Team
Players will soon be able to access digital gaming elsewhere in the state

Punters in Pennsylvania will not be able to access online gaming services inside casinos, despite the state moving to legalise internet gambling.

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regulations will permit players to place online wagers from anywhere in the state, with the exception of inside a casino’s walls.

The rules extend to all forms of internet gaming including online poker, casino games and slots.

The PGCB document said: “The Gaming Control Board will put in place a system that, through the use of GPS software and IP Address identification, will block entry and play of Pennsylvania-licensed internet gaming if a user is outside of the state.

“In addition, participating in internet gaming when in a Pennsylvania casino will also be blocked.”

Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino and Rush Street’s SugarHouse Casino are among those to have obtained online gaming licences.

The decision comes despite consumers in Nevada and New Jersey, both of which offer legal internet gaming, being able to gamble online when inside a casino, and some industry sources believe that the move could harm Pennsylvania’s market before it has even launched.

Nevada only currently offers online poker, while New Jersey has different taxes for playing online on property and off property.

Pennsylvania has already awarded the majority of its 39 online gaming licences, but those operators that missed out in the initial process will have the chance to win a licence in a lottery-style draw.

A Qualified Gaming Entities window will open today (Monday) and run through to October 31, allowing companies to apply for the handful of remaining licences.

Only five licences are available after the PGCB this month awarded online gaming licences to Sands Bethlehem Casino and the Boyd-owned Valley Forge Casinos Resort.

Despite pushing ahead with such plans, Pennsylvania has no immediate plans to allow punters to place online sports wagers when it launches a regulated sports betting market.

Pennsylvania has already awarded a number of sports betting licences ahead of the anticipated launch of the regulated market before the end of the year.

Image: Santeri Viinamäki

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