The state of Pennsylvania legalized online gambling more than a year ago. The situation remained almost unchanged, as no bets have been placed so far. This, however, could change in a few months, state officials say.
Representatives of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) provided an update on the situation with online gambling in the state, saying that many people have been excited for the major expansion of the local gambling sector. According to them, the waiting is to be over soon.
The Executive Director of the Gaming Control Board, Kevin O’Toole, said that the local gaming authorities are getting closer to the official start of online gambling in the state. Mr. O’Toole shared that online gambling should be finally rolled out in the upcoming three to four months. Speaking to the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week, he said that online gambling should become a reality in Pennsylvania by the end of the current fiscal year, or at the beginning of the next, at the latest, as the licensing process is almost finalized.
Regulators Testing Responsible Gambling Systems to Protect Users
It also became clear that currently, local officials and gambling operators are focused on testing and certifying specialized online software.
As explained by Mr. O’Toole, the regulators need to make the necessary tests in order to ensure that the software for the online system meets all the requirements to protect customers from compulsive gambling and possible gambling-related harm. The measures that are set to be introduced include features allowing customers to set up certain limits on how much they spend and how long they play.
Self-exclusion programs will also be available for online gambling in the state of Pennsylvania. Liz Lanza, who works at the PGCB’s Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling, explained that similar self-exclusion schemes were quite successful in physical casinos and the success is expected to be repeated in online gambling operations, too.
Parx Casino CEO Enthusiastic about Online Gambling in the State
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board officials further shared that they do not have an exact estimate for the online gambling revenue which is expected to be brought to the state. Still, the Board said that the new form of gambling would probably be a big contributor to the state, as it is expected to raise about $100 million in licensing fees alone.
It also turned out that the Chief Executive Officer of the Parx Casino, Anthony Ricci, is also enthusiastic about online gambling in the state.
Only recently, the PGCB provided the Parx Casino with license renewal, and Mr. Ricci made it obvious that he is backing online gambling expansion, too. The casino is already drawing benefits from its Parx Sportsbook, despite the fact that the casino’s CEO admitted that the new customers at Parx are not actually interested in every gaming offering, as punters usually stick to sports betting and do not prefer other types of casino gambling.