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Pennsylvania Casino Operators Express Discontent with State iLottery Games

Pennsylvania is one of the states which has dedicated the year 2018 to many improvements and the introduction of new gaming activities to its field. Some of the new features it brought to life is the new iLoterry which proves to be quite controversial, since casino operators are vocally expressing their discontent with its operation and the way it fits in the field.

The Keystone State proves to be very ambitious when it comes to the gaming activities it has on offer which come in an attempt to fill up the gaping hole in the state budget. Ever since last summer, the lawmakers in the state have been devising ways in which they could mend it and the introduction of iLottery to the state field was one of the proposed solutions. Towards the end of 2017 online gambling in addition to the iLottery was given green light which introduced a brand new gambling revenue source to the state.

This is how the month of May became the one which introduced iLottery to the field and many people have already given their luck a try in one of the gaming offerings it provides. One of the reasons for that is the fact that for the time being this is the only online gambling activity within the borders of the state and people are making a good use of it. However, there are also the people and businesses opposing the new introduction and those are casino operators who have been developing their business in the past years.

According to their complaints officially filed to the administration of Tom Wolf, the gaming offerings iLottery has appeared to be very similar to the games typically provided by gambling facilities. At its current state, the online gambling law allows the state lottery to offer online games, while casino operators also provide their online gaming. There is also online poker, daily fantasy sports, and sports wagering which would also add more to the field.

Online Offerings Cause Negative Reaction

Pennsylvania’s Lottery, however, is what is bothering the casino operators in the field, since the online offerings it provides appear to be games which simulate casino-style activities. Such could be located at any brick-and-mortar gaming facility and they range from roulette and poker to slot machines and blackjack. What should be taken into account is the fact that there is an agreement currently existing under which casino operators and developers conduct their businesses.

According to it, only they have the right to provide online slot games to the public and the games offered by the iLottery resemble them for the most part. They feature a random number generator with animated graphics, as well as similar names and themes to some of the actual products available at casino venues. Following these demands coming from the casino developers which have been in operation for many years now, the authorities are unlikely to be willing to make a move and meet their expectations.

Since all businesses in the field have to have equal opportunities for development in the online space, iLottery should have the chance to provide its games along with casino operators. This might be the main reason why the legal challenge could fail to bring the desired results. In addition to the fair competition, there is also the factor of revenues being allocated to senior citizen programs which benefit the community to a significant extent.

In the meantime, casino operators have not yet begun their online operation, because at the moment the casino licensing costs as much as $10 million. In addition to that, there is also one of the highest tax rates across the states which dissuades them from exploring the field, at least for now. As many as three months have passed since the official launch date of online gambling in Pennsylvania and so far not a single operator has expressed its desire to purchase a license for online casino.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.